Award-winning TT film ‘Grace & Saleem’ secures international distribution
By: Jian Hennings, Director | August 12th, 2021
Grace & Saleem follows the unlikely titular couple during an unintended road trip, a comical first dinner and an awkward meeting of families on Christmas day. The film stars Kyle Daniel Hernandez, Shevonne Metivier, Dru Castiglione and Penelope Spencer. It was written and directed by Jian Hennings, his second narrative feature project after completing his feature-length student film Back to Freeport.
Hennings has expressed his hope to continue his filmmaking journey with the same levels of creative excitement, and honesty that attracted him to writing/directing narratives so many years ago.
“Filmmaking is the ultimate art form! It combines the visual and the audible, the pressures of team-based execution, and the solitary stresses of drafting a story worth telling. It has forced me to age one year for every week spent on set, and I honestly couldn’t imagine myself happier anywhere else in the world.”
Grace & Saleem was produced by FIXERfilm studios and was one of three films to receive the Take One Feature Film Grant of $250,000 from the Ministry of Culture and the Arts in 2019 as part of Carifesta XIV in 2019; the other two films were Queen of Soca by Kevin Adams and She Paradise by Maya Cozier.
The 2019 romantic comedy won Best Feature People’s Choice Award at the 2019 Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival and won Best Feature at the 2020 CaribbeanTales International Film Festival. The film was also selected for the 2021 NollywoodWeek Film Festival and the 2021 Pan African Film Festival.
In another milestone, Grace & Saleem is being released by Mbur Films on September 3, 2021 via Amazon and filmmaker platform Altavod. Mbur Films is a Burbank, California-based indie film distributor.