Barbadian film, Too Lickrish, gave an exaggerated but undeniable peek at current Barbadian society.
The film which premiered on May 30 at the Olympus Theatres received echoing applause from the attendees as local comedian and social media celebrity, Seth Xcel Bovell and American actress Ryanne McKay, portrayed a couple down on their luck and surviving by any means possible.
The movie was a delightful bowl of action, comedy, drama, and romance – all whipped together with Bajan flare.
The premiere was attended by prominent figures in the Barbadian film industry, including film commissioner in the Barbados Cultural Industries Development Authority (BCIDA), Annette Nias, actor Patrick Michael Foster, Andre Woodvine, Argentina’s Ambassador to Barbados, Gustavo Martinez Pandiani and more. It was a full house, as director Tolga Akcayli debuted his work.
The film explored a myriad of societal issues such as unemployment, debt, poverty and gun violence but also included positives like the rise of entrepreneurial activity and the importance of never giving up on one’s dreams.
“People, unfortunately, don’t like to accept the truth of what the country is going through, but it takes time to take a step back and say – hey, this is what is going on in my neighbourhood and this is what is going on next door… I’m talking about the struggle to find a job, the fact you can feel that there is an economic crisis and people do feel that. I wanted to highlight the fact that tourism is still there,” director, Tolga Akcayli told Bajan Vibes.
Director, writer, and producer, Akcayli started conceptualizing the production last year. He knew from the jump that Seth would be perfect for the role and recruited him while he was still writing the script.
“I called up Seth, and I said I have an idea, I have a story and I am on page 36 of the script and he just came on board,” Akcayli said, adding, “The film is him, the film is Ryanne, the film is all of us.”
The filmmaker said the production was a reflection of himself. Seth’s character was much like himself, having a dream and failing to pursue it. The director shared that he dropped out of college three times until he found his passion for film and enrolled at the New York Film Academy. Through Too Lickrish, he wanted to remind viewers never to give up on their dreams.
Akcayli disclosed that he already had ‘Way 2 Lickrish‘, conceptualized and was looking forward to garnering enough interest and funding to make it an international production.
“I want to export Barbadian culture, that is what we should do as artists in the Caribbean – export Caribbean culture.”