The book, “Love, Friendship, & Betrayal” was successfully launched at the Motion Picture Association of Antigua and Barbuda (MPAAB), gala on October 31st, 2022. It was a Red-Carpet event with over 300 patrons in attendance. The first segment was dedicated to the book launch, while the highlight of the second segment was the showing of a short film – No Body Hit me Pickney. This film won the award- of Best Student Film, at the COMMFFEST film festival in Canada.
The event was held at the Dean William Lake Cultural Center and sanctioned by the Ministry of Creative Industries and Innovation as part of the 41 st celebrations of the Independence of Antigua and Barbuda.
The anthology, Love, Friendship, & betrayal was written by six teenagers who are members of Antigua Film Academy – the educational arm of MPAAB. To personalize the evening – the six authors introduced themselves and gave a synopsis of their story. This was followed by an award segment, where they were acknowledged as new authors. A special award was presented to Ms. Johanne Hillhouse, who held a number of workshops with aspiring authors in the midst of the Covid pandemic. The segment was capped by first a live reading by the host, Francine Carby, President of MPAAB. This was followed by a taped reading with questions and answers hosted by Alison Bramble of 97.1 FM.
Copies of the book were available to the audience and the event was dubbed a huge success in terms of execution. The evening opened with a performance by Petron – runner-up in the 2022 soca competition and a member of MPAAB. The students of the Antigua Film Academy were then serenaded by Jamal “Jaygo” Gordon, who flew in from Jamaica for the event. The students and audience were also blessed with an emotional piece of spoken words by Shaheem Fitzpatrick.
The second segment of the evening was hosted by Pastor Cavasiour and was kicked off with an awards presentation to the three past presidents of the MPAAB. Dr. Alvin Edwards was the first awardee and after acceptance of his award, he gave a short speech where he highlighted the importance of teaching and preparing the young people of Antigua and Barbuda to make use of the technology available to them. He also highlighted the use of social media as a marketing and promotional tool and encouraged all students of the Antigua Film Academy to be diligent.
Next up was the Film Commissioner of Antigua and Barbuda, Mr. Bert Kirchner. During his speech, he thank past members and advised the young students to work hard and believed in their dreams. He highlighted the progress and potential of film production in Antigua- and noted the Internationally acclaimed movie, Wendy, gave Antigua a boost in the film industry. He also noted the acceptance of Shabier Kirchner into the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science, as a success story for Antiguan filmmakers and encouraged them to continue to strive for excellence.
The third awardee was Howard Allen – a legendary and award-winning director. Howard is half of the duo known as Hammer Production – and it was their pioneering effort with the movie Sweetest Mango – that introduced Antigua and the rest of the Eastern Caribbean to filmmaking 30 years ago. Some of their other works were highlighted before Howard accepted his award. In his speech, Mr. Allen spoke about the patience and endurance needed to last in this changing industry. He also took the time to highlight the importance of their new movie- soon to be released- which takes a critical look at the effects of global warming. It’s a well-timed movie and he hopes the movie, Deep Blue, becomes another impactful film not only in Antigua and Barbuda but around the world.
The authors of Love, Friendship, & Betrayal will continue to market their work and engage in fundraising activities over the next six weeks as they prepare to go off on a book tour to Canada in December. They would like to thank their publisher- Dr. Noel Howell, their parents and family, and friends, also the Minister of Creative Industries and Innovation, Hon Michael Browne for all the support they received. They would like the general public to continue to support their effort. To make a donation please call 1-268 729-3943 Or contact Instagram - https://instagram.com/ananthologyoflessonslearned?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=