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DH | Domestic violence film Chokehold winning awards at film festivals

HomeLandenSint MaartenDH | Domestic violence film Chokehold winning awards at film festivals

Chokehold Director Joel Ayuk (left) with Inter-Ministerial Coordinator against violence against women in Overseas France, Justine Benin (right)

MARIGOT–Since the glitzy, star-studded premiere at Caribbean Cinemas in St. Martin on November 25, 2023, the locally-made and produced domestic violence movie “Chokehold”, has since garnered a number of international film awards, its powerful subject matter resonating with audiences internationally and regionally, and elevating director Joel Ayuk into the world of international cinema.

Chokehold has won Best Director at the Berlin Indie Film Festival, Best African Film winner at the World Film Festival in Cannes, and Best Soundtrack from the Florence International Film Festival.

On Tuesday morning, a special screening of the film was shown in Hotel de la Collectivité for the visit of Inter-Ministerial coordinator against violence against women in Overseas France, Justine Benin. The upstairs conference room was turned into a small cinema.

The compelling film, starring an international cast from Neflix and Hollywood tells a heart-rending story of a couple’s struggle with their inner demons set against an unyielding love for family. It was shot entirely on location in St. Martin.

Those present included Vice Recteur for education in St. Martin and St. Barths Harry Christophe, Deputy Recteur for national education Andy Armongon, President of the economic, social and cultural advisory council CESC, Ida Zin-Ka-Ieu, CANI TV Association and its president Joel Ayuk, SXM Nini Association President Sophia Carti Codrington, Les Axes et Cibles pour Tous Association President Fatima Zara, Territorial Councillor Bernadette Venthou-Dumaine, and other professionals in the education and social fields.

“The presentation was a success and the feedback and exchanges gave us confidence in the team’s potential,” said Carti-Codrington who has been the film project’s coordinator since the beginning.

Janine Arnell who organised the event and is the Collectivité’s representative on the issue of domestic violence noted the Inter-Ministerial coordinator first came to St. Martin in September 2023 to meet associations and social organisations to obtain input on domestic violence to make a report.

“The film and discussions afterwards lasted three hours,” Arnell said. “The minister said she had been invited to a premiere in French Guiana of a similar film but it did not reflect the Caribbean reality in the same way that Chokehold does. The film is a tool to fight against domestic violence.”

Arnell has several projects in the making on these issues. “We have to take care of the men and treat them too, to try and break that cycle of violence and let them know it’s not okay. It takes professional help. We know that we are a violent society because the Gendarmes did give out figures on Monday at a meeting with the anti-delinquence council (Conseil Local de Sécurite et de Prévention de la Délinquance CLSPD.

“I plan to have an awareness month in March, to address the men of the community in our language, in the slang or patois that they know, as this form of language addresses the issue much better than the national platforms,” she said.

Bron: Daily Herald

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