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5 QUESTIONS for Filmmaker: STORM SAULTER

Friday, July 26, 2019

Tinsel & Tine Coverage of

BLACKSTAR FILM FESTIVAL

Interview with SPRINTER DIRECTOR:

STORM SAULTER

By Le Anne Lindsay, Editor

SPRINTER is written & directed by Storm Saulter, a filmmaker and visual artist from Negril, Jamaica. Storm however, has a Philly connection as his film is Executive produced by Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith. Sprinter is a coming-of-age drama highlighting every-day Jamaican culture that is rarely seen on film. It follows a Jamaican teen, Akeem Sharp (newcomer Dale Elliott), nicknamed the Rasta Rocket, who is burdened by an unstable father and an unruly older brother; he hopes a meteoric rise in track-and-field can reunite him with his mother, who has lived illegally in the U.S. for over a decade.

SPRINTER is the Winner of the Best Feature Film, Best Director, and Audience Award at 2018’s American Black Film Festival, Jury Winner for Best Narrative Feature at the 2019 Pan African Film Festival, and is a feature narrative screening at Philadelphia's BlackStar Film Festival on Friday, August 2, 2019 5:30pm at the Lightbox Film Center. The film is also available via Gathr Films’ Theatrical-On-Demand.

Now onto our Signature 5 Questions for Filmmakers Interview...

T&T: In a nutshell what was the main inspiration for SPRINTER and/or the theme that is the heart of your film?

Storm Saulter: SPRINTER is a story about family, loss, redemption, and triumph. I’m using track and field as a vehicle to tell a story about a modern, complex Caribbean family.

T&T:  Was there a point where you almost didn't finish this film? And if so, what pushed you forward?

Storm: We had a break in production for a few months between our shoots in Jamaica and LA so that our Jamaican cast and crew could get visas etc. But at no point did I feel we wouldn’t finish the film. If you want to make film you can never give into that feeling. You have to finish what you start.

T&T: Give a quick shout out to your creative team and anyone who helped get your film from an idea, to having it picked up by Overbrook Entertainment and Produced by Will and Jada Smith?

Storm: Big up to my production team: Rob Maylor of Mental Telepathy pictures, Jamal Watson and Clarence Hammond of Overbrook Entertainment, and of course to Will and Jada. An extra special BIG UP to my Jamaican cast and crew for giving this their all, you really knocked it out of the park!



T&T: Tell us a bit about the music of SPRINTER? / Does food play a big part in your film? Or answer both.

Storm: The music is primarily a mix between Dancehall and more spiritual Roots Reggae which mirrors the journey of our protagonist moving between the grimy streets of Kingston and the spiritual heights of Rastafari on his journey to the finish line.

Storm: Food is very important if you are an athlete. What you put in your body will have a major impact on your performance. There are moments in the film where our protagonist doesn’t have consistent access to food. And other moments when a diet of Rastafarian ital food and bush tea is needed for him to heal. Food plays a big role in the film and in our characters’ journey.

T&T: What’s been the most memorable response you’ve received thus far from anyone after seeing SPRINTER

Storm: So many people are impacted by immigration issues and family separation. In every country and almost every screening someone comes up with tears in their eyes saying “that is my mother” or “that’s my father” or “that is me, trying to get back to them”. Our lead actor Dale Elliot reconnected with his mother and father in person for the first time in well over a decade while touring film festivals with SPRINTER. His own family is being re-united by the journey of this film and that I feel has transcended the film itself.

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
Storm Saulter is a filmmaker and visual artist from Negril, Jamaica, on a mission to create universal stories wrapped in the complex social and cultural dynamics of the Caribbean. Storm served as writer, director and cinematographer on his award-winning feature film “Better Mus’ Come,” hailed by critics as signaling a fresh new movement of independent filmmaking throughout the Caribbean.
ABOUT OVERBROOK ENTERTAINMENT
a Film and Television company devoted to the creation of extraordinary entertainment art and its delivery to all people of the world - a vision shared and cultivated by Overbrook’s partners: James Lassiter, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Will Smith. Overbrook’s diverse slate of critically acclaimed and blockbuster feature films has grossed more than $2.5 billion in worldwide box office receipts. Some of Overbrook’s most notable projects include ALI, HITCH, THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS, I AM LEGEND, HANCOCK, the Tony-nominated FELA! musical, THE KARATE KID, Netflix’s TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE, and most recently, HALA, which world premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and sold to Apple.
  Be sure to Check Out More Highlights of what not to miss at BlackStar Film Festival 2019 HERE 
 
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is about discovering what I find pleasing in screening & eating - in case you missed it, the name is a play on Tinseltown using the Tines of a Fork.

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Will there ever be a cap on movie prices?

Will we one day pay $20 a pop?

Why don't we pay on a scale?

A crap movie like everything Adam Sandler has ever done should cost about $4.50.
Big action movies like"Lord of the Rings", "Iron Man," "Transformers" are worth $10.
Woody Allen movie or something like "Silver Linings Playbook" $6-$7.
A chick flick or light comedy $5.75 and most Indie Films $5.25.

You could even do it by seasons - all summer block busters from May to August - $10
Sept - November 15th $3.50 - $4
Back to $10 for Thanksgiving and Christmas etc...

Or you can do it by A Actors ($9 - $10), B Actors ($6 - $7) TV actors on the big screen ($3.50 - $4)

Surely I'm not the first person to realize this makes sense. Has it been voted on in the Motion Picture Industry and then vetoed? If so, why?

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