But that's all about to change. Seven years after the release of his last feature film Keith, Kessler, the co-creator of children's TV series Blue's Clues, is back with a new multicultural musical drama, Bazodee. The film is set for its world premiere later this month at the 2015 Trinidad+Tobago Film Festival.
Anchoring the luster of the project is the fact that Bozadee marks the acting debut of soca music star Machel Montano, whose decades of music lap the film experience of Kessler by about ten years and have granted him the nickname "King of Soca." From the recent announcement:
Bazodee is a musical drama about a rugged soca singer (Lee, played by Montano) who falls for a beautiful young Indian woman (Anita, played by Natalie Perera, a London-born newcomer of Sri Lankan parentage). Anita happens to be engaged to Kumar, a man she doesn’t love (Staz Nair, who’s set to join the cast of Game of Thrones for Season Eight of the popular show.)
Anita is the daughter of Ram (Bollywood star Kabir Bedi), a secretly deep-in-debt businessman. When Anita encounters Lee, hired at the last minute to perform at her engagement party, sparks fly, and soon the two fall for each other. Nikhil (UK-based T&T actor Valmike Rampersad), Anita’s malevolent, future brother-in-law, notices. Once he discovers the truth about Ram’s finances, Nikhil threatens to expose everything, forcing Anita to fight for the wealth that truly matters - love.
Bazodee also features acting talents of a number of other T&T actors, including Teneille Newallo, who plays Poorvi, Anita’s cousin; and Cindy F. Daniel, who plays Anita’s servant Lalima.
Following the film's September 23rd gala unveiling at the Globe Cinema in Port of Spain, Montano will perform at the after-party. It's a VIP event for sure; tickets for the film are $250 and $350 if the after-party is included.