Better the Devil you Know

Cayman’s filmmaking community has been boosted with a donation toward a new short film. 

“The Devil You Know” is the brainchild of co-directors Badir Awe and Trevor Murphy. The donation is from the Emanuel PixelPoet Fund, which was established in honor of long-term Cayman resident, the late Wesley Emanuel. 

Emanuel worked for Government Information Services for many years, and also guided many of Cayman’s young filmmakers as editor and filmographer. He lost his battle with cancer in 2012. 

Colleen Mellott of the local film professionals’ group Friends of Film presented the donation to the film makers. 

“We are pleased to see private support of a local, home-grown production,” Mellott said. “We hope for more financial assistance with this film, as no contribution is too small. Cayman is filled with creative, young filmmakers seeking encouragement, mentorship and support in this industry.” 

Murphy said that so far, only a fraction of the mooted $15,000 budget has been sourced, which makes the film “a labor of love.” 

“We know we have a great story and a great team. All we need are a few more people to come together with some additional funds to help with rental equipment, as well as provide meals and compensation for our cast and crew,” he said. 

Weekender grabbed some time with Badir Awe to chew over the project. 


How easy/difficult was it to bring all the people together to work on the short? We have a film organization on island called Friends of Film that is home to 90 percent of all filmmakers on island. That being the case, finding the talent to work on the film was rather easy. This is perhaps the most important message I want to send about the production of the film: There is more than enough local film talent on island! Many people on island would find that hard to believe. The film currently has two directors, three producers, three production assistants, an art director, and a director of photography – all of whom live and work in Cayman. We are currently negotiating with editors, audio engineers, grips and gaffs, all of whom will live in Cayman as well. Lastly, over 40 people came to audition for the five roles in our film. And every single one of those actors live in Cayman. Amazing!  


Can you tell me who is involved so far and a little about Badir and Trevor’s background?  

The three producers are Colleen Mellott, Judy Singh and Susie Robinson. The experience between these three are incredible. They have produced for monster companies such as GlobalTV, Minds Eyes Pictures, Channel 4 Television, Discovery Channel, History Channel, and A&E! Our three production assistants are young Caymanians Karlie Lovinggood, Tremayne Ebanks and Mark Westin, all of whom are keenly interested in film and have worked on their very own film productions on island.  

The director of photography is the incomparable Augustin “Froggy” Gonzalez. Froggy has worked in Hollywood, East Coast and the Middle East shooting films. Badir is a Caymanian film producer who graduated from the New York Film Academy. He directed the films for the inaugural Homecoming Concert in 2011, and has produced commercials for such companies as the National Trust, Camana Bay and Stennings & Associates. In 2012, his short film “Planting” aired at the CNCF’s Red Sky at Night festival. Trevor is a writer/director based in Cayman, and originally from Ireland. He is making his debut with “The Devil You Know” and he has a passion for working with actors to create unique and memorable stories that play with common film conventions.  


How can people get involved with the shooting?  

People can get involved in the shooting by emailing [email protected] and letting us know your experience and interest. Remember, no experience is necessary. 


What opportunities are there for Cayman moviemakers / actors in the industry?  

There are many opportunities in Cayman for filmmakers. “The Final Rule,” by Phil Eckstein was another Caymanian film that premiered last week, starring a lot of local talent and crew. The industry is vibrant with filmmakers wanting to make the most of their talents and expressions. Perhaps the greatest challenge to filmmakers on island is getting the recognition and support from local companies and organizations. As mentioned earlier, most people in Cayman do not realize the wealth of talent that exists on island. We strongly urge all people interested in getting involved in film production on island to reach out to the Friends of Film organization on island by emailing [email protected] 


What is the hope with this short?  

The goal of this short has always been to get it premiered at an accredited film festival. That is our ultimate goal: to show that the local talent in Cayman was able to produce a film that was regionally and globally recognized as a fantastic piece of art.  


What is next for the team?  

We look forward to the day when we air this in Cayman, and we can invite everyone to come out and enjoy a high quality film that was made on island. But after that…we are filmmakers! So we will undoubtedly want to create more films. There are already ideas, and other scripts being written.  


From left, Mari Abe, Karlie Lovinggood, Froggy Gonzalez, Colleen Mellott, Badir Awe, Trevor Murphy, Judy Singh and Ben Hudson are pictured with the donation from the Emanuel PixelPoet Fund.