Just two days before leaving Barbados last year to take up permanent residence in the Greater Toronto Area with her family, Claudette Wadman received a call from film director/writer/producer Marcia Weekes with a request for her to play a lead role in a movie.
“I told Marcia I was preparing to leave the country and she let me know she would send for me when the shooting starts,” recalls Wadman.
Jamaican-born Weekes, who is an ordained minister and the artistic director of Praise Academy of Dance in Barbados, kept her word.
Vigilante-The Crossing, shot over six weeks in Barbados, explores racial and social barriers in the Caribbean.
The main character is a deportee from the United States who returns to his homeland to find his beloved community of Bakers Field engulfed in criminal activity. Armed with guilt of his past crimes and a genuine passion to see his birthplace thrive, he takes on the role of a vigilante and meets a White woman who is trying to improve the lives of young people in the same community. As the boiling pot of racial prejudice, passion, love and hate erupts, their lives and shared mission reach a crucial crossroad.
Wadman plays the role of Margo, a widow who is a leader striving to make a difference in the community.
“When Marcia asked me to look at the role, I fell in love with it,” she said.
The movie also features award-winning actress Alison Sealy-Smith who is the Obsidian Theatre founding director and the senior business development officer at the National Cultural Foundation of Barbados.
“Alison is one of the most talented people I have ever met,” said Wadman who met Sealy-Smith a few years ago when she conducted a workshop for actors and actresses in Barbados. “She is also humble and genuine and it was such a pleasure to work on a set with her.”
Married for the last 33 years to a Canadian who moved to Barbados in his teenage years with his retired parents, Wadman spent two years working as a missionary in Australia. She returned to Barbados in 1998 and joined Praise Academy of Dance Art School.
“That is where I gained my experience in dance and choreography,” she said. “It was in Australia that I started to dance in the church and I perfected the craft when I went back to Barbados.”
Wadman was a dance teacher at Providence School for seven years and the New Dimensions Eagles Ministry dance leader for five years. She was also the executive producer of the three-part film series, Hush.
Vigilante–The Crossing will be screened on Saturday, June 20 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, June 21 at 4 p.m. at Innis Town Hall, 2 Sussex St.
The price of admission is $15 for adults and $10 for students between the ages of 13 and 18.
The racially charged action drama was screened last February at the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles.