by Aurora Herrera, ttff blogger
The Witness is a story about John who is having an affair with his best friend’s wife, Lorraine. Randall, the cuckold, stops in at home unexpectedly and John takes cover in the closet. Randall suspects that something is awry and strangles Lorraine. John witnesses the murder. The film unravels a labyrinthine plot which takes the audience on an entertaining and thought provoking journey.
Writer, director and actor Jared Prima founded Triple Spades Studios Limited with a group of his high school friends. Since its inception, their three-part series The Witness has won awards at the LA Short Film Festival in 2015, along with second and third place commendations for Best Female actress and Best Director respectively.
According to Prima, this narrative short was an attempt “to play with something that would capture the audience.”
The film includes scenes of physical violence, sexual violence, power struggles, mental instability, corruption and betrayal. While these are all galling themes to be considered, what made the work even more provocative was the fact that it leans towards accuracy in our present day society.
“I have no idea where that came from,” he said. “ I guess there is a crazy place in my mind. After the first part, we said, “ok let’s work it back and try to connect some dots. The result was a bit convoluted but we could see where the connections were.”
The music, produced by Dike Samai, enhanced the film and also provoked the audience.
“The music got to be and put me in the mood for different scenes,” said Enrique Mendez, a student of St. Benedict’s College. “The flow was really nice.”
There were a few issues with colorization, audio and continuity that detracted from the quality of the film viewing experience. However, the story is relevant and the acting is definitely entertaining and engaging. At the end of the screening, the audience demanded more.
Here is the Q & A:
Q: What inspired you to do this film?
A: I have no idea where that came from. We just wanted to do something that would capture the audience. I guess there is a crazy place in my head.
Q: It s a film that address mental illness in a serious way and no offense to anyone, but during the more dramatic parts of your film, I’m hearing people giggling, which is an interesting reaction to the serious nature of what was on the screen. I don’t want to be a killjoy and of course you catch kicks but it is a serious topic.
A: Yes it does address serious mental disorder issues and I can’t fault an audience for laughing. I’m a theatre major and I’ve done plays where the audience laughs when we kill people on stage, I think as Caribbean people we are afraid of facing a lot of issues [in our society]. We are really afraid of these issues and sometimes laughter is a little easier than crying so I can’t fault you but I hope you see what issues are important and how extreme things can go if we make simple mistakes and simple lies [can lead to worse things].
Q: What happens next?
A: I want to say that this is actually the 15th time someone has asked me what happens next. This was actually the end of the witness, however, after seeing it on the big screen and taking it in, I feel that there is somewhere else to go with it.
You can catch another viewing of The Witness on the following date:
Sat 24 Sept, 6.00pm, MovieTowne Tobago, Q+A