‘See you yesterday’ Guyanese director, brilliant
Cast, crew and fi lm presenters, pose after the only Brooklyn screening of “See You Yesterday” at BAM Rose Cinema.
From left, John Curtis, Lauren L. Owen, Ron Bobb-Semple, Director, Stefon Bristol, Dante Crichlow, Marsha
Stephanie Blake,Vara de Rey, and Romola Lucas. Photo by Tangerine Clarke
Caribbean Life, J BQ une 14–20, 2019 53
By Tangerine Clarke
There was loud applause, from the
packed Rose Cinema in Brooklyn Academy
of Music, (BAM), as the credits roll.
A clear sign, that no one left the theatre
during the only screening of the movie
“See You Yesterday,” a thought-provoking,
Si-Fi, action adventure, that traces
two science geniuses, who set out to
work their chemistry magic to reverse
This movie, will make you cry, laugh,
and scratch your head. It is brilliant! It
was reviewed as Imaginative, exciting,
At the center of the movie, is a
mother who grieves the loss of a son,
due to police brutality, but is unaware
of her daughter’s passion to bring back
her brother using her science and time
travel magic. In actuality, the movie
brings into focus the black lives matter
narrative. The intellectual direction,
throws audience into a head-spin, as the
characters go back and forth, recreating
scenarios to save lives.
The June 4 screening, presented by
the Caribbean Film Series and co-presented
by the Caribbean Film Forum,
Romola Lucas, John Curtis, and Alysia
S. Christiani, is streaming on movie
The award-winning flick, since its
recent début, continues to receive rave
reviews for its mind-blowing, gripping
elements, skillfully told by co-writer and
director, Stefon Bristol.
Bristol, a recent NYU Film School
graduate, refused to rate his work, giving
actors the glory instead for the movie’s
success, during a Q&A with cast and
crew, after the Brooklyn screening.
Bristol said the process started as a
short film for his NYU film school thesis.
He chose this genre to go back to his
roots, Si-fi action adventure.
He wanted to shoot a full-length feature,
but his professors encouraged him
to focus more on writing. He went on to
complete the short film with the help
of his Guyana-born mother, who refinanced
her house to pay for the project.
The short film was a total success. It
racked up rave reviews from film festivals
around the world and won many
competitions before it landed on HBO.
This is when Spike Lee approached
Bristol to produce the full-length feature,
and pitched the idea to movie
moguls, because of its Hollywood-studio
caliber. It was ultimately picked up by
Netflix, becoming a box-office hit.
Bristol said he wanted to shoot the
film entirely in Brooklyn because of
his Guyanese heritage. He grew up in
Coney Island and remembers his mother
taking him to popular stores in the
neighborhood, and recalls eating roti
and curry, and black pudding, at Sybil’s
Restaurant on Church and Flatbush
Avenues in Brooklyn. These are cherished
parts of his heritage he wanted
to showcase on-screen, portraying not
only the Afro-American urban life, but
Afro-Caribbean, elements not normally
seen in movies.
Noted Guyana-born actor, Ron Bobb-
Semple, who played the role of Sebastian’s
grandfather, is celebrating fiftyyears
as an actor, since breakout roles at
Theatre Guild Playhouse in Guyana.
He said, he was thrilled, to work with
Bristol, a talented brother, and lauded
the cast and crew as a phenomenal
collective. Adding, he was proud to see
the Golden Arrowhead Guyana flag, featured
prominently in the film.
The all-Caribbean heritage cast,
includes: Dante Crichlow, a young actor
of Haitian and Barbados heritage, born
in East Flatbush. He showed natural
acting talent as a high school science
prodigy, Sebastian J. Thomas, friend to
C.J. played by Eden Duncan-Smith in
the lead role.
Crichlow saw parts of himself in his
character and hopes people who watch
the film, see parts of themself as well.
“As Caribbean people growing up in
Brooklyn we do not see this representation
at all, so I was fortunate to be a part
of this movie,” said Crichlow.
Jamaican-born, Marsha Stephanie
Blake, an actress who attended Brooklyn
Tech, spent most of her life growing
up in Brooklyn. She describes the
script as brilliant and felt the current
topic was important, and applauded the
roles the young actors portrayed as science
“I am so proud, this movie was
made,” she said.
Associate-produced, Lauren L. Owen
of Boston and cinematographer, Felipe
Vara de Rey of Spain, both thanked
Bristol for the opportunity to work on
“See You Yesterday,” lauding him for
bringing the Caribbean-American culture
to the big screen.
Owens said she enjoyed working in
Brooklyn and being welcomed by the
community, during the summer, taking
in the vibes of the Bedford Stuyvesant
neighborhood and eating local fare
She thanked Bristol for harnessing
the talents of the young actors, in a time
travel flick that is not ever seen on the
Vara de Rey, who also worked on the
short version of “See You Yesterday,”
thanked Bristol for the opportunity to
bring his voice, as a white ‘guy’ from the
Mediterranean, to the conversation to
tell an important story.
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