Trinidadian film maker Maya Cozier gifted us the award-winning short film known as ‘Short Drop’. While entertaining with guaranteed laughs and chuckles, the film is much more than that. Short Drop accurately captures the nuances of Trinidadian life with stunning local scenery, diverse characters and story-lines that prove that our little island has much to offer in the film and entertainment industry. Trinidad, and the Caribbean in the whole, houses rich, unique unexplored narratives and Short Drop confirms that they are indeed palatable and well receptive to a global audience. Maya carefully avoids the stereotypical roles that plague Caribbean characters and paint authentic personalities that cohesively mesh together creating something that is undeniably ‘Trini’.
The short film follows an elderly widower Bartholomew as he goes for his regular drive throughout the town where he is mistaken as a taxi driver. After minor efforts to refute this mistake he decides to go along with it, introducing a series of gags. His first passenger is a young woman who eagerly began confiding in him about her personal and relationship life. He listens attentively and chimes in with his humble advice and we see the young lady considering what he says. This little exchange between two strangers mirrors our average Trinidadian day where taxi drivers are sometimes our ‘shrink for the hour’, in the moment in the car they become our uncle, our grandpa or anyone we feel comfortable talking to. Our taxi ride is briefly interjected with two boisterous primary school boys whose dialogue are so authentically Trini you question whether its written or improvised; it’s all too familiar. The boys further contribute to the comedic feel of the film and their interactions with the young lady in the taxi, Shanice, seem almost akin. We are then introduced to a cross-dressing character Hott Pepper and a gang member Tan Tan. The explored dynamic between these two almost juxtaposing characters subjugates the direction of the film and highlights the current climate and attitudes towards the LGBTQI community in Trinidad and Tobago. However the presence of acceptance and allies are also illustrated. We also get a peek into the reasoning behind joining gangs while living in certain areas on the island which works to humanize the disenfranchised. The penultimate scene of the film shows the breathtaking view of the city at night, brightly lit with each house a story of its own. It is no coincidence that this scenic view is seen from a place that is consistently ostracised in our society.
Ultimately Short Drop captures a slice of the average Trinidadian life showcasing the multitude of narratives we have to offer. You can’t help but feel pure pride watching this short film, being able to fully relate and understand the dialect, the gestures and the layered humor. The broad spectrum of Trinidadian identity is touched and we understand that there is not one way to be Trini.
To watch Short Drop you can donate to Maya’s current project ‘She Paradise’ and receive a private link among other available perks! Link to donate and learn more about this project is below!