When you think of Belize, do red carpets events and film premieres come to mind? Probably not. And that is just part of what made last night’s Premiere Event – the Red Carpet, Showing and After-Party for La Isla Bonita Telenovela – so special.
The La Isla Bonita telenovela has been in the works on the island for over a year now. From open auditions & casting last September to filming in the streets and buildings around town a few months ago, we all knew some of the details but didn’t know what to expect from the final product.
And while life in San Pedro is often like a soap opera, translating that to the big screen, with local actors, crew, writers (many of them first timers) couldn’t be easy.
Take a look at the trailer for Episode One, the one presented at the premiere last night.
Awesome. And after watching the one hour presentation last night I can honestly tell you, I was BLOWN AWAY by our local talent and by the production as a whole. And so super fun to watch. Even last night’s swanky party was fantastic. This novela is the REAL DEAL. But let me show you pictures of last night’s red carpet BEFORE the presentation of the show to get things started…
The Paradise Theater lobby packed up waiting for the stars on the red carpet.
Einer from Ramon’s Village and his gorgeous family.
Our lovely new Miss San Pedro 2014-2015. Here crowning ceremony is on September 10th.
One of the stars of the film, Josh Nunez – this is mom and dad and little sister waiting for Josh’s arrival on the carpet.
Josh is the heart throb in the movie. Good stuff.
Here’s a screen shot. Josh emerging from the water. Tee hee.
And our mayor Danny Guerrero and his lovely wife. Her dress was one of my favorites of the night – and this picture does zero justice. I wanted to ask a very Joan Rivers-esque question (Rest in Peace Joan, I loved your spunk) – “who are you wearing?”. But I didn’t.
Ana (wife of two of the stars of the movie) and Dixie.
Julie of Caye Casa, Teacher Lisa of the Island Academy and friends.
Johnny Grief of Tropic Air and his gorgeous wife Pat.
Rhonda Crichton, one of the hosts for the night, and Drew.
Everyone to the front, to the front! Here come the STARS!
I am not going to pretend to know all the names…so let me just show some of my pictures.
The crowd pushed forward…
Eric and Nicholas, father and son, ROCKED the red carpet.
I spent quite a bit of time trying to get around the photographer in front of me – she had a step stool – but I decided to embrace it. I need to work on my pap skills anyway.
Drew, our coach at Crossfit! He was the muscle for the evil Maximilliano in the novela. Such typecasting…
One of the most clever parts of the production is that they go such a mix of people to star in the soap opera. Not just native San Pedranos, but people from the expat community and the Lebanese…super smart.
Some people really worked it…
The owner of Bella Italia Restaurant in town – we actually had a pizza later that night and he was right back to work. Handsome guy.
Gorgeous Kimara Black…
Go Miss Shelly! She was beaming the entire night.
And the actor who played Romulu – one of my very favorites in the film.
And Josh basking in the glow of the paparazzi flash…
And Chito – Horacio Guerrero – the creator, Executive Producer and perfect evil crime boss (he was SO channeling Al Pacino in “Scarface”) in the telenovela.
We all took our seats, almost filling the large theater. Speeches were given. The Mayor, The Minster Manuel Heredia, Chito, Matthew Klinck, the director and producer…
AND IT STARTED. With a slow motion helicopter shot swooping in on a distraught bride…tearing her veil to shreds on a dock over the beautiful Caribbean Sea.
I had a big goofy grin on my face throughout the entire hour. Because the production SO exceeded my expectations, because the casting is so perfect. It is GOOD TIMES to see people you know in a dramatic novela like this. In your town.
Scenes are filmed at Jaguar’s, at Victoria House (even Sadie, the dog I was dog-sitting was featured prancing down the dock), at the Catholic Church downtown. All with local actors.
It’s serious…it’s dramatic but some of it is tongue-in-cheek. A classic novela with theatrical acting and dramatic music, plenty of tears and lots of humor. Watching gangsters making getaways in golf carts is funny.
As Manhattan is in “Sex and The City”, Ambergris Caye is like another character in the script. All in all, it showcases the island beautifully.
Incredibly impressed, the audience left the theater and made their way to the late-night after party at the Holiday Hotel.
I’m no late night girl. We snuck out and ordered a late night pizza.
And IF you live on this island, you MUST go see this. Must. You’ll recognize the actors, the scenery, your island…you may even see yourself in the background. (Or the dog you are sitting.)
And you are supporting an amazing thing. Film making in Belize by Belizeans. Lots of people were involved in this production. And if it is a success (and I’m not sure how it will not be), they will be filming more and more episodes.
Maybe it’s your chance to be a star!
Here are the additional showings for you at the Paradise Theater. Go tonight! It just might be the perfect rainy evening activity.