Filmmaker on the hunt for Guyanese actors

In the short film “See You Yesterday,” main characters C.J. Walker, left, and Sebastian Thomas, right, create time machines to save ones brother from police brutality. The feature length version of the film produced by Spike Lee, calls for two elderly Guyanese actors.
Stefon Bristol

Roll call for Guyanese talent!

A Brooklyn filmmaker is on the hunt for two Guyanese actors for his new film coming out next year. Guyanese-American movie maker Stefon Bristol is creating a full length version of his award-winning short film, “See You Yesterday.” His Spike Lee produced project, follows two black teen prodigies who create a time machine to prevent one of their brothers from becoming the victim of police brutality.

The roles call for two Afro-Guyanese actors between the ages of 50 and 70 years old. They play the grandparents of lead character Sebastian Thomas, who is of Guyanese descent in the film. Bristol says the roles are minor, but central to Sebastian’s character and upbringing.

“For Sebastian’s character we are looking to cast his grandparents, so we’re looking for two older people who know how to act, and have Anglo-Caribbean accents, preferably Guyanese,” said Bristol.

The grandmother is a god-fearing religious woman, who regularly attends church, and the grandfather is a hardworking, jack-of-all trades, who is also a big jokester.

The type of talent he foresees for the role are actors who are witty, and able to also act without a script.

“We are looking for people who have a great sense of humor, and they got to be okay with improvising,” Bristol added.

In the movie the elders are the character’s full-time guardians, who raise him similarly to how Bristol remembers his own older kin. He adds that he wanted to use the chance in his film to portray Caribbean people of senior age because their tutelage remains an exemplar passed down from generation to generation.

“Sebastian lives with them and they are kind of tough on the boy, and while they are minor characters they will have a strong on-screen presence,” he said. “The older generation had to learn their own ways of dealing with life and transfer that to the younger generation. The grandparents are always there very important and can’t ignore it because we have a lot of elderly in the Caribbean community and would be a disservice to not include them in my work.”

Bristol says his search is also an effort to bring more visibility to the lack of Caribbean representation in American media, and to counter the existing misrepresentation.

“For me it’s been hard to find West Indian actors, often when you do see someone playing a Caribbean person, it’s done by actors who can’t put on the right accent and don’t know the culture that well,” he said. “And for years when we’ve seen the movies about Brooklyn from 90s to now — I’ve never really seen representation of Caribbean people, even though there’s an influx of Caribbean people living there, and that feels false to me to this is my opportunity to see something different.”

Filming will begin in July until the end of August and take place mostly in Brooklyn and other parts of the city. Casting for the film is currently being held, and no acting experience or fees apply for auditioning.

Interested applicants should inquire with Chrystie Street Casting and send a recent photograph, their age and height, their contact number, and availability between July and August to: info.chrystiestreetcastin[email protected] with the email subject line: See You Yesterday Casting.

Reach reporter Alexandra Simon at (718) 260–8310 or e-mail her at asimo[email protected] Follow her on Twitter @AS1mon.
Filmmaker Stefon Bristol says the film calls for the roles of two Afro-Guyanese actors, who will play the roles of grandparents of lead character Sebastian Thomas. Casting is being done for the film, which begins filming in July.
Stefon Bristol

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