Peter Sagnia - director of the hit St. Maarten film "Consumed" - spoke live from the Caribbean for the Q&A discussion after the London screening of his film.
After enjoying an evening of films from St. Maarten, Jamaica and Barbados the audience on Saturday 8th August at the London 2015 #CaribbeanSummerSeason of films was treated to direct interaction with Peter Sagnia via a video link to the Caribbean island of St. Croix where he currently lives.
The films that night were Consumed, Coast and Abiola (#Abi4Prez) - further info here
Peter told the audience that he was originally from the UK and had been planning to move to Trinidad (where his mother is from) but ended up in St. Maarten around 12 years ago and lived there producing theatre plays. It was this experience that led him to move into making his first feature film "Consumed" using the same actors that had been in his plays. Judging by the positive comments from the audience, it seems like he made the right choice!
Peter also spoke about the struggles of finding funding and finance and the difficulties of operating as a one-person outfit carrying out a multiplicity of different roles himself. What he said he really needed was to have someone to spend time securing sponsorship from commercial companies so that more resources could go into improving the technical quality of the films.
The audience agreed that the quality of the script and the storyline were high but wondered if benefits on the production side could be obtained by operating more at a Caribbean regional level (to achieve economies of scale) rather than at an individual island level. Peter said he fully agreed and had spoken to other directors from other parts of the Caribbean (like Rommel Hall, the director of "Keeping Up With The Joneses" in Barbados) but it would still take some time to achieve that goal.
Peter has now moved from the Dutch colony of St. Maarten to the USA colony of St. Croix (Virgin Islands) and noted that, when he put out his casting call for his new film "That Which Is Needful", almost all of the actors that responded were from the USA mainland (but living in St. Croix).
For now, peter has ruled out doing a sequel to "Consumed" but everyone wished him all the best for his new film.
The London 2015 Caribbean Summer Season of films continues on Saturday evenings at the Bernie Grant Arts Centre in Tottenham until 29th August (Notting Hill Carnival weekend).
More info here