The world premiere of Cayman’s second-ever full-length feature film, “Tripping Through,” was recently screened at the CayFilm International Film Festival.
Shot entirely on location in Grand Cayman on a shoestring budget, the romantic comedy, written by fledgling screenwriter Michelle Morgan, is an adaptation of the accountant’s debut novel of the same title.
Screened in The Ritz-Carlton’s Ballroom 1, it was full capacity, with some late-comers having to stand at the back or sit in the aisle.
A solid first attempt, the 90-minute film has elements of “Bridget Jones’s Diary” and a “Seinfeld” episode as the accident-prone female protagonist, Karly, (played by Morgan) stumbles through a dizzying catalogue of physical and mental blunders, including job loss, being dumped by her ne’er-do-well boyfriend and negotiating the minefield of online dating.
The thoroughly modern Miss with her penchant for cow-print designs and putting her foot in it, is disarmingly cute and has enough chutzpah to make her problems relatable. First-time actor Morgan does a convincing job of bringing her character to life.
Other strong performances are given by Cayman Drama Society stalwarts such as Mary-Anne Kosa, in the role of Stella, Karly’s mentor and informal life coach; Dominic Wheaton as Nik, the lead’s long-suffering roommate; and Karly’s new love interest, Dr. Alex Weiss, played with aplomb by Adam Cockerill. The movie also features comedy cameos by local character actors Michael McLaughlin, Morgan DaCosta and Adam Roberts.
The film was well-received by the audience, who laughed uproariously throughout the show and no doubt enjoyed recognizing locations such as St. Ignatius Catholic School, Full of Beans cafe, Chrissie Tomlinson Memorial Hospital, Gino’s Pizzeria, Camana Bay and Bodden Funeral Home.
“Tripping Through” received a standing ovation as the credits rolled.
The audience also got a kick out of seeing friends and acquaintances acting on the big screen, since the film has a cast of more than 50 local actors. As a showcase for Grand Cayman and its performing arts talent, the film scored top marks and left viewers with a deeper appreciation of the island.
Definitely a feel-good chick-flick, the relationships-based movie has a believable script, decent editing and direction and a solid soundtrack arranged by husband-and-wife team Chuck and Barrie Quappe.
A rollicking romp with plenty of stumbles and adult material along the way, “Tripping Through” is a creditable first attempt, especially when one takes into account the nine-month shooting schedule that had to be fit around full-time jobs and outside commitments of the amateur cast and its two-man production team.
Another hidden component of the film well-worth mentioning when assessing it as a whole, is Malcolm Ellis’s deft steering of the film. As well as co-producing with Morgan, he was the film’s director and camera man and managed sound and lighting, not to mention his small walk-on part. The accomplished amateur actor also did the post-production editing and publicity.
The screening finished with a lively question-and-answer session fielded by the co-producers. Morgan and Ellis shared their filming experiences, plans to show the indie film on island in September, and their hope that the movie will be picked up by other film festivals.
Save the date: There will be a screening at Regal Cinemas on Sept. 29, with all profits benefitting the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre. More details will be available on the ‘Tripping Through’ Facebook page closer to the date at