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Jul 21, 2009

“The Enemy God” an independent movie filmed in Belize

Story PictureThere are a growing number of movies that have been shot in Belize. But The Enemy God is one you haven’t heard of. It was shot on a budget of one point seven million dollars in the southern portion of the country mostly with untrained Mayan actors. Earlier today News Five Jose Sanchez spoke to The Enemy God’s Producer Matt Castagna.

Jose Sanchez, Reporting
The Enemy God is one of the films that will be showcased at the International Film Festival which opens this weekend. It is set in Venezuela but shot almost entirely in the Toledo District.

Matt Castagna, Producer, The Enemy God
“The story is a true story based on the life of the Yanomamö shaman. His real name was Bautista Cargituno and his film name is Shake and it’s basically his life story; where he came from, how he became a shaman. The people have always known about the Enemy God, the creator spirit. They thought he was the enemy and through the film, they find out differently.”

But there is a story behind the movie. The producer lived in Belize for ten years when he was here on a goodwill mission. He had no idea then he would be making movies.

Matt Castagna
“One of my responsibilities as a director of the camp was to raise funds for buildings and projects we had. I hate public speaking so I thought if I could get behind the camera and let the videotape do the talking for me I would be happier probably the people that see it will be happier and more willing to view the project. So I started making fundraising videos with peasants and really got hooked on the whole process and communicating through that medium. And while I was here I got a scholarship for school in Canada to take video production more seriously.”

After studying film, he had to produce a project about the Yanomamö, indigenous people of Venezuela, but his permits were reneged twice. Fate led him back to Belize.

Matt Castagna
“Since I lived here in Belize for ten years, we decided we’d go ahead and come here to Belize. People speak English as a second language so our director is able to direct them without going through an interpreter, it’s closer, it’s cheaper to fly here, the government welcomed us with open arms. So all those things made it easy for us to make that decision to come here and film.”

Several of the actors will be brought up from Toledo to see their performance on the screen at the Bliss. Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.

The film was written and directed by Christopher Besette.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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