And one of the featured Belizean films at this year's festival comes from a noted production house.

Ignite Belize has had their name tagged unto countless groundbreaking Belizean music videos like Tanya Carter's 'Ex-boyfriend', and Big Bang's 'Cocaine'.

And now, the founder, Carlo Habet is trying to parlay that success and savvy into filmmaking.

His first short film, "TIME FU EAT" is a refreshing and authentic look at Belizean socio-political culture.

Cherisse Halsall spoke to him and the cast and crew to find out why TIME FU EAT will call film buffs to the table.

In "TIME FU EAT" Stig da artist plays Lex, a successful Belizean musician whose fame is being bartered for public approval in political rallies. But, despite the serious tone that synopsis might convey, the film is also a lighthearted look at striving for success and the culture of cronyism in Belize. Carlo Habet told me why he deems it a dark comedy.

Carlo Habet, Director, Producer
"I grew up at the time when movies were the thing, my dad had comics, but for me it was movies. So I always had a dream of making stuff like this and this is really my first foray."

"I think it's like a dark comedy, I think that's the way I look at it and it's interesting because writing it, we wanted to make something real and so we don't know where that fits and we think maybe drama but reading it over it's like you know this is actually funnier than I thought it would have been and that's I think a testament to Belizean people too and culture in that we're able to kind of maybe let's look at the funny side of everything."

The film was co-written by Andre Habet. Andre, a writer and academic researcher has lived in the US for the better part of a decade and says that he credits his contributions to the film to all the time he's spent retroactively obsessing over Belize.

Andre Habet, Co-writer
"I really feel that Belize is in a desperate situation you know increasingly so and I think there's a lot of callous humor with that. I think a lot of people in our sort of drowning in some ways literal given how much the tide is rising. I think people find humor as a way to and so I wanted to translate how people translate that humor in the script but also I wanted to temporarily alleviate where their at but also I wanted to get some joy out of seeing archetypes of Belizeans that we don't usually see in any sort of media."

And while it's unmistakably Belizean, the chemistry of its ensemble cast evokes the camaraderie of young adults trying to make it:

Horatio Guerrero, Darren
"When Carlo gave me the script I was a little bit hesitant because I was like do I really want to play this character because it's really I mean it's a comedy but it's really real to Belizean culture and you know after looking at it I was like you know what let me give this a shot."

"One of the reasons that films are great and everything is because in society you get to reflect and mirror society and people get to see themselves on camera sometimes when you're doing something you don't realize what your saying or your intentions or what your doing to the other person but when you get to see it from an outside perspective it makes you see the world with a different point of view."

The Film was bolstered by the presence of three talented Belizean Actresses. Cory Escobar who plays the film's good guy tells us about the role Ilona Smiling played opposite him.

Cory Escobar, Richard
"She was like that wife that was like you know what it has to be the right way, and she was like the educated wife you know like basically i'm the uncool person in the whole movie and she just complements me in the sense that she's being really educated and focused for all of us."

"I'm trying to focus and it's like basically she's like the boss in our marriage because she's like I don't know it's time to go home. She's the person like that and with all Belizean parties, house psrties you have that one person that's like I need to go home right like you could see what's happening so like i'm getting controlled and I think that happens to most Belizean men."

Habet says he hopes the film allows Belizeans some context for reflection and self examination:

Carlo Habet, Director, Producer
"For us I don't know if we started to make it a specific political commentary but I think we couldn't escape the fact that politics plays such a huge role in our society day to day and no one's life really escapes the pull of politics but it's also pervasive I feel in that we all know someone that's involved in the arena."

"I just want people to watch it and you know in the end sort of laugh but also realize that these are very real issues and I want to take them for what their worth and maybe look at things a little bit differently and I think if it helps us as a people to kind of like look at ourselves in the mirror like hard and say are these the things that are really that we're known for because we're not bad people but sometimes we allow bad things to happen and I think that doing that is part of the problem too."

'TIME FU EAT' premieres at the Belize International Film Festival on Friday November 8th and on Youtube on Saturday November 9th.

Channel 7


Time Fu Eat (2019) Trailer

Time Fu Eat is a uniquely Belizean dark comedy, exploring the ways that various people's lives are impacted by socio-economic pressures and political corruption. Crafted by a Belizean cast and crew, Time Fu Eat marks a turning point in Belizean film-making by bringing high production levels rarely seen in the Jewel and casting a light on the way contemporary Belizeans hustle for money, fame, and the next plate a dinna. Starring Stig Da Artist and Horacio Louis Guerrero and featuring the first film performances of several talents - and with music also by Stig - Time Fu Eat is as Belizean as riceandbeanshickenandsalad. Join us, and mek we nyam up some Belizean kulcha!



Belizean Feature Film - Time Fu Eat