Belize's First Movie Launches Caribbean Film Industry
May 07, 2013 (PRLEAP.COM) Entertainment NewsSan Ignacio, Belize (May 7, 2013) – Make-Belize Films, an organization developing the film arts in Belize, is pleased to announce the international online release of 'Curse of the Xtabai'. The 80 minute jungle thriller-comedy is available for rent at xtabai.makebelizefilms.com for $1.99.
'Xtabai' (pronounced "ish-ta-by") has the distinction of being the first major movie fully produced with Belizean talent. The project provided training then employment for 65 Belizeans, who conceived and performed the film without the use of a script. "We want movies from Belize to offer audiences something unique and special", explains producer Matthiew Klinck, "so we're using improvisation to bring a raw energy to the screen."
Klinck founded Make-Belize Films in 2012 to bring economic development to the Central American country through a new youth-centered exportable creative industry. He reports that since the launch of the online streaming rental of the film the Make-Belize Films Facebook page has made huge gains in likes and the movie is being watched internationally. "It's amazing to see our Belizean jungle thriller being enjoyed as far away as Australia, India and Singapore," says Klinck, "it's a giant leap for Belizean artists."
The film's plot offers a new take on Mayan prophecy: when a mysterious fever plagues their village, a student's dreams lead her and a group of classmates into the surrounding jungle to find and defeat an evil spirit of Mayan-Belizean folklore.
Belize is a small English-speaking nation of 327,000 people located on the Caribbean coastline of Central America. 70% of the population is under age 25 and thus far work opportunities have centered around tourism and agriculture. Klinck hopes a new film production industry will be a creative outlet for the youth and an economic engine for the country.
Make-Belize Films has announced the production of two new unscripted movies, an urban action-drama and a comedy. The goal is to build a fresh film industry that will entertain audiences worldwide by empowering Belizean people with the skills and equipment to tell their stories through cinema.