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Sep 28, 2007

Noh Matta Wat season three premiers Monday

Story PictureAs any television programmer can tell you, soap operas, whether American Mexican or Caribbean, are very popular in Belize. So when a group of budding actors got together to produce a show about life as we know it, the fact that it was a hit wasn’t surprising. And as News Five’s Marion Ali reports, the program’s popularity is expected to soar next week as Noh Matta Wat enters its third and most creative year.

On Monday night, season three of Belize’s first television drama series “Noh Matta Wat” will debut on local television stations.

According to producer Denvor Fairweather, this year the show is branching out in terms of its script and its audience.

Denvor Fairweather, Producer, “Noh Matta Wat”
“There will be some significant twists and turns. It’s gonna keep people riveted to their seats. We had the launch of it last week and most of the viewers mentioned that it is a step up from season one and season two. A very realistic, very dramatic depiction of two of the issues that myself and my creative team noticed was prominent or becoming prominent in Belize late last year and early this year, noh. Those are the issues of domestic violence and youth violence so we have featured a great deal of our story lines for the early part of the season around those two issues.”

Fairwether saysaArt will imitate life as the recent spate of gun violence to rock the streets of Belize City will also affect the characters.

Denvor Fairweather
“We have story lines including like the “Randy” character, “Dynamo” being involved in a youth violence scenario where there is some retaliatory violence between some people who want to get at him and then people who want to get back at those persons who are getting after him who had murdered somebody else. We want to show in general what the end result usually is when that retaliatory violence takes place. It spirals out of control and no one wins.”

Marion Ali
“We know you to be the Romeo type fellow in the past series. What can we expect from you this time around?”

Denvor Fairweather
“Well actually a little bit more of that. Clifford continues to be Clifford but with a twist. There’s some redemption here. Clifford actually has gotten into trouble from last season, so now he’s trying to build himself back up. And you get to see a little more of the human side of Clifford this season. I can’t tell you a whole lot about the plot but he also gets maybe to go to jail, maybe. You got to watch and see what happens.”

Kent Claire is “Clifford” in Noh Matta Wat. The actor says bringing Clifford to the screen has been challenging.

Kent Clair, Actor, Noh Matta Wat
“Kent Clair and Clifford da two completely different people. Maybe when I grow up I’d maybe wanna be like Cliff right. Actually no, no I am a family person; I’m into family values. Clifford is a mixture of what we see in real life with a lot people who are politicians but we’re completely different persons.”

Marion Ali
“How difficult is it for you to set aside the real you and pick up this new persona?”

Kent Clair
“Actually a part of it is difficult in as much as people stereotype you. The acting part, I have that background so you just forget about the perceptions and you do what the script calls for. But just dealing with people, people try to make the ‘make-belief’ real. That’s the most difficult part of it.”

Denvor Fairweather
“There are three objectives that we have when we develop “Noh Matta Wat”. It’s to showcase the Belizean lifestyle in a professional manner so it could be entertaining and palatable to Belizeans. Secondly to showcase the country internationally as much as possible, and thirdly wherever it’s possible, to showcase social issues that need some focus and some reinforcement, noh, to showcase those.”

But while the new series is promising to be more entertaining than the previous two, producers say some scenes will require parental guidance.

Denvor Fairweather
“When we had the trailer put together I actually had to ask my editor to tone it down because it was a bit strong. What I do notice is that a major part of our audience based on the actors’ feedback are kids and families who watch it together. What I notice is that because we’re dealing with domestic violence and youth violence we have some scenes that are graphic. Of course we keep in mind that it has to be palatable to younger viewers so it is tactfully done.”

Denvor Fairweather
“What we desire to achieve with “Noh Matta Wat” is to make it a Belizean institution, our objective, myself and the Director, Steve Berry from Howard University. The reason why we teamed up on this project is because we realized there was no long-running dramatic TV series in Belize. There have only been a couple Belizean movies. Our desire is to show that Belize, because we have such interesting stories and unique ways with dealing with things if we showcase that professionally it should be very entertaining for the local market, for the Belizean Americans abroad and for the wider Caribbean public and so we are exploring those channels.”

“Noh Matta Wat” is written by Kim Vasquez and directed by Steve Berry. Its cast are all part time Belizean actors. Reporting for News Five, I am Marion Ali.

The first episode of Noh Matta Wat season three will air following Monday night’s newscast here on Channel Five.

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