Antiguan youth cast in Wendy movie seen as victory for rastas
Antiguan rasta Yashwa Mack is one of the cast in the new Peter Pan movie, Wendy
By Dionne Baptiste
The new movie Wendy, starring Antiguan national and member of the Nyabinghi tribe, Yashwa Mack, is being hailed as a catalyst for change in the negative perception often associated with Rastafarianism.
Antigua and Barbuda's Minister of Tourism and Investment, Charles Fernandez, believes that Mack's appearance on the big screen is extremely important as it raises awareness about the Rastafarian community in Antigua and Barbuda and the wider region.
“Just recently, our Prime Minister was the first in the region to apologise for the treatment that was meted out to the Rastafarian community in the past," he told Loop.
Filming for the movie was also done in Monsterrat, Mexico and the United States, but Fernandez boasts that the three months of filming done in Antigua and Barbuda is an added boost to its burgeoning tourism sector, as it gives viewers an intimate look at the islands iconic sites.
“It definitely will be a positive attraction for persons looking at this film wanting to come and experience the authentic Caribbean flavour.”
An estimated three million EC in revenue was earned during the three months the cast and crew spent on the island. Having noted the importance of film in showcasing the islands unique charm to international audiences, Fernandez says the government has gone to great lengths to attract further investment in film.
“This is an international production and we are very happy. They spent three months here and last February we had a German company come to Antigua and spend a month here filming a series.”
A US company is expected to film in Antigua for three months starting in February 2020.
Written and directed by Benh Zeitlin, this film tells the story of Peter Pan from Wendy's point of view and explores the challenges she encounters as she fights to save “her family, her freedom and the joyous spirit of young from the deadly peril of growing up.”
According to Fernandez, Antigua and Barbuda's film Ambassador Bert Kirchner worked as a Producer/Film Commissioner on this project. His son, Shabier Kirchner was Director of Photography, Second Unit.
Wendy will be released on February 28, 2020.