Hit Trinidadian Crime Film “God Loves the Fighter” Makes Its Brooklyn Premiere, April 7th at BAMcinématek

Trinidad’s newest narrative film opens the Caribbean Film Academy’s new ‘Caribbean Film Series’ in partnership with BAMcinématek; director Damian Marcano in attendance for post-screening Q&A 

March 5, 2015/Brooklyn, NY –  Having successfully navigated the international film festival circuit for over a year, the gritty, urban Trinidadian drama, God Loves the Fighter, makes its way to Brooklyn, NY, marking its premiere in the largest enclave of Caribbean immigrants and first-generation Caribbean-Americans outside of the West Indies.

Starring mostly first-time actors, Fighter has already been compared to Brazil’s City of God, and the classic Jamaican film, The Harder They Come, as it boasts powerful visuals and a “local” soca music-filled soundtrack.   An exploration into the illicit underworld in Trinidad’s capital city Port-of-Spain, director Damian Marcano’s debut feature film dispels the archetypes of the beach-laden, Carnival-minded landscape most think they know, in its modern take of inner-city struggles.

When Charlie (Muhammad Muwakil, of the reggae/spoken word group Freetown Collective) falls on hard times, he tries his best to not fall into a life of crime, but succumbs in order to survive.  Feeling an unexpected encounter with the prostitute Dinah (model Jamie-Lee Phillips) will turn his life around, it instead releases a ripple that affects others in and surrounding their forbidden, violent world.  Boasting a one-hundred percent Trinidadian cast, Fighter’s  multiple-story line plot is narrated by street vagrant King Curtis (Lou Lyons, the other-half of Freetown Collective).  The film also stars veteran stage and screen actors Penelope Spencer (Home Again, 2012), Errol Sitahal (Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, 2004), and Albert Laveau (The Mystic Massuer, 2001).

With the explosion of filmmaking in the Caribbean, Romola Lucas, of the Caribbean Film Academy (CaFA) who is presenting Fighter along with independent film programmer Curtis Caesar John states that the new Caribbean Film Series will, “shed light on the richness and viability of Caribbean cinema.” She continues that, “many Caribbean nationals are active consumers of “foreign” media and Fighter provides an opportunity for them to support a Caribbean-made film with a similar aesthetic. With the international success of independently made films like Storm Saulter’s Better Mus’ Come, Patricia Benoit’s Stones in the Sun, and Fatal Assistance by Raoul Peck, the Caribbean is poised to claim its spot in the world filmmaking market.”

Co-presented by BAMcinématek, God Loves the Fighter will screen at BAM Rose Cinemas on Tuesday March 7th at 7:30pm.  A Q&A with director Damian Marcano will follow.  The short film Vivre (13 mins – 2013) by Martinican director Maharaki precedes the film.   The soundtrack for God Loves the Fighter, Laventille,” is available for preview online and will be available for sale following the film screening.  

For ticket information go to www.BAM.org/GodLovestheFighter. For overall information about the Caribbean Film Series and the Caribbean Film Academy contact Romola Lucas at romola@caribbeanfilm.org or Curtis Caesar John at curtis.john@gmail.com or (917) 697-4157.



God Loves The Fighter
directed by Damian Marcano.
With Muhammad Muwakil, Lou Lyons, Jamie Lee Phillips, Penelope Spencer, Errol Sitahal
104 min, Trinidad & Tobago

King Curtis, a vagrant on the streets of Port of Spain, is constantly ignored by passersby. He speaks, and if he has to sometimes shouts, the truth about the stories behind the newspaper headlines. As the conductor of our story, King Curtis introduces us to a young man named Charlie who is trying his best to stay on the right path. However, with no job in sight, he is finding it hard to say no to other “opportunities”. A chance of redemption presents itself when Dinah, a professional streetwalker, crosses his path in need of help.  As the story unfolds, King Curtis reveals the ripple effect created by a person’s decision making; leading to moments of triumph and moments of tragedy.

 About the Caribbean Film Academy
Established in 2012, The Caribbean Film Academy (CaFA), is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion and support of Caribbean filmmaking and filmmakers, in the region and the diaspora.  CaFA’s work is focused on promoting and sharing the art of storytelling through film from the unique perspective of the Caribbean.

About Curtis Caesar John
Curtis Caesar John is a media-maker and arts manager operating out of New York City with a specialty in bringing needed attention to the work of talented filmmakers, especially those of color.  Most recently, Curtis served as Festival Director of ActNow Foundation’s New Voices in Black Cinema, a film festival he helped create, that takes place at BAMcinématek and brought audiences the NYC premieres of such films as Neil Drumming’s Big Words and Alain Gomis’ Tey. He currently serves as the producer of the new documentary BlaxploItalian: 100 Years of Blackness in Italian Cinema and as the Film Programmer for Project Catalyst, a transmedia company providing multicultural cinema via mobile technology to over 40 countries.  Of Guyanese descent, Curtis is born, raised, and still resides, in Brooklyn, NY.

About BAMcinématek
The four-screen BAM Rose Cinemas (BRC) opened in 1998 to offer Brooklyn audiences alternative and independent films that might not play in the borough otherwise, making BAM the only performing arts center in the country with two mainstage theaters and a multiplex cinema. In July 1999, beginning with a series celebrating the work of Spike Lee, BAMcinématek was born as Brooklyn’s only daily, year-round repertory film program. BAMcinématek presents new and rarely seen contemporary films, classics, work by local artists, and festivals of films from around the world, often with special appearances by directors, actors, and other guests. BAMcinématek has not only presented major retrospectives by major filmmakers such as Michelangelo Antonioni, Manoel de Oliveira, Shohei Imamura, Vincente Minnelli (winning a National Film Critics’ Circle Award prize for the retrospective), Kaneto Shindo, Luchino Visconti, and William Friedkin, but it has also introduced New York audiences to contemporary artists such as Pedro Costa and Apichatpong Weerasethakul. In addition, BAMcinématek programmed the first US retrospectives of directors Arnaud Desplechin, Nicolas Winding Refn, Hong Sang-soo, and Andrzej Zulawski. From 2006 to 2008, BAMcinématek partnered with the Sundance Institute and in June 2009 launched BAMcinemaFest, a 16-day festival of new independent films and repertory favorites with 15 NY feature film premieres; the seventh annual BAMcinemaFest runs from June 17—28, 2015.


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General Information
BAM Rose Cinemas is located in the Peter Jay Sharp building at 30 Lafayette Avenue (between St Felix Street and Ashland Place).
Subway: 2, 3, 4, 5, Q, B to Atlantic Avenue; D, M, N, R to Pacific Street; G to Fulton Street; C to Lafayette Avenue Train: Long Island Railroad to Flatbush Avenue
Bus: B25, B26, B41, B45, B52, B63, B67 all stop within three blocks of BAM
Car: Commercial parking lots are located adjacent to BAM

For ticket and BAM bus information, call BAM Ticket Services at 718.636.4100, or visit BAM.org.

For group ticket information, call BAM Ticket Services at 718.636.4100, or visit BAM.org