Soap Opera “La Isla Bonita” to Be Filmed on Ambergris Caye

Do you ever feel like life in Belize is a soap opera?   I’ve often thought that the island in particular provides an amazing amount of material for a soap or even a reality show..The Real House Wives of San Pedro perhaps?

Stuff like people disappearing without a trace…everyone here seemingly related to one another…certain guys with 6 different baby mamas…wife swapping & swinging…anything relating to John McAfee…it’s the very fodder of the truly great telenovelas.

So it seemed more than PERFECT when I saw the announcement that a local production company (Make-Belize Films) was casting a soap about San Pedro called “La Isla Bonita”.


Good name…but I feel like it could have been better.   As the Coconut Turns?  The Young and the Rastas?   Back A Town?  Again.  Something for me to work on.  And comment if you have any clever suggestions!

This production’s tag line?  “San Pedro, Ambergris Caye is the perfect setting for a telenovela (soap opera), a beautiful tropical island filled with intrigue, passion and secrets.”  This I love.  Local actors with no experience needed?  This is the recipe for complete disaster or complete genius.

I had to stop in to see the try outs.  Yesterday they were casting people of all ages, Belizeans and non-Belizeans, speakers of English, Kriol and Spanish.  Would the hopefuls be in full stage make-up with extra red lipstick?  Would the men be wearing tight tank tops with extra chest hair?  Would someone be wearing a eye patch and a parrot on his shoulder?

This kind of thing doesn’t happen often around here.  Surely the line will be around the corner.  Here is what I found at the Town Council building at 9:45am, 15 minutes before the auditions were slated to begin.


No one.  But then people started trickling in.

Vying for the role of the romantic lead.  Both willing to rip their shirts off in the try-out if needed.

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This lady was partaking in a bit of liquid courage.IMG_2642


Everyone was asked to fill out a simple form…



And then just wait until it was his or her turn.  Sisters from Belize City.


Camera shy as usual, I chose to take pictures outside and then quiz everyone about what happened.

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In the end, just a bunch of regular folks who thought it would be fun to be on TV.  No costumes, no over the top make-up…just a little test of your acting chops.

Each person was asked to act out a scenario in as many languages (English, Spanish and Kriol) as he or should could.  Scenarios used were:  you are on a crowded beach, you see a shark and need to get everyone out of the water.  Or you are a bank teller and the bank is being robbed.  Or, you are asked to propose to the camera man.

Take a look at the website above for Make-Belize Films.  For me, rather than answer (hobby or business?) my questions it raised so many more.  I think I have quite a bit of investigative work to do here.

I can’t wait to find out more about this project.

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