Cayman actor turns director

It’s not often that Cayman makes it
onto the big screen, particularly in a positive light. That may soon change
thanks to Caymanian actor-turned-director Timothy Kelly. A rising talent, the
38-year old lives in New York and is working on his new film, Waking The Sea.

“I miss living in Cayman,” says

“Due to the pursuit of my career,
I’ve been away for roughly eight years. This film will be an ‘I love you’ to
Cayman in my own creative and offbeat way of saying so.”

The film tells the story of
Charles, a Wall Street executive. After a ten-year absence from the Cayman
Islands due to his inability to deal with his mother’s death, Charles makes a
deal with a reclusive foreign businessman, Mr. Berg, to return home to buy the
house he grew up in. 

A delay in the closing of the deal
leads to the revelation that Lena, the girl he first loved and was unable to
share his grief with, has also returned to the Island.

Charles is presented with the
opportunity to properly mourn the loss of his mother and a second chance at
love. However, winning Lena back and catching up with the elusive Mr. Berg, a
supposed friend of his estranged father, will come at a price he never

“Cayman is the heart and soul of my
film,” says Kelly, noting that the majority of the film will be shot in Cayman.

“In writing the screenplay and
hiring a talented cinematographer, I’ve approached Grand Cayman as if the
Island were a character in the film. New York City has a look of its own and so
does Cayman.”

He says one of the advantages of
shooting in Cayman can be encapsulated in one word: colour.

“The ocean, the sand, the sun, the
people of lots of different nationalities,” he says.

“I worked as a news cameraman for
Government and local TV for a number of years. The idea of how to make Cayman
look awesome on film has been playing in my head for a while now. It’s time to
bring those images to life.”

The production team shot opening
scenes in New York City during the winter, playing on the differences between
the two locales. 

“The goal is to create a sense of
exile and abandonment in the big city for our Caymanian character Charles. So
far I’ve been able to establish a frigid, grey and sombre tone,” says Kelly.

“The snow, the gray skies, the ice
and the wind are the perfect element in helping him feel as if he’s in a world
that’s absolutely foreign.”

At the moment, Kelly is working
with a number of cast members on developing the pacing of the dialogue, all
members of Support Casting, a theatre group based in Pelham, New York.

“I’m very fortunate to have been
accepted into a group filled with experienced actors, directors, producers and
playwrights,” says Kelly.

“On Monday evenings I show up with
my screenplay, participate in readings and receive insightful feedback on the
scenes I’ve written,” he continues.

“I don’t believe in taking
shortcuts, particularly in this case, because I’m producing a movie with Caymanian
lead characters. Not too many of those get made!”


Opening scenes take in New York’s winter landscape, a stark comparison to the Cayman Islands.
Photo: Submitted