Trinidad and Tobago was the location of choice for the filming by a Norwegian crew of a feature length film titled “Limbo”. The production was facilitated by the Trinidad and Tobago Film Company (TTFC), and filming took place in many areas of Trinidad including Belmont, Mayaro, Chaguaramas. The production wrapped last week bringing to a close six weeks of non-stop filming with Trinidad as the backdrop for this film scheduled for release in 2010.

Limbo, a drama/love story about the lives of an expat family living in Trinidad and Tobago during the 1970’s was written and directed by Maria Sodhal, and produced Gudny Hummelvoll and Petter Borgli of SF Norge. It is the first real foreign feature film made entirely in our country in a very long time. Producers Gudny Hummelvoll and Petter Borgli of SF Norge, have remarked that there has definitely been a trickle-down effect of employment and expertise taking place on and off the set. According to Petter, “We got quite a lot of Trinidadian technicians on the film. Over forty, in fact we have more Trinidadians working on the film than Norwegians. We have trainees from the UWI Film Programme.”

It is a three million dollar (US$3,000,000) production, what is known in the industry as a small independent film. Yet, though small it has had a mighty effect! In total, over 500 local cast and crew have been directly involved. That does not count the increased revenues enjoyed by the hotels, restaurants, retail stores, taxi drivers, delivery personnel and others who indirectly benefitted. The Trinidad and Tobago Film Company (TTFC) wants this trickle-down effect to take place more often by even bigger film studios. They want Trinidad and Tobago to become one of the world’s most viable places to film movies music videos or commercials needing a diverse, tropical setting.

Starring in Limbo were Australian actor Bryan Brown, Norwegian actors Line Verndal and Henrick Rafaelsen and Swedish actress Lena Endre in the leading roles. Local actors Catherine Emmanuel and Michael Cherrie had supporting roles. The producers employed our very own G. Anthony Joseph and his local partner Dave Cabral of Galt Alliance Films to co-produce the film. Many local crew were hired including Dion Boucaud who worked in the camera and electrical department, Ryan Khan who was a Production Assistant and Zak Farmer who was the second assistant director.

Both producers agree that this film is a landmark for our country and a stepping stone for more productions if the relevant authorities learn quickly from this experience and adapt to the needs of foreign filmmakers. “You are on the right track. A lot of things have happened since we first came here two years ago. The Film Company is important to make it practically possible to sort out the red tape. The system the Film Company has developed over the years and the rebate, which can get better, are also positive steps.” Petter shared and Gudny added optimistically,
“You have a beautiful country which is very interesting. People can come to shoot here, even if it is not supposed to be the country the film is located in. A lot of Norwegian commercials are filmed in South Africa during our winter for their summer weather. So any film based in the tropics can come here.”

Just as the characters in Limbo dealt with culture shock, so too have the producers of the film and despite it all, they have been able to stay true to the script while creating tremendous opportunities for Trinbagonians from all walks of life, in particular those eager to be part of an indigenous film industry.

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