L-R: Kareem Mortimer, A scene from Nassau Over The Hill, and Rosemary C. Hanna (Nassau Over The Hill screens at The Island House Cinema Saturday August 8th at 5pm. Spy screens daily from August 7th-13th at 7:30 pm.)
We are nearing the end of this season’s Caribbean Storyteller
Series at The Island House Cinema. This week at the cinema we are showing
Rosemary Hanna’s timely and important documentary Nassau Over The Hill. This documentary is the story of the fashioning of a people
whose ancestors were transplanted to a foreign land under the most dehumanizing conditions and have in a
relatively short period changed the history of a former plantation society. We
had the opportunity to ask Rosemary a few questions about her process.
Can you tell us a bit about your background and how you became a
filmmaker? How What is the name of your film? Can you tell us a bit about your
background and how you became a filmmaker? How are you connected to this story
and how long did it take you to make? What were some of the challenges? Have
you shown this film to the over the hill community and what has been the
response? Where else have you shown the film? Why do you feel films like these
are necessary? What impression would you like to leave the audience with. What
are you working on next?
What is the name
of your film?
The name of
the film is “Nassau’s Over-The-Hill”
Can you tell us
a bit about your background and how you became a filmmaker?
retired banker having worked in the field for 40 years. I also studied music at
The College of The Bahamas and Acadia University, Wolfville Nova Scotia,
Canada. I formerly served as Director of the Senior Choir at St. Agnes Anglican
Church for 20 years and Director of the Anglican Chorale for 10 years.
How are you
connected to this story and how long did it take you to make?
connected to the story because I am a product of Over-The-Hill. I was born at
our home at the corner of Anderson Street and Goal and spent the first 32 years
of my life there. Our family home
still stands as one of the few original ones in the area that have not fallen
into disrepair. I always loved photography and, after retirement in 2006,
became involved in the Social Outreach at my church. During my weekly travels through the old neighbourhood noted
rot decay and began to take pictures of the old homes that were still standing.
“Pictorial History and Memories of Nassau’s Over-The-Hill” came about as a
result of my picture taking exercise, and that process took about two years
with the book being launched at Doongalik Studios in February 2013. During the process of conducting
interviews for the book my young friend from St. Agnes, Robert Johnson, who did
the taping suggested that I do a documentary and that was the genesis of the
documentary film “Nassau’s Over-The-Hill”.
subsequently met Kevin Turnquest when working with him in editing a St. Agnes
Church project and mentioned to him my desire to do a documentary based on my
book. He in turn introduced me to
Patrice Francis who wrote and narrated the script. The process of creating the
film took about a year, and it premiered at Government House in February 2014. The
film has also been shown at a number of Government schools, at Galleria Cinemas
and on Cable 12. Future plans are
to show it at the NAGB and in the Over-The-Hill Park at East Street and Mason’s
What were some
of the challenges?
challenge in producing the film was financial as this was an out of pocket
exercise. Quite frankly, had I known beforehand what the final cost would be, I
probably would not have gone into the venture.
However, I am very happy to have done it as I think it’s so necessary for our
people to know their history and some of the people on whose shoulders we all
stand, including the personal sacrifices they made in order for us to enjoy the
freedoms that we all take for granted today. Happily, the film was well
received by all those people who have seen it. There are many more stories to
would you like to leave the audience with?
The aim of the film is to educate and make people more aware of our history and
I hope that others may be inspired to write their stories or produce
The Hill screens at The Island House Cinema Saturday August 8th at
5pm. Spy screens daily from August 7th-13th at
must be made at The Island House at 242.698.6300
About the author: Kareem
Mortimer is an award winning filmmaker and artist who has completed
several films including
Children of God, Wind Jammers, Passage, Float
Eleutheran Adventure. He is the President of the production
company Best Ever Film and is the curator of the film program at The
Island House Cinema, a boutique 48 seat theater in Western New
Providence dedicated to showcasing the best in independent, foreign,
art, Caribbean and Bahamian film. He is also in development of the
feature film Cargo.