AUNTIE,” a short film by Barbadian filmmaker, Lisa Harewood, was launched on Studio Anansi Tv, today.  The film, developed through the Commonwealth Shorts, was a part of the Commonwealth’s capacity building scheme to give emerging writers/directors the opportunity to make a film which highlights issues affecting them and their communities.

Lisa chose the issue of migration from the Region and the resultant development of “barrel children,” using “Auntie’s” story, to share one way migration affects the lives of those left behind.  She has since developed the Barrel Stories Project, a creative oral history project and an extension of “Auntie’s,” story, where real people share real stories of the effect of migration on their lives.

Synopsis:  AUNTIE is a middle-aged seamstress and respected caregiver in her rural Barbadian community. Raising children whose parents are unwilling or unable, Auntie instills discipline, traditional values and a strong moral code. Twelve-year-old KERA is her latest ward and a special child to whom she has grown uncharacteristically close.

Seven years after Kera’s mother emigrates to England in search of a better life, Auntie is confronted with the day she has long dreaded when the plane ticket arrives that will reunite Kera with her mother. Unable to accept the inevitable, Auntie makes a hasty decision that goes against everything she claims to stand for and risks damaging the special bond between them on the eve of the child’s departure.

Click HERE to watch the film.

About Lisa Harewood:

LisaHarewood2_bySophiaWallace2012-copy-239x300Lisa Harewood is a lifelong and passionate film fan from the island of Barbados. AUNTIE is Lisa’s debut effort as a writer and director and came about as a result of a last-minute decision to enter the Commonwealth Foundation’s Short Film competition. The short explores her interest in the effect of migration on those who leave their home countries and those who are left behind. These are issues she is exploring in-depth with a feature length narrative project currently in development.

After a working life spent mostly in the fields of advertising, marketing and development communication, she decided to pursue her long-held ambition of making a film, joining writer/director Russell Watson’s micro-budget feature project, A Hand Full of Dirt, as Producer.

On its release in 2011, the film was nominated for Best First Feature Narrative Director at the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles and won the Audience Award at the Reelworld Film Festival in Toronto. That year Lisa was also selected to participate in an incubator programme in Toronto for emerging Caribbean film producers and in 2012 she was tipped as one of Reelworld’s Emerging 20 filmmakers.

Her production company, Gate House Media, is dedicated to making work that accurately reflects the Caribbean experience and to broadening access for the Caribbean Diaspora to their own stories.

To learn more about Lisa and work, visit her website.