There is some exciting news today coming out of the Caribbean film-centered market.
Brooklyn-based non-profit film organization the Caribbean Film Academy (CaFa), whose mission of sharing and promoting the art of storytelling through film from the unique perspective of the Caribbean, and by extension increasing the visibility of Caribbean diasporic filmmakers, has announced the launch of Studio Anansi Films, their own Video-On-Demand (VOD) platform.
Studio Anansi Films (studioanansi.tv) will feature narrative short and feature-length live action and animated films and documentaries, as well as web-series created by Caribbean filmmakers from throughout the diaspora. The new VOD platform will add to the already exciting catalog of fresh and cutting edge films by some of the Caribbean’s best emerging filmmakers, already enjoyed by viewers familiar with CaFa’s film blog CineCaribés (cinecaribes.com) and monthly CaFA Film Nights community film screenings in Brooklyn.
As Romola Lucas, co-founder of CaFA comments, "With the launching of this site, CaFA has achieved one of its major goals – providing an outlet for the work of emerging regional and diaspora based Caribbean filmmakers, as well as access for global and regional audiences to some of the best film content coming out of the Caribbean." She adds that, "In recent years, there has been an explosion in filmmaking in the Caribbean, mostly spurred by the greater affordability of equipment and the growth of regional film festivals. As one of a handful of VOD sites designed exclusively for Caribbean content, the platform will provide a tremendous opportunity for increa"ed visibility of the work of our emerging filmmakers."
Key to the launch will be Studio Anansi’s distribution deal with New Caribbean Cinema (NCC) producers Michelle Serieux and Storm Saulter, whose highly anticipated film Ring di Alarm recently opened to rave reviews and large audiences in Jamaica, and will be the newest addition to the site. "With the addition of Ring di Alarm," remarks Lucas, “we are slowly but surely putting together a site to be enjoyed by viewers and cherished by filmmakers."
Ring di Alarm is available on the site beginning today, Tuesday, August 26.
Studio Anansi, named in honor of master Caribbean storyteller Anansi the Spider, draws on the Caribbean’s collective and unique perspective, and the high regard held for its storytelling traditions. It will offer films in a variety of genres made by filmmakers from a wide range of Caribbean countries, with the capacity for the films to be viewed in high definition, on any device. Audiences will be able to choose from a selection of free or paid content, with film prices averaging about $5.
An often forgotten and neglected audience by American and European filmmakers, the steady growing Caribbean audience is like any other – they crave to see their stories and themselves onscreen, and for them to be accessible. It looks like Studio Anansi can be a major player in delivering premium Caribbean film content worldwide and shining a light on this emerging film market.