fun and frolic in the sun... nights of bacchanal.

"A Pagan affair"

THEATRICAL RELEASE

LOS ANGELES: LAEMMLE SUNSET 5 - MEET STAR MATTHEW LEITCH IN PERSON AT 11:55 PM SHOWS FRI, JUNE 26 & SAT, JUNE 27 @ LAEMMLE SUNSET 5

MIAMI/FT. LAUDERDALE: GATEWAY CINEMAS - STARTS FRI, JUNE 26 9:50 PM DAILY

SABOR TROPICAL (Tropical Flavor)

CLICK TO DOWNLOAD PRESS PHOTOS

writer/director/producer: Jorge Ameer

LOGLINE: Mattew Leitch, star of the award winning film AKA, headlines this carnival romp as Brian, a foreign journalist, who travels to Panama on vacation during one of Latin America's premiere festival celebrations- the carnival of Las Tablas- only to find himself in a relationship of desperation and violence.

THE STORY - CARNIVAL OF LAS TABLAS

Carnival of “Las Tablas” is in the Province of Los Santos, two hundred and eighty two kilometers and three and a half hours away from Panama City is recognized as the best carnival in this country. It takes place during February, about 40 days before Good Friday. Carnivals traditions and rituals date back to the days of the Roman bacchanals where mythology and rituals were practiced. The carnvial of Las Tablas is at least two hundred and fifty years old. This pagan event rooted in folklore can be traced back to pre-Christian and pre-Islamic origins. This year Calle Abajo (downtown Las Tablas) is celebrating their 50th queen anniversary marking 2009 a special year that will ultimately gather past and present royalty as they celebrate heritage, their reign of the downtown kingdom and breed new blood into this pagan affair. The origins of carnival date back to the worshiping of the gods. These gods as they knew them represented our vital existance representing are the gods of the earth, water (such as Jimaja in Brazilian culture, Hydros in Greek, Osiris in Egypt), sky (Zeus in Greek, Shu in Egypt) and the sun (also referred to as Helios or Apollo in Greek Culture and Ra in ancient Egypt). These gods were feared and glorified in ancient cultures. It is from these ritualistic practices that the resurgence of carnival evolved into what it is today. There are many religious undertones to this yearly event specially of the glorification of the god "Momo" (said "El Dios Momo" in Spanish). The god "Momo" represents the freedom of the spirit, the decadence that come with the pleasures of the flesh and the unification of the people for the worshiping of this bacchanal god.

On friday before Ash Wednesday everything begins with the selection of the carnival queen and her attendants. Queens are selected from both Uptown and downtown “Las Tablas”. Their reign lasts from their coronation ceremony until the successor is crowned the following year. It's a true spectacle of beauty and extravaganza. The queens work very hard all year round to raise funds for the expenditures of their glamorous costumes and and exhorbitant floats and thrones. Their respective towns become their kingdoms of festive cultural traditions.

For all Panamanians, Carnival is the most awaited annual event, their popularity is comparable in Latin America with the famous Brazilian carnival, both in popular participation, fun, as well as in their splendorous costumes and popular folkloric allegories.

The whole country, a multitude of people from all races and social backgrounds, take to the streets for four days and five nights, for the sole purpose of having fun.

Events follow a similar pattern on each of the four days of Carnival (Saturday to Tuesday). In the morning, there are "mojaderas" or water throwing, blue dye and shaving cream fights in the central plaza, and the two "tunas" parade in sexy clothing, dressed for the heat, dancing and singing songs praising their group or ridiculizing the other. The morning events are called the culecos.

Thousands of people are congregated in a small plaza to enjoy the exciting "culecos" wich are mainly popular outdoor dances where participants are sprinkled on constantly with clean water pumped from cistern trucks. There are moments when the event comes to a climax when the queens parade with their beautiful costumes saluting participants while the songs and the traditional typical music of the tunas play along. The luxury and the splendor of the Las Tablas Carnival envelope the nights while the traditional rivalries among the "calle arriba" and "calle abajo" tunas, (each routing for their Queen), sing folkloric tunes and dance on top of the impressive and majestic allegorical carts designed for each of the four holidays. They are accompanied by "comparsas" and "tunas" (cheerful groups of musicians and dancers) which delight young and old alike. At nights there are dances in popular public sites and streets that complete a full day of festivities.

People dress in party clothes and the dancing parades include decorated floats. After the parades at night, each tuna goes back to their toldo (their base) and join a large dancing party until early hours of the morning.

The time for rest is rather short since as soon as the sun appears the celebration begins once more. Come and see for yourself, live your own Panamanian carnival experience. The celebration in Las Tablas doesn’t have any limits, you must come prepared to enjoy an endless number of festive activities and dance all night!

THE GOD MOMO (EL DIOS MOMO)

Momo is a direct descendant of the god CAOS (chaos). Caos represented the abyss from where all should rise. His mother was NYX (the God of Night). His Childhood was spent with his brothers ERIDE (god of Discord) and APATE (god of trickery), MORO (god of destiny) and TANATO (the god of death). The legend of God Momo recounts that he was chosen to be the judge and to resolve disputes between HEFESTOS (God of Fire) and HADES(God of the hells) and ATENEA (Goddess of the intelligence and war) who individually designed a man, a bull, a house and they professed to have conquered perfection, each with their own invention.

Momo told Hefestos that his man was missing an opening on his left rib to guarantee immediate access to the heart in case of emergencies. Hades, who manufactured the bull was shown the inconvenience of a bull having horns on both sides and not in the middle which would result in improved efficiency during its hunting. He warned Atenea that at home there was something very important missing...mobility. He mentioned that in case a foreign undesirable being approached or if they were to become victims of the plague, there would be no place to go. Momo represents the outlandishness in criticism, the intelligent beratement. Habitually he represents by dressing as arlequin, hiding behind a mask and always accompanied by his manifestations with a cane (with the head of a doll at the end)...a sign of pure madness.

He is barely talked about in mythology legends because his sarcasm was not precisely a literary tool Greek dramalogues and contemporary writers had towards mythology which is usually heroic or historical. Momo has a warped sense of humor and an inventive capacity. He always had the shame of his symbolisms and associations with madness...pure madness.

PRODUCTION NOTES

SABOR TROPICAL, the latest film from filmmaker Jorge Ameer, exposes the tropical delicacies from the chicken of the trees to the joys, folklore and culture of Panamanian living. From the growing, to the preparation and consumption of some exotic foods, tropical flavor takes you on a journey of discovery through your host Brian played by the very talented Matthew Leitch star of the award winning film “AKA” . In his most daring role to date, Matthew shines as he shows his dexterity and long range of acting abilities as well as a zest for this very difficult character who dives into the tropics to document the local festivities of carnival. There, he discovers not only the local culture but also he is placed on a path of self discovery as he is forced to face a new set of adventures that will test his own personal and emotional endurance.

In an unprecedent artistic move, actor and executive producer Matthew Leitch unveils an emotional, physical and sexual part of him never seen on screen as he journeys through an awakening of his character Brian, a foreign journalist covering the local pagan festivities in Panama. In this deeply personal and affecting story, Brian the main character is very charismatic, complex and sometimes disturbingly contradicting. On the inside, his inability to let go of past romantic relationships keeps him stagnant in a way that prevents him from seeking new pleasures in life. Yet his outer image displays such charm and wit that it’s difficult to appreciate who the real Brian is or what he stands for. All of these factors will ultimately collide to produce a very true to life character for Matthew Leitch that will ultimately keep you wondering and strung along his path of self discovery.

MATTHEW LEITCH ON PREPARING FOR THE BRIAN ROLE

I received the script in late December 2008 and proceeded to read it over and over for the next few weeks. I made no judgement. I had no grand ideas about the character. I just absorbed what was on the page over, and over, and over. I find that is the best way to get it into my blood. I didn’t really understand what the piece needed from me until we began working. And then I realized I had to go big. Knock down all the doors or give in, shy away and sleepwalk through the whole thing. Praying for it to end.

I decided to go for it.

Male sexuality can quickly warp into violence and cruelty if it does not find satisfaction. Or, worse still, if it is mocked. I felt that Brian is a victim of both. Unable to find sexual fulfilment until a brief epiphany, and then mocked and betrayed when he discovers he's being used for his money.

Brian is a complex character. There is no middle ground at all. He is upbeat and charismatic, but also internally warped. I found it hard not to judge him. I did not like him. His actions make me despise him. So I had to access parts of myself that I cannot stand. My own ability to commit inexcusable acts.

I still wake up in a cold sweat over some of those scenes. Did I take it too far? You have to understand that I am a family man from a small village in England. It caused me immense distress to make this picture. To access all that bile and insecurity. There is one scene in particular that to this day makes me feel sick. But it is powerful and it is Brian. Perhaps some of the breakdown afterward is more me than him. So to dismiss him as not liking him is too simple. It is more that certain parts of him remind me of parts of me i don't like and want to forget.

Of course I love him too. But he can be violent and awful. I think that is where my anxiety came in. Finding truly awful parts of myself. And i suppose the sexual part. Him breaking down in a certain intense scene... you will know it when you see it for yourself... tapped into all that wierd and shameful catholic guilt about sex i was tortured by in my teens.
I would also like too add that my wife is an angel for doing this movie. And good God does she look fantastic !

 

HOLLYWOOD INDEPENDENTS & ARIZTICAL ENTERTAINMENT presents an A.J. PRODUCTIONS in association with CONTINUUM PICTURES a JORGE AMEER film “SABOR TROPICAL” starring MATTHEW LEITCH as BRIAN

JORGE AMEER JOSE ROSETE JEAN CARLOS LONDON TORIE TYSON

Executive producers JORGE AMEER MICHAEL SHOEL MATTHEW LEITCH JAMES DUVAL DANNY TORRES producer AUSTIN ANDERSON associate producer RICHARD SCOTT music JASON FRISCHETTI WINSTON JOHNSON (DIONYSOS) carnival music by TONADAS DE CALLE ABAJO with additional songs by LEANDRO CABEZA DE MARTILLO, edited by AUSTIN ANDERSON

CAST

Brian MATTHEW LEITCH

Jorge JORGE AMEER

Jean Carlos JEAN CARLOS LONDON

Manos JOSE ROSETE

Emma KIRSTIE LEICH

Claudia TORIE TYSON

Calle Abajo President RAUL MONTENEGRO

Airline front desk agent LORENA BORGUEZ

Iguana Cleaner LUIS CASTILLERO

Farm food taster/preparer RAMIRO DOMINGUEZ

Las Tablas resident DANIEL MEDINA

Carnival Interview ERIC BRUCE

Carnival Interview CHAY CARTER

Carnival Interview JOSE RODRIGUEZ

Carnival Interview ELENA REINA

Carnival Interview JORGE QUESADA

Carnival Interview ELOY CHACON SANABRIA

Kyuco Interview OLMEDO MENDOZA

Kyuco Owner MARIANELA DE PAZ

Kyuco waitress ZULEYKA JIMENEZ

Driver TELEMACO JESUS ATHANASIADIS

Piamonte Hotel Owner NELSON CEDENO

 

Piamonte front desk MARIO REYES

Rincon del Faro owner JUAN CARLOS URRIOLA

Analida carnival group REBEKA CHRISTENSEN

Petra carnival group HELENA TLEN

Carson carnival group BRADLEY MILDREN

Alana carnival group PUJA KALARIA

Monica carnival group NICOLE TREIPL

Carla carnival group ANGELA JOBIN

Sandra carnival group SALLI WALKER

Frank carnival group JONAS ZIELKE

Michael carnival group CARSON CLOSE

Yolanda carnival group YAJAIRA ROMAN

Barber shop attendant LUIS CARLOS DELGADO

Alex ERIN LINKLATER

CREW

Executive Producers

JORGE AMEER

MICHAEL SHOEL

MATTHEW LEITCH

JAMES DUVAL

DANNY TORRES

Producer

AUSTIN ANDERSON

Associate Producer

RICHARD SCOTT

Assistant Director/Production Manager

JEAN CARLOS LONDON

Catering

RESTAURANTE RINCON DEL FARO

RESTAURANTE PIAMONTE

Catering host for Piamonte

DALYS SOLIS

NEREIDA MORENO

ERIC VERGARA

Production Locations - Las Tablas

HOTEL PIAMONTE

BARBERIA SANTA LIBRADA

RINCON DEL FARO

PARQUE PORRAS

FINCA EL ESPINAL

Piamonte On site staff

LISET JIMENEZ

YADITH MEDINA

Security

LUIS GUTIERREZ

MARIO REYES

KYUCO On site staff

MARIANELA DE PAZ

ZULEIYKA JANETH JIMENEZ

Las Tablas On Site Collaborators

HOTEL PIAMONTE

NELSON CEDENO

MIRNA DE CEDENO

HERCILIA CEDENO

Permits- Carnival Directive –Calle Abajo

RAUL MONTENEGRO

Consultant

LUCA VARISCO – HOTEL LA LUNA

Transportation (Panama – Las Tablas)

JINILIZ MORAN

TELEMACO JESUS DIAZ

Promotional Considerations

JUAN CARLOS URRIOLA

RESTAURANTE RINCON DEL FARO

HOTEL/RESTAURANTE PIAMONTE

KYUCO – CAUSEWAY

FINCA EL ESPINAL

RAMIRO DOMINGUEZ

Iguana handler - Finca Espinal

LUIS CASTILLO

Production Assitants

DANIEL MEDINA

JOSE RODRIGUEZ

 

MUSIC

“Solamente los dos”

musical composition by

JASON FRISCHETTI

“The long walk home”

musical composition by

JASON FRISCHETTI

“Robbin Hood”

musical composition by

JASON FRISCHETTI

“All of the same”

musical composition by

JASON FRISCHETTI

“Americana”

musical composition by

JASON FRISCHETTI

SONGS

Quizas perdiendo el tiempo

“Maybe I’m loosing time”

performed by ARTURO CARRASQUERO (LEANDRO)

No devo sentirme asi

“I should not be feeling like this”

performed by ARTURO CARRASQUERO (LEANDRO)

Me sangra el corazon

“My heart is bleeding”

performed by ARTURO CARRASQUERO (LEANDRO)

Me duele decirte

“It hurts me to tell you”

performed by ARTURO CARRASQUERO (LEANDRO)

LEANDRO’S music available at

www.myspace.com/idiomass

TONADAS DE CALLE ABAJO

From the 50 th Queen celebration

of the tuna of Calle Abajo

CABEZA DE MARTILLO

POST PRODUCTION

CONTINUUM PICTURES

FILMPLANE ENTERTAINMENT