Cargo docks at Carib 5

Observer writer

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

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BAHAMIAN film Cargo will have its local debut at the Carib 5 in Kingston this evening.

With previous premieres in Nassau, Miami, and Atlanta, director/filmmaker Kareem Mortimer said it was imperative to have a Jamaican leg, as it would appeal to a Caribbean audience.

“It is important because it is a Caribbean film with Jamaican characters and because of that it is Caribbean interest. We [Caribbean people] have a lot of similarities to each other,” he told the Jamaica Observer.

The occasion is viewed as a Caribbean launch and will be streamed live.

Released March 5, 2017, Cargo is about a Bahamian fisherman with a gambling addiction taking on a job to smuggle Haitians to Florida to support his family. It stars Jamaican Nicole “Sky” Grey, alongside Haitian actors Jimmy Jean-Louis and Gessica Geneus. Persia White, Warren Brown and Omar Dorsey Jr also comprise the cast. Alexander Younis is credited as the film's producer.

Mortimer shared Cargo's budget of US$1.5 million came from private investors and was filmed entirely in Bahamas.

“I'm Bahamian and that's why I decided that I wanted to film the movie in the Bahamas. But there were a few challenges. There was the lack of infrastructure, and we spent 14 days on the water, so you know that could pose a problem, especially with inconsistent weather,” he explained.

The Bahamas has contributed significantly to film and telvision producing actors such as Sir Sidney Poitier, Calvin Lockhart, and Roxie Roker.

Mortimer is no stranger to film. He is credited as director of Wind Jammers (2011), Children of God (2011), Passage (2014), and Back to Nassau (2004). However, Cargo is his most celebrated having won 2017 Bahamian Icon Award, Amnesty International Human Rights Award, Best Feature Haiti International Film Festival Los Angeles, and Best Feature from the Diaspora Silicon Valley African Film Festival.

Part proceeds of the film throughout its Caribbean release will be donated to Hollywood Unites for Haiti, a non-profit organisation founded by actor Jimmy Jean-Louis to promote sports and cultural activities for underprivileged youth in Haiti.

Mortimer explained why this charity was selected.

“The lead actors are from Haiti and the movie has special ties to the Haitian community so it made more sense to give back to that cause. We also wanted to show our support to that community especially considering everything that has happened,” he said.

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