This June, Mariel’s short film, Smallman: The World My Father Made, was released on Studio Anansi Tv. In connection with the release, we talked with Mariel about the making of the film and her thoughts on Caribbean filmmaking in general. Mariel is currently working on finishing her latest project, a full-length documentary on her own father’s work, “Unfinished Sentences.”
In your own words, tell us what this film is about and why you chose to tell this story.
When my now-husband, Richard, and I were first seeing each other, he shared with me an e-book he had produced about his father, ‘Small Man: The World My Father Made’. I was completely stunned by Kenwyn’s toys and models, and I wanted to learn more about him as a person (he died three years before Richard and I met). So, over time, I convinced Richard to let me start filming in his Dad’s workshop, and I referenced Richard’s e-book, as well as my many conversations with him, when writing the script. I believe the made object, or the written word or the piece of music are all things with the potential to transcend time and space and connect generations. It is this and the more poignant idea of failed dreams not defeating the human spirit, which are at the heart of Smallman.