Director Storm Saulter On His New Film 'Sprinter' And How Jamaican Cinema Is Dashing Into The Future
"No man can outrun the choices he makes." A police commissioner delivers these lines to Akeem Sharp (Dale Elliott) —the protagonist in filmmaker Storm Saulter's second feature, Sprinter. Beautifully shot and delivering an expansive view of Jamaica, Sprinter follows Akeem, a burgeoning teen track and field phenom who is desperate to qualify for the World Games in Los Angeles and snag a scholarship to a U.S. school.
Despite his obvious talent, Akeem's family life —an absent mother (Lorraine Tousant) who has lived in the U.S. illegally for years sending money home, a drunken father (Dennis Titus), a criminally minded brother (Kahdeem Wilson)—and his own immaturity threaten to derail Akeem's success before he even gets started. However, a no-nonsense coach (David Allen Grier), a track legend, and his own self-determination might just get Akeem across the finish line.
Ahead of Sprinter’s U.S. debut, Shadow And Act sat down to speak with Saulter about his sophomore feature, the landscape of Jamaican cinema today, and why he’s already looking for what's next.
"I always wanted to create a story in the world of track and field," Saulter explained. "Obviously with Jamaica's dominance, I knew there was a massive audience and interest in track. Beyond that, I wanted to tell a story about a modern Caribbean family that did not rely on stereotypes. It wasn't this extreme life and death situation, because that's not our lives, and everyone's not fighting to survive. People are living normal lives; they're trying to make the team, they're trying to pass the test, they miss their mom, they're trying to get with a girl they like that's not paying them any attention. In telling a story that's not relying on these major extremes, it's actually slightly more radical."
Continue reading at Shadow and Act.