Hello, thank you for agreeing to this interview. I’d like to firstly ask what the film is about?
Haven is about a young girl who reveals a life altering secret to her mother whilst she does her hair.
How do you feel about the reception your film has received from critics?
The reception has been very good! Hearing the audience go through the emotional rollercoaster of Haven, and the silence when the credits rolled means that I’ve done my job as a writer and director. The reactions from the many film goers that approached me in the lobby after the screening has been mind blowing. From tears to telling me life-long secrets, I am very grateful that Haven is doing what I set out for it to do.
The issue that is at heart of the film is a very relevant one at the moment – what promoted you to tackle it in the way you did?
Haven evolved from a conversation I had with my good friend and DOP Jordan Oram. We spoke about making a powerful film that had just two characters in one room. That night I came home and wrote Haven. I thought about a picture that we don’t see in film, a black woman and her daughter getting her hair done. For black children growing up this is a safe Haven, I thought about what conversation would be born out of that. What deep secret would you reveal to your mother? From this Haven was born.
The film deals with a sensitive subject that is often difficult to portray in film without causing distress – how did you consider this when producing the film?
The issue in Haven is not new to the world; we knew we wanted to tell it in a different way. The solace a young child feels while getting their hair done as a child by their mother was the perfect setting to tell this story. It gives the audience comfort while dealing with such a heavy topic.
What was the casting process for the film like?
Kelly is this amazing visionary and she knew exactly what she wanted. Kelly met D’evina a few months before we shot Haven at a photo shoot and Kelly saw the talent in D’evina. When it came to Tika, Kelly and I both knew she just looked the part and hoped her acting talent matched. Tika met all our expectations and gave us more.
What would you say to young directors who wanted to make a film like Haven?
Story is everything! As long as you have a great story and an amazing crew everything is possible. I call Haven ‘the little short that could’. Who would have thought that a 3-minute film would be able to affect so many?
Finally, I’d like to ask what projects you’ve got coming up in the future?
We have submitted Haven to many other film festivals so now it is just a waiting game. We are aware that programing Haven is quite difficult but we feel like it is a film everyone needs to see. Both Tamar and I are in pre-production for two short films He’s One Of Us and Marathon, as well as a web series named Parea.
With thanks to Kelly Fyffe-Marshall and Tamar Bird. You can find my review of Haven here.