Friday 29 May, 2020

Paul Pryce to debut The Deliverer at T&T Film Fest

Paul Pryce stars as Joseph Chike in The Deliverer, a short film he wrote and produced.

Paul Pryce stars as Joseph Chike in The Deliverer, a short film he wrote and produced.

Trinidadian actor Paul Pryce will debut his short film at this year’s Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival.

The US-based actor, known for small screen roles in Netflix’ Jessica Jones and A&E’s Unforgettable as well as theatre productions, will screen his short film The Deliverer on September 21 and 24.

The movie tells the story of Joseph Chike, a fisherman on a hunger strike, who leads his family and a handful of villagers in a failed protest of an oil refinery threatening to displace them off ancestral land.

One evening out at sea, Joseph rescues a wounded drug runner; Shane Khan near an old oil rig and hides him in the village. When a corrupt government official suggests that Joseph pay her a bribe to save his home, he accepts Shane’s prior offer to traffic cocaine cross the rough waters of Serpents Mouth; a perilous 7 miles of sea separating Trinidad and Venezuela, to raise the cash. 

After Joseph and Shane oust rival cartels and secure impunity from the police the village cartel expands as does Shane’s greed for money and power. After much loss and bloodshed, the survival of the fishing village lies in the balance and Joseph must find the courage to confront Shane and deliver the village from Shane’s grasp.

“This is all based on extensive research and interviews over a number of years. This has been gestating over 10 years,” Pryce told Loop.

He said initially he was working on a biopic of the late drug kingpin Dole Chadee but during his research, he met some interesting people along the way.

“Prison officers, police, lawyers…I went to Piparo where Dole lived and then it started to emerge into a story between Dole and a driver that was close to him. Then the whole highway re-route movement was happening, then the Kublalsingh issue came up and that was a turning point. It is very loosely based and inspired by a lot of these people in the news,” he said.

Pryce said the movie, which was a 2017 Sundance Screenwriting Lab Finalist, is the beginning of a larger feature film and a television series called Serpent’s Mouth that is in development.

The trailer currently circulating is for the short film that will be screened at the Toronto International Film Festival and at the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival.

The movie was shot in Grand Riviere with a minuscule production budget of US$1200.

Pryce wrote the script, acted and produced it and got his friend Ron Marsalis who he shot a film with last year, to come down to direct the movie with a local crew of four. Television and film expert, Lisa Wickham, was also instrumental in finding the right crew.

Pryce is passionate about documenting and telling stories from the region and he believes there are many themes that will resonate with foreign audiences.

The Deliverer, he said, has a great response in the US because the theme of the movie is universal.

“People relate to this guy’s struggle in trying to do what is right and seeing that even if you play by the rules you are still forced to bend the rules.”

“I want to make more films and stories coming out of the region, stories that reflect people of colour that we don’t hear about. That will come from Caribbean perspectives. I will like to play my part in boosting the industry at home and creating opportunities, whether it is teaching and doing more workshops in Trinidad,” he said.

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