A few years ago, we had the pleasure of interviewing Howard and Mitzi Allen on camera, after learning about the release of their latest film, The Skin. Now the film is available on Studio Anansi Tv, and we are revisiting this conversation, where they talk about how they met, making of their films, and filmmaking in the Caribbean in general.
Howard Allen + Mitzi Allen
Antigua & Barbuda
A young married couple, Michael and Lisa, are about to lose their home, when their luck changes dramatically. While on a photo shoot at an historic site, Michael discovers an ancient vase and sells it to an antique dealer. But strange things begin to happen, and they soon discover from a mystic that the relic was not a blessing, but a curse.
Starring: Caribbean Icon – Carl Bradshaw, Jeff Stewart, Peter Williams, Brent Simon and Aisha Ralph.
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About Howard Allen
Howard Allen is a film and television director/producer and the founder of HAMA Productions. While his career in television spans more than 30 years, he made his feature film directorial debut in 2001 with the release of The Sweetest Mango a romantic comedy based on how he and his wife met and fell in love.
The Sweetest Mango became Antigua and Barbuda’s first locally produced feature film and the first indigenous film for the Eastern Caribbean. It has become an iconic film that is still being screened after appearing at several film festivals in North America and the Caribbean and made its world- television premiere on Caribvision in via DirecTV. It is now archived at the Toronto International Film Festival Bell Lightbox Reference Library.
Howard’s directorial credits also include No Seed (2002) a drama and Diablesse (2005), Caribbean folklore. He wrote the screenplay for his fourth film The Skin (2011) a supernatural thriller starring Jamaican film icon Carl Bradshaw.
Howard’s work as a filmmaker has been singled out by the department of Cinema and Photography at Ithaca College in New York, for his innovative approach to filmmaking in a developing country. He has conducted master classes at Ithaca College on “Feature Filmmaking on a Shoestring Budget.”
He has also conducted UNICEF funded television production workshops for the Youth Department in Antigua and has worked closely with regional organizations training young people in television and film production.
In 2008 Howard was recognized by the Youth Department in the Ministry of Education with a “Young Pioneers” award for his inspiring work as a pioneer in filmmaking in Antigua & Barbuda.
Howard hopes by building a cadre of future film industry professionals, filmmaking will become an important part of Caribbean cultural expression.
About Mitzi Allen
Mitzi Allen is an award-winning broadcast journalist and film and television producer. She is the managing director of HAMA Inc. and has produced four feature films, four television series and countless documentaries. Her career began as a broadcast journalist for CFTO TV (CTV Canada) as a reporter and continued in Antigua & Barbuda with various media organizations before she joined her husband Howard Allen as co-owner of HAMA Productions, an independent film and television production company founded in 1992.
She is the recipient of an award from the Caribbean Broadcast Media Partnership on HIV/AIDS for her work on LIVE UP the show, which she hosted for five years (2007-2012). She continues her work with the CBMP as a member of the Steering Committee and as a trainer.
She is a member of the Board of the Antigua & Barbuda Humane Society and Island Academy International and is a mentor to many young filmmakers and budding journalists.
Watch “The Skin”