Bmobile treats Blanchisseuse to “Green Days” under the stars
Film director Michael Mooleedhar and celebrated author Michael Anthony were both on hand for bmobile’s free open-air screening of the local movie production, “Green Days by the River” at the Festival Grounds, Blanchisseuse on Friday night. The screening was part of the festivities for the North Coast Jazz Festival that brought patrons from across the country up to scenic north east community. Many walked with their chairs, blankets and in groups sprawled across the plush savannah for a night of popcorn, fun, family and entertainment. Mooleedhar and Anthony shared personal experiences from the three year development period for the film which was premiered last year on the 50th anniversary of the publication of the book.
Rhonda-Lee Yhapp, TSTT Senior Manager, Marketing Communications arranged the free screening of the film as a gift to the Blanchisseuse community which, for the second year, is playing host for the North Coast Jazz Festival of which bmobile is also a sponsor. “Many of us grew up reading Michael Anthony’s novels as part of literature in schools and it occupies a special place in our heart. Having supported the production of the film adaptation of this hugely popular novel, this was the perfect opportunity for us to celebrate the local talent and creativity embodied in the telling of this coming-of-age story.”
Michael Mooleedhar, the 32 year old director praised the efforts and investment by bmobile for initially sponsoring the film when it was still just an idea, saying the company was instrumental in taking the classic novel adaptation from script to screen. “I approached bmobile and they were extremely receptive to the idea. They really set the ground work to make this movie happen. While the overall three year process was not easy, I think we came out with a really good product.”
Green Days by the River, the film, received numerous awards both locally and abroad and is currently screening in London, soon to be in Toronto and has already shown in a number of Caribbean countries. Mooleedhar believes it is still important to have these local screenings despite having its run at local theatres twice already. Bmobile’s choice of the fishing village was ideal he says, “In Blanchisseuse, people here might not go to cinemas in town to watch the film, so I think it’s always important to have community screenings of local works. Given that this book is still relevant 50 years later, that tells you it is an enduring story and we can only hope the film is still playing 50 years later too. We want that kind of relevance. We’re thankful for the opportunities bmobile has given us. They are responsible for us having the screening here today, and they sponsored the movie, so they really look out for us.”
Director Mooleedhar says the fact that the book is uniquely Trinbagonian is what attracted him and producer Christian James to the possibility of making it into a film. “The author was always very helpful and working with him helped give an identity to the film. It’s the first time we’re taking one of our books, and turning it into a movie. As a young director that interested me, because when I look at what cinema is giving us today, it’s giving us a lot of gangster stuff. So I like that this is a family movie and it could lend itself to so many different things.”
Vibrant and quick to engage in conversation and debate, 88 year old Michael Anthony sat at bmobile’s tent chatting and autographing his books to eager patrons who came out for the movie. Anthony was excited to be in Blanchisseuse. “I feeling extremely good, excited to be here, hadn’t been to Blanchisseuse in 15-20 years. I like how different the scenery is.” He praised bmobile for sponsoring the event. “One feels very grateful to be attached to bmobile. Having this for the people of Blanchissuese and for free, is great on bmobile’s part, because if they had to pay to come in they wouldn’t have seen it. And I didn’t write it to not to be seen.” By having community screenings, Anthony hopes the book will become better known to people, and maybe for those who have not read the book, the movie will bring them to it. “I feel rather special, there’s nothing special about the book, nor its author, but I would tell people, all I try to do is create a true scene of village life, the customs the culture, what may actually happen with vibrant characters,” said a humbled and enthusiastic Anthony.
Yhapp was pleased at the response of the audience. “bmobile is an enabler for empowering communities and by extension promoting all that is great about our culture. Whether it is Blanchisseuse or Mayaro where the novel is set, every community has a unique story to tell and we believe that pioneering rural digital connectivity helps these communities find their voice.”