A Bahamian produced show about movies and Caribbean cinema culture will have its international debut next month.
“The Cinemas” has been picked up by Tempo Networks, the leading media and entertainment company in the region, and will premiering in the United States and throughout the Caribbean on January 22 on TEMPO TV.
The brainchild of its host, Bahamian writer, director and producer Travolta Cooper, “The Cinemas” began as a result of an endorsement deal with Galleria Cinemas.
The show consists of movie reviews and interviews with a Caribbean twist. It was designed to promote and encourage the new wave of Caribbean cinema happening in the region and around the world.
“The Cinemas” first began as small segments for the web and then it was picked up by Cable Bahamas for a half hour version.
By the time the show wrapped in October, it was the top rated local show on Cable 12 and one of the top rated local shows on television in the Bahamas.
Mr Cooper said he was surprised by the success of what he calls the show’s pilot season.
“ ‘The Cinemas’ began a bit by accident. I was coming off high praise with the debut of my docu-narrative ‘The Black Moses’. Much of that resulted in me being handed a platform to promote and encourage Bahamian and Caribbean cinema,” he said.
“Galleria Cinemas saw it as a way to help ‘Bahamianise’ and ‘Caribbeanise’ the movie going experience. Once that concept gripped my imagination I jumped on the opportunity immediately because I knew that the show could essentially become a way to bridge the gap between Caribbean Cinema and the Caribbean audience which is crucial to help create a vibrant and successful Caribbean box office. We hope to have the same impact with the show in the region as we did the Bahamas. Like Nigeria has its Nollywood and India its Bollywood we hope to manifest a ‘Cariwood’.”
Tempo Networks saw the show and agreed with the idea.
Frederick A Morton, Jr, founder, chairman and CEO of TEMPO, said: “Caribbean films provide yet another outlet for the expression of who we are as Caribbean people, which is at the heart of the Tempo mission.
“As Tempo reaches the milestone of its 10th year anniversary in 2015, the company plans to focus on the promotion and elevation of the Caribbean film industry. The development of what we call ‘Cariwood’ through partnerships with outstanding and passionate filmmakers like Travolta Cooper who has also dedicated his life to this goal.”
“The Cinemas” will also be introducing a contest to unite the entire region under one film. The winners of this film contest will gain a distribution deal to have their film play in theatres throughout the Caribbean and on TEMPO TV.
“We’re calling it the Smart Phone Film Contest, and it is open to everyone in the region: young, old, rich, poor, filmmaker or non- filmmaker,” said Mr Cooper.
“It’s multilingual and multicultural; designed to blur the lines that often separate us. Also, our show is not just about showcasing talent and stars, but also about discovering and cultivating talent and stars.”