“The Cinemas,” a brand new show coming out of the Bahamas, looks to take it’s place as one of the best among Caribbean film-critiquing shows. As the show’s producer, Travolta Cooper explains, “the show was inspired to bridge a gap between Hollywood and Independent, American and Caribbean cinema in The Bahamas and the Caribbean.” With the show, the producers are hoping to “create a culture of and for movies,” where people not only watch movies in the theater and on DVD, “but come together to talk about them afterward.” Using Hollywood films as a starting point, the show aims to bridge the gap between audiences and films, and eventually grow to include Caribbean films.
The show came together after conversations with the management team of Galleria Cinemas (in the Bahamas), about bringing back 12 Years A Slave. As Cooper noted, “when the film first came to the Bahamas, it didn’t perform well.” However, after successfully lobbying to get the show back to The Bahamas, the theaters were packed. Cooper attributes this to “the award hype surrounding the film,” but also thinks it was “a study in understanding the pulse of a local audience via social media,” and created the show with the hope of creating excitement for and interest in “Caribbean Cinema.” Cooper likens the show to the French magazine, “Cashiers du Cinema,” which featured a grouping of french filmmakers, writers, actors, theorists, historians and the like in the 1960s, which eventually became a community that ended up being the catalyst for a movement now known as the French New Wave, expressing the hope “The Cinemas,” will help to create a new wave of energy and excitement around Caribbean Cinema.
The first episode, “The New Caribbean Cinema,” explores this idea through a combination of reviews of Hollywood films currently in movie theaters in the Caribbean, and a discussion on the possibility of Caribbean filmmakers coming together to create a unified industry, with governmental and audience support for the region’s filmmakers and stars.
The show offers a refreshing step toward the idea that as a region, “we’re stronger and more vibrant together than we are apart,” and Caribbean countries coming together to create a “Caribbean Film Industry,” with our own stars and audience support, would be great for the region as a whole.
If successful, “The Cinemas” would be great for the evolution and growth of the “Caribbean Cinema Culture,” and help set the stage for our filmmakers and films to perform their best, right at home. And as the show’s programming grows, we hope to see more Caribbean films becoming a part of the conversation.
Check out Episode 2 – The Sidney Poitier edition:
About Travolta Cooper:
Travolta Cooper, Bahamian born and raised, is the director/writer of two documentary films, “Founding Fathers: Sir Stafford Sands,” and the upcoming feature length The Black Moses starring Dennis Haysbert. He’s currently in prep on his third documentary and first narrative feature.