Featured image: Kimberly Crichton as Diamond in She Paradise. (Courtesy of Route 504 PR.)
She Paradise is one of the more unique coming-of-age stories I’ve seen, a story about a young woman named Sparkle (Onessa Nestor), shy and reserved under the care of her grandfather, who finds independence when she joins a free-spirited dance group in Trinidad, learning the dance of Soca. Utilizing stars from the island of Trinidad and shooting in Trinidad, the film’s settings and guerilla filmmaking is what helps establish the uniqueness of the film.
For my podcast The Filmcraziest Show, I was able to speak with the writer and director of She Paradise, Maya Cozier, about putting together the film. She talks about herself being part of a TV dance group like this one and drawing from those experiences, filming in Trinidad, bringing the short film to feature length, highlighting the dance of Soca, and talking about the character of Sparkle and Onessa Nestor’s performance as the lead character.
You can find that conversation directly above on YouTube, and you can also listen to the conversation right below or download it here. As well, She Paradise is available now to watch on Video on Demand and digital formats. Find a link to rent the film on Apple TV+ here.