LargeUp: Tell us about your background, as a Trinidadian and as a film director?
Damian Marcano: I come from Morvant, Laventille. #21 Cassia St to be exact. I started directing when someone told me to study glass. Lenses to be exact.
LU: You’re based in California. How long had you been working toward making a full-length feature back home in Trinidad?
DM: Sitting in LA about four years ago, I was getting a little burnt out of the projects I was working on. So one weekend I took some time out and just wrote. I had an idea…but then I read a poem from Muhammad Muwakil of Freetown Collective. It made me feel like the entire idea I had written. And to sum it up….there was one line that I thought made sense…”God Loves The Fighter.”
LU: How did you go about finding and selecting the cast?
DM: The casting process was helped by Sonya Hernandez, a casting director out of Trinidad. But there were few roles that I didn’t think we would find from traditional casting. Roles like that of “Stone” played by Abdi Waithe.
LU: The movie is told by a vagrant. You made some shorts featuring actual vagrants from Port of Spain early on in the promotion of the film. What were you trying to show?
DM: They are regular people too. I see eye to eye with the vagrants. They are members of our society. I wanted them to be a part of the entire process. I saw a vagrant everyday on my way to school as a child. I was always amazed that no one ever paid attention to them. They actually made sense to me. Maybe I’ll be a vagrant one day.