Howard Allen (HaMa Films)
Antigua & Barbuda | 2001 | 111 mins
“The Sweetest Mango,” Antigua’s first feature film is a romantic comedy that tells the story of Lovelyanne ‘Luv” Davies, who returns from Canada to Antigua and her struggles to adjust to life on a small island. It follows her professional turmoil and personal drama, including being caught in an unexpected love triangle.
In 2001, HAMAFilms became the first indigenous company in the Eastern Caribbean to produce a feature length film with the release of “The Sweetest Mango” a romantic comedy. This was followed immediately in 2002, with their second film “No Seed” a political drama. Another film, “Diablesse” based on Caribbean Folklore was released in 2005. Released on June 2nd, 2011, is HAMA’s fourth film, “The Skin” a supernatural thriller based on Caribbean Mythology.
Howard Allen is a film and television director/producer and the founder of HAMA Productions. While his career in television spans more than 30 years, he made his feature film directorial debut in 2001 with the release of The Sweetest Mango a romantic comedy based on how he and his wife met and fell in love.
The Sweetest Mango became Antigua and Barbuda’s first locally produced feature film and the first indigenous film for the Eastern Caribbean. It has become an iconic film that is still being screened after appearing at several film festivals in North America and the Caribbean and made its world- television premiere on Caribvision in via DirecTV. It is now archived at the Toronto International Film Festival Bell Lightbox Reference Library.
Howard’s directorial credits also include No Seed (2002) a drama and Diablesse (2005), Caribbean folklore. He wrote the screenplay for his fourth film The Skin (2011) a supernatural thriller starring Jamaican film icon Carl Bradshaw.
Howard’s work as a filmmaker has been singled out by the department of Cinema and Photography at Ithaca College in New York, for his innovative approach to filmmaking in a developing country. He has conducted master classes at Ithaca College on “Feature Filmmaking on a Shoestring Budget.”
He has also conducted UNICEF funded television production workshops for the Youth Department in Antigua and has worked closely with regional organizations training young people in television and film production.
In 2008 Howard was recognized by the Youth Department in the Ministry of Education with a “Young Pioneers” award for his inspiring work as a pioneer in filmmaking in Antigua & Barbuda.
Howard hopes by building a cadre of future film industry professionals, filmmaking will become an important part of Caribbean cultural expression.