The project was partly funded by companies in St. Kitts & Nevis and other Caribbean states.
The documentary film produced by one of the region’s premiere Journalists, Film & TV Producers – Onel Sanford-Belle was released on regional television network CaribVision on Monday 31st October, 2011.
Everyday Heroes was presented in a 60 Minutes television programme and looks at the untold stories of Caribbean men. The programme explored a fresh and under-reported side of men in the region, seeking to provoke and thought surrounding the issues relating to absentee fathers in the Caribbean, by putting MEN on center stage in a positive and motivational way.
Sanford-Belle said that while viewers were presented with a new perception of our men in the region, meeting “unlikely heroes” through the 90-min program, it will also provide a new and fresh approach to reporting in the region.
“This documentary will present a refreshing contribution to the journalistic repertoire in the Caribbean. It would appear that whenever we see our Caribbean Men in the press, they are often featured in a not-so-inspiring context. What EVERYDAY HEROES purports to do is bring to light the positive side to men in our society; dispelling that negative image as well as highlight the efforts of some of these men who are pushing the boundaries and doing way more than what is even expected of them”
Sanford-Belle who has been working earnestly on this project for the last six months says: “If one viewer’s life is impacted as a result of this project – it would have met its objective”.
“I have been thinking about this project since 2004 when I produced an awe-inspiring Father’s Day story for Virgin Islands Television network, of a self-sacrificing Caribbean man, indeed an everyday hero whose story would otherwise have gone unnoticed. It is the efforts and contributions of men like him and many more men in the Caribbean that Everyday Heroes will showcase.”
She added that the release of Everyday Heroes this year was very timely since there has been an exponential rise in young people being involved in criminal and other unsavoury activity around the Caribbean. “This programme gives young people hope and offers something fresh and positive for our youngsters to emulate”.
Everyday Heroes follows ordinary men in St Lucia and the British Virgin Islands and the producer has expressed the hope that the programme’s release is the beginning of a series that would allow more men from other Caribbean islands to be included.
In the production of this programme the talents of many creative people were harnessed. Sanford-Belle said the production challenged many aspects as it was produced on a shoe string budget but sought to derive the highest quality and standards.
“This started out as a NO BUDGET project and rode on donated time and resources for most of the 6(six) months. I have to really thank two of my Film making colleagues Anthony Alfonso and Suchitra Varma of New York and India respectively, for committing to this project and lending their expertise.”
“Another note-worthy point is that we raised US$9,000.00 via a grassroots funding campaign, a sophisticated Kickstarter campaign that allowed anyone – from any part of the world to become a financial backer of this project by pledging as little as US$1.00 towards its completion. The pledges were then processed by Amazon.com and in the end we raised over $9,000.00 in just 30 days!”
Sanford-Belle said she is especially grateful to COURTS (OECS) the Platinum sponsor and other corporate sponsors – The Advancement of Children Foundation (St Kitts/Nevis), Caribbean Credit Card Corporation limited, 1st National Bank St Lucia limited, LIME (St Kitts), Ferrands Food Products (St Lucia) and the St Lucia Golf and Country Club.
“Everyday Heroes – A Fresh Look at Caribbean Men” was produced and directed by Onel A Sanford-Belle, in collaboration with Anthony Alfonso of NY and Suchitra Varma of India.
The programme that premiered on Caribvision on Monday was expected to reach audiences in 22 Caribbean markets. Following the regional launch, it will be released on local television stations in St Lucia, St. Kitts and other OECS Markets and will be rebroadcast on strategic dates in the future.