As first published in BassCulture Islands Magazine.
Kareem Mortimer, is a Bahamian filmmaker, who has made several feature length films, including The Eleuthran Adventure (2006), Children of God (2010), Windjammers (2011), and his latest, Cargo (2017), which premiered at this year’s Miami International Film Festival.
How did you know being a writer/director was meant for you?
I’ve always loved movies. I grew up exceptionally close with my paternal grandmother and she had a neverending supply of videotapes ranging from “Imitation of Life to Tango and Cash.” We would watch movies together and eventually, I started watching them by myself and fell in love with the beauty of storytelling and its ability to move me.
You’ve managed to carve out the space to tell the stories you want to tell, the way you want – to what would you attribute this success?
Thank you very much for saying that. I attribute it to just staying the course. As Caribbean filmmakers, what we have to say about the world is very unique and after working so hard to open the right door, the thought of compromising my artistic integrity feels like a betrayal of all I stand for.
Tell us about your latest project.
After “Passage” (short film) was done, I felt there was a great deal more to be said about human smuggling. “Cargo,” is the story of a fisherman who becomes a human smuggler to pay off mounting debts, juxtaposed against the story of a young Haitian single mother, searching for a better life for her son. Filming took us to some very challenged communities in Nassau, and seeing the neighborhood children watch us excitedly, from shooting call to wrap, made me hope we have inspired them.
Share with us what excites you most about the process of making a film.
I enjoy every last bit of the process but the most exciting part is daydreaming about it before it actually happens…lol. But seriously, my favorite part is production. I thrive in high pressure environments and enjoy solving problems and working with actors.
Share with us one key piece of advice you received.
One piece of advice I got is to never doubt myself. That does not mean being arrogant or discounting advice of others, but being true to how you feel inside.
Trailer for “Cargo” (2017)