‘KINTO’ com­pleted in mem­ory of KEMA JAMES

Short film about wind­shield cleaner ac­cepted for over­seas fes­ti­vals

Jamaica Gleaner - - ENTERTAINMENT - Mel Cooke/Gleaner Writer

THERE ARE tears in the 15 min­utes of Kinto, shed by lead ac­tor Sekai Smart-Ma­caulay, when the re­ally hard times as a wind­shield washer lit­er­ally hit him in the form of a group of thugs who rob and beat him in New Kingston, just af­ter he hap­pily buys food with some of his earn­ings. And there is the bawl­ing of the baby Kinto cra­dles af­ter he searches a car with the driver Rick (played by Justin Hadeed Awn) slumped over the steer­ing wheel, sleep­ing – a driver who, in a state of stress, had not given Kinto money ear­lier in the event­ful day.

But there were also briefer wa­ters with­out the re­quire­ments of Kinto di­rec­tor Joshua Paul be­fore Tues­day night’s screen­ing at the Philip Sher­lock Cen­tre for the Cre­ative Arts, Univer­sity of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, when co-pro­ducer Les­lie-Ann McDow­ell spoke about the per­son to whose mem­ory the film is ded­i­cated – Ke­mar James.

Co-pro­ducer Saeed Thomas spoke a bit about James, say­ing that there were ex­pec­ta­tions that the de­ceased young man would have de­vel­oped into “one of the most tal­ented di­rec­tors of pho­tog­ra­phy that we have seen”. Paul added that he was driven to fin­ish Kinto in James’ mem­ory, although there were times – such as at his ni­nenight – that it seemed a big task to fin­ish the film he and James had fo­cused on to­gether. “Ke­mar James was my best friend,” he said, re­mem­ber­ing scout­ing lo­ca­tions like Eman­ci­pa­tion Park, New Kingston.

Now that it is done, Kinto has been sub­mit­ted to a num­ber of film fes­ti­vals, and ac­cepted for screen­ing by at least two, in Mi­ami, USA, and Lon­don Eng­land. Plus, Paul added, “we recently got word we have been se­lected for a fes­ti­val in Hol­ly­wood”.

The story was sparked by real-life events, with Paul say­ing that he was work­ing at the Cre­ative Pro­duc­tion and Train­ing Cen­tre (CPTC) and had to go through Liguanea very early in the morn­ings. That meant en­coun­ter­ing wind­shield wash­ers. He re­vealed that un­like many oth­ers, he ac­tu­ally en­gaged them. “Just talk­ing to them, I got a lot of sto­ries. One guy said that he did not get to make enough money one day and he ended up eat­ing from the garbage,” he re­lated. That was played out in Kinto.

Nat­u­rally, there was a lot of at­ten­tion on the young lead ac­tor and Smart-Ma­caulay re­lated how he built back sto­ries for the char­ac­ter to get pre­pared for the film. Ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer Tom­lin Paul, Joshua’s fa­ther, ex­pressed his con­fi­dence and pride in his son, who was nat­u­rally asked the di­rec­tion in which Kinto will be de­vel­oped. There is a slightly longer 20-minute ver­sion, but fea­ture film de­vel­op­ment will take time as well as cre­ative and fi­nan­cial re­sources. For now, one op­tion is a dig­i­tal plat­form af­ter the film fes­ti­val rounds are over.

MEL COOKE

The per­sons in­volved in ‘Kinto’. From left: Joshua Paul (di­rec­tor); Sekai Smart-Ma­caulay (lead ac­tor); Gareth Co­bran (di­rec­tor of pho­tog­ra­phy); Mark An­thony Dea­con (as­sis­tant di­rec­tor); Saeed Thomas (co-pro­ducer); Justin Hadeed Awn (ac­tor); Tom­lin Paul...

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