VIDEO: Destiny, a truly Jamaican film

BY BRIAN BONITTO Associate Editor -- Auto and Entertainment

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

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SPECIALLY invited guests and cast members anxiously mingled in the lobby of the Carib 5 cinema in Cross Roads, St Andrew, ahead of at Monday night's premiere of Destiny.

The Jeremy Whittaker-directed romantic drama enjoyed rave reviews at April's Reel World Film Festival in Toronto. But that did little to calm his nerves at his home debut.

"I do hope it will be well-received, as it has a strong story line about Jamaican culture," Whittaker told the Jamaica Observer.

Costing just under US$1 million, Destiny was shot in Jamaica with additional footage in Canada. The plot is based on Lisa (played by Jamaican-born, Canada-based Karian Sang) who visits Jamaica from Toronto, Canada, to sell her family's estate. She gets involved with Sean, a recording artiste (played by singer Christopher Martin), and reconnects with her family.

Martin said he was thankful for the opportunity to showcase his other talent.

"This is a giant step for me. I poured my heart out into it. I expect big things from this movie, perhaps similar accolades like that of The Harder They Come," he said.

Best known for songs such as Cheater's Prayer, Chill Spot and Take My Wings, Martin said the transition to film wasn't difficult.

"I have some experience... In 2004, I won Best Actor in JCDC's festival competition and I was also in a 2006 stage play. But I would definitely love to do more acting," he said.

In addition to Martin, the local cast includes Kerstin Whittaker, Munair Zacca, female dancehall artistes Grace 'Spice' Hamilton and Latifa 'Tifa' Brown, Ian 'Ity' Ellis, and Khadine 'Miss Kitty' Hylton.

Jamaican-born Floridian Lyndon Forte, who plays Michael, had high praises for the script.

"It's a traditional Jamaican story. It shows Jamaica in a new kind of light. This is something we can all relate to," he said.

Without spilling the beans, Destiny is a refreshing departure from the gun-toting gangsters and violence which oftentimes accompany locally made films.

The soundtrack -- produced by Clive Hunt with songs by Martin, Busy Signal, Yvad, Spice, Sly and Robbie and Chronixx -- coupled with familiar scenes heIp to create a truly authentic Jamaican feel.

It is worth seeing and opens today.


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