St Lu­cian pro­gramme com­ing to HBO

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL - By Nasha Smith

Amid all the cam­eras from lo­cal, re­gional and in­ter­na­tional me­dia cov­er­ing the jazz fes­ti­val was the long lens of ca­ble gi­ant Home Box Of­fice, com­monly known by its fa­mous acro­nym HBO. The com­pany was on is­land film­ing scenes for a pro­gramme on the He­len of the West Indies.

HBO Caribbean rep­re­sen­ta­tive, Zev Lenchus, out­lined the con­cept which is not nec­es­sar­ily jazz-cen­tric.

“What we’re on is­land do­ing now is putting to­gether a pro­gramme that’s not only go­ing to high­light the St. Lu­cia Jazz Fes­ti­val; be­cause jazz is great, the fes­ti­val is amaz­ing and it draws peo­ple and tal­ent from all over the world, but we’re on is­land to show­case St. Lu­cia and we’ve part­nered with the board of tourism, who is with our peo­ple on the ground and show­ing them the ins and outs of St. Lu­cia. So yes jazz, but also arts, fash­ion, cul­ture, points of in­ter­est and all of the beau­ti­ful things that St. Lu­cia has to of­fer.”

This may come as a sur­prise to some but HBO vis­its have been in ex­is­tence for many years dat­ing back to the early years of the jazz fes­ti­val.

“We’ve had part­ner­ships in St. Lu­cia for about 20 years now”, said Lenchus. “So al­most as long as the St. Lu­cia Jazz Fes­ti­val. HBO co-spon­sored with LIME Jazz on the Square. We had also cov­ered St. Lu­cia Jazz back in ‘08. So we’re here again just con­tin­u­ing our com­mit­ment to rais­ing up the Caribbean is­lands.”

HBO Caribbean is an off­shoot of the Amer­i­can pre­mium ca­ble and satel­lite provider, which of­fers English­language broad­casts of con­tent for the English- and Dutch­s­peak­ing Caribbean view­ers.

So does this mean we can look for­ward to more ap­pear­ances by the HBO team on our shores?

“I would hope so,” laughed Lenchus. “I think there’s a bright fu­ture ahead. It’s a happy and strong re­la­tion­ship that we have so I wouldn’t be sur­prised if we see each other again real soon.”

The St. Lu­cia Tourist Board will be re­spon­si­ble for pick­ing the ar­eas of in­ter­est to the crew, but so far footage from the fes­ti­val and the Pitons are sure bets. But Lenchus thinks the true beauty of the is­land lies in some­thing very sim­ple.

“For us it’s the peo­ple and the vibe they give. We’ve kind of pow­ered onto that.”

For those in­ter­ested in catch­ing the pro­gramme when it airs, make a bee­line to your lo­cal ca­ble provider.

“The only way to see this pro­gram­ming is to sub­scribe so you have to call your Flow, your LIME ca­ble op­er­a­tor and de­mand that you get not just HBO Caribbean, be­cause we have a wealth of chan­nels and we of­fer the most con­tent.”

The spe­cial will be aired not just in the Caribbean but Latin Amer­ica and Brazil as well.

Ac­cord­ing to Lenchus, “It’s a great look for St. Lu­cia be­cause it’s not just Caribbean con­tained. We’re un­leash­ing St. Lu­cia.”

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