In the intimate setting of Harquail Theatre’s studio theatre, Caymanian filmmaker Timothy Kelly introduces his newest short film, Here Comes the Night, to an eager crowd gathered.
Explaining how his first job was at Cayman 27, working with the camera and learning how to edit, he thanked CITN general manager Mike Martin for coming to the screening. Mr. Kelly has plans to scout shooting locations in Cayman for his next film, and talks a little bit about how Hurricane Ivan prompted him to revisit his memories of growing up here and gave him ideas for a project that he wishes to set and film in Cayman.
However, Here Comes the Night, shot in California, is nothing like the film he aims to shoot in Cayman, he hastens to add. Featuring Caymanian actors Rita Estevanovitch and Brian Braggs, the film runs 20 minutes long and opens with an appropriately suspenseful soundtrack, composed by Ashton Hodgson.
The film begins by focusing on a group of men, coordinated by a ‘boss man’ who does most of his work on his cell phone while lounging in his pool and smoking cigars. They are plotting to steal a painting worth millions, but soon a night out turns deadly, and their plan seems to unravel.
Taking refuge in a house with rooms for rent, one of the men finds himself in an unusual situation … but that’s really all that can be said for the plot. A twist drew gasps from the audience, and needs to be seen rather than told.
Mr. Kelly adds a Hitchcock flavour to his plot, including a unique twist at the end, and focuses on close-ups to add emphasis to the plot’s action.
Mr. Kelly has spent the past seven years in Los Angeles and New York City, working as an actor before turning his hand to directing and writing.
Ms Estevanovich met Mr. Kelly through Caymanian filmmaker Frankie Flowers, when she was living in Los Angeles while studying at the New York Film Academy.
‘The Academy often utilises Universal Studios’ back lot where many Hollywood films are shot,’ said Ms Estevanovitch of her experience in Los Angeles.
She said she had only known of Mr. Kelly as an actor in Frankie Flowers’ Swallow and Adonza Powery’s Exposed, but then auditioned and landed a small role in Mr. Kelly’s first short film, Galore.
‘Tim and I spoke about more projects and he then called me about Here Comes The Night. I flew up there for four days to complete it,’ Ms Estevanovich said.
In Here Comes The Night she shares the screen with Paul Eric Jerome, who has a number of Hollywood credits under his belt.
‘I had worked with Paul Jerome in Galore, so it was like seeing an old friend,’ said Ms Estevanovitch of filming with the actor again. ‘Of course, we were a bit more intimate this time around! All actors want to be challenged, so working with others who have had more experience in the field is undoubtedly a plus. It naturally accelerates your growth and opens your eyes to how much deeper you can get.’
Ms Estevanovitch enjoys her role as programmes manager at the Cayman National Cultural Foundation because she feels it gives her a channel through which to encourage youth’s involvement in the arts.
‘At the moment, I use my acting experiences to open children and young people’s eyes to the possibility of a life in the arts or, at least, to include the arts in their lives for enrichment,’ said Ms Estevanovitch.
‘Through my work at the Cayman National Cultural Foundation I am able to reach a lot of young people and I basically teach them what I know, provide or create opportunities for them to explore the arts and possibly, hopefully, help one or more find their path in life.’
However, Ms Estevanovitch still has goals to continue to pursue acting on an international and local level.
‘Personally, I hope to soon sign with an agent and then I will be open to explore opportunities in television, film and in other arenas,’ said Ms Estevanovitch. ‘An area I’m particularly interested in is voice acting, which is where I get the most work as an actress in Cayman.’