Elvis Lopez and the students of Ateliers 89 managed to fill the Crystal theater for an evening of short films, following a two-week workshop by Sharelly Emanuelson.

Fernando Mansur promoted his work heavily and I thought to myself, Nah, I am not sacrificing my lazy Sunday for that, because I would surely find it on YouTube, later.

I guess the MinCulture fell into the same trap thinking Fernando was the only game in town, but we were wrong, his film was greatly entertaining, but as reported by my spies, the evening exposed many more talents, and now I regret not attending.

In total 12 films were screened, by 12 creative forces who provided the script, the actors, location scouting, music, and sets. The Rotary Club had the foresight to sponsor three scholarships, and joined the list of Ateliers 89’ saviors. Blessings on your head for helping kids achieve their dream.

Emanuelson said she wanted her students to adhere to a Caribbean Code, and focus their work on the pot in which they are planted.  

I spoke to some creators: Luis Anibal shot ‘No-Escape Island,’ as a form of therapy helping his process the anger, disappointment and frustration that was his, from the day he turned 18 and was obligated to turn to DIMAS for his legal status, having lived here for 20 years, getting ready to pursue a higher education. The poetic film is narrated by Luis, against the backdrops of iconic landmarks. He reveals a string of Kafkaesque bureaucratic delays, a nightmarish maze of stamps and legal papers, which he lets go of in 8 minutes. A liberating experience.

Fernando Mansur’s comedy “Oh Mirror,” is set in a gorgeous mansion and focuses on a bored and narcissistic queen in great make-up, Ronchi de Cuba – with cascading blonde hair and an up-sized crown. The resplendent monarch, Stormella, has a love-hate relationship with her mirror, the irresistibly pretty Johnathan Croes, and as long as the mirror cooperates confirming the queen’s gorgeousness, he is allowed to live, but as soon as the mirror deviates from official policy, out comes the gun, nicely handled by Fortuna, to shatter the mirror. An allegory on Yes-Manship? Or just a bunch of creative guys, having nothing better to do? Good job people. The Aruban film industry has a great future.

Fernando Vermeer and Megan Antoinette presented “E porta.” Fernando is an establish artist with a great eye for composition and color. He recruited his son Ditto, an astounding actor and his aunt, Tica Basha Abow, for the production. It’s a complex story about grandpa and his secret life, escaping to the north coast of Aruba and San Nicolas. The movie has an epic bathroom scene with Fernando, who is ALSO an accomplished actor.

Nuris Lampe, our beloved dermatologist had no time to compete her movie, having to work full time, so she presented an etude, a trailer, for “Sin Speranza,” a true story of family members involved in a boat accident, lost at sea. It’s a sad story she said, and it had good pictures and sound, had she enjoyed more time, it would have been an interesting film. Kudos to you for pursuing artistic avenues.

I got positive feedback on horror movies shot by younger participants, and some interesting teenager angst movies too.

My spy says: “We had been prompted on the invitation to show up early because it would start 8pm, but we had to wait for MinCulture who thought the whole thing was about Oh Mirror. So she only talked about that leaving out the rest of the participants. I guess he who aggressively promotes wins.”

The intermission was much too long, but otherwise it was a worthwhile evening.

More films: “Bise of no bise” by Kenna Hernandez, one of the youngsters, about teenagers, love, friendship and conflicts surrounding homosexuality.

“We need to talk,” by Valentina Ramírez, one of the youngest. A political film about Venezuela’s situation and some concealed interviews with 3 Venezuelans migrants in Aruba

“The Missing,” by Jhoselimar Guerrero, one of the youngsters. A graphic horror film about some apparitions and murder in a house in Calabas.

“Un día normal,” by Pamela De Coteau. “Relato di salud mental,” was the subtitle. Gentle and direct approach to a mental illness problem, such as panic attacks. The protagonist talks frankly and from the heart about her realization, and the method she picked for dealing with panic attacks.

“U r not alone,” by Rodrigo Peraza. About missing people and spectral attacks. Also a “Thriller /Horror film, similar but subtler than “The Missing. “

Suyin Ridderstap presented “Pronstuck”. Also about teenage conflicts. Showed this unbelievable house choked with knickknacks, gewgaws, pieces of bric-a-brac.

“Cas Menos Homeless,” by Shjakayne Manuela. Different images and views over downtown O’stad.

“El profecía ta riba su lomba,” by Irvin Aguilar and Velvet Ramos a very surrealist, film. Nice photography…I was wondering where the film locations were, at the end, the credits said: Cunucu Jimmy & Tierra de Canaan.

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July 03, 2019
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Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster