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USVI’s Cinematic Milestone: ‘Timeless: A Virgin Islands Love Story’ Debuts on Amazon Prime

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Gaining immense appreciation since its 2015 debut in St. Thomas, the movie “Timeless: A Virgin Islands Love Story” is now streaming on one of the biggest platforms, Amazon Prime. This comes just a few weeks before the remembrance of Hurricane Irma’s devastating effect on the Virgin Islands on September 6.

The catastrophic impact of Hurricane Irma, especially on St. Thomas and St. John, deeply influenced the movie’s multifaceted creator – writer, producer, and director, Edward La Borde, Jr.

“Timeless” is a celebration of the Virgin Islands – both as a backdrop and in talent. Filmed entirely in the region, it sheds light on the local prowess, both in acting and film production. Notable actors include K’misha-Victoria Counts, Brummell Germain, Monai Greene, and Julien Baa, to name a few. Impressively, the cinematic journey spans over three years and 26 picturesque Virgin Islands locations.

A deep dive into the culture of the Virgin Islands, the film prominently features the festive spirit of Carnival. Iconic sites like the Whim Museum on St. Croix and the Legislature Building on Charlotte Amalie’s waterfront enrich the narrative fabric.

Narrating the film’s inception, Edward LaBorde Jr. shares, “It began with glimpses of 1800s Africa, an authentic portrayal of slavery, and a slave girl’s escape from a tempest. It then evolved into a fervent desire to weave a love story encapsulating vulnerability and societal pressure.”

The film intertwines two poignant love tales from diverse timelines but bearing a common essence. The story encapsulates the tragic separation of a Ghanaian warrior from her beloved due to the inhumane slave trade. Their souls find a path back to each other in modern times in the USVI, further complicated by a contemporary love triangle involving an immigrant from the Dominican Republic.

“Timeless” not only captivated its audience but also enticed D’Wayne Wiggings, the acclaimed music producer and co-founder of Tony! Toni! Toné! His musical flair graces the film’s soundtrack, with the standout track “Can’t Fight the Feeling”. Additionally, his partnership with Oakland Film and TV played a pivotal role in the film’s Amazon Prime Video distribution.

The sentiments of the Virgin Islands community were encapsulated by Joseph Boschulte, the Commissioner of the Dept. of Tourism. He remarked, “It’s a joy to witness the Virgin Islands being portrayed so authentically in ‘Timeless’. The film is a mirror to our rich history, vibrant culture, and breathtaking landscapes. We’re elated to share this gem with the global audience.”

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“Bob Marley: One Love” Shines at Box Office with Stellar Opening

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The cinematic landscape was awash with the rhythms of reggae this weekend as “Bob Marley: One Love,” a biopic celebrating the legendary Bob Marley, soared to the top of the box office charts. The film eclipsed its competition, including the much-anticipated Marvel entry “Madame Web,” which has faced a barrage of critical backlash.

Achieving a remarkable $12 million haul on Valentine’s Day, “Bob Marley: One Love” set a new benchmark for midweek releases on this romantic holiday, a feat not seen since “The Vow” captivated audiences in 2012. With projections estimating a six-day total of $30 million, the biopic significantly outshines “Madame Web,” which is poised to garner around $20 million.

“Bob Marley: One Love” has struck a chord with viewers, offering an intimate look into Marley’s struggles and triumphs alongside his revolutionary music that continues to influence countless individuals. While some critics have pointed out the film’s unevenness, the performances within have garnered acclaim, presenting a pivotal exploration of Marley’s contributions to music for a new generation. In contrast, “Madame Web” has stumbled, hampered by unfavorable critiques that spotlight its subpar dialogue and pacing, alongside tepid audience engagement reflected in its disappointing ratings on Rotten Tomatoes.

With a domestic gross surpassing $25 million, “Bob Marley: One Love” has made a significant financial splash, complemented by a burgeoning international reception. This victory over “Madame Web” underscores a trend where biographical films and narratives rooted in real-life experiences capture the hearts of viewers, likely attributed to their authentic connections and the profound emotions they evoke.

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Carmen Nibbs of St. Thomas Debuts Madras Fashion Dolls in Orlando

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Carmen Nibbs, a St. Thomian artist and doll stylist, is currently presenting her collection of madras fashion dolls at the Orlando Science Center. This exhibit is a part of the “ART SPEAKS: A Celebration of Black Artists,” an event dedicated to showcasing the artistic prowess of individuals from Central Florida.

Her exhibition, titled “Dolls in Madras Fashions – Cultural, Traditional and Modern,” has drawn considerable attention for its unique display of “Barbie”-sized dolls. These dolls are adorned in attire that pays homage to Caribbean culture, highlighting the region’s colorful fashion and vibrant madras fabrics. This display offers a visually captivating and culturally enriching experience to its viewers.

Hosted in the Science Center’s Fusion STEAM Gallery, which sees an annual footfall of approximately 700,000 visitors, the exhibit features seven distinct dolls. Each doll narrates a unique story, starting with the Moko Jumbies, which are iconic figures in the USVI and other Caribbean nations. The exhibit then transitions to “Three Generations of Traditional Madras Dolls,” a representation that beautifully encapsulates familial bonds.

As visitors continue their journey through the exhibit, they witness the versatility of madras fabric. One doll is dressed in traditional garb, while another is adorned in a contemporary outfit made from the official USVI madras pattern. This juxtaposition highlights the fabric’s adaptability in fashion.

Madras fabric, a key element of this exhibit, is celebrated for its rich and complex global history, tracing back to its origins in Madrasputnam, India, in the early 1500s. The fabric has since become an integral part of Caribbean culture, embodying a legacy of colonialism, trade, and tradition.

Ms. Nibbs, an alumnus of Charlotte Amalie High School and Temple University, Philadelphia, founded Laylee M. Doll Clothes in 2015. Her business, fueled by her passion for doll styling, operates through the Etsy e-commerce platform and enjoys a significant following on social media.

Her talent in sewing, a skill she attributes to her late grandmother Mabel Nibbs of Tortola, BVI, a skilled seamstress herself, has been central to her success. Despite the challenges of obtaining specialty fabrics in Central Florida, Ms. Nibbs remains thankful to her friends in St. Thomas, who ensure she has a consistent supply of the exclusive territorial Madras and other prints.

The “Dolls in Madras Fashions” exhibit is set to be open to the public from January 13 to April 4.

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Madison Ramsingh: A Dazzling Star at the Miss Earth International Pageant in Vietnam

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Madison Ramsingh, the proud representative of the U.S. Virgin Islands, has emerged as a remarkable contender in the ongoing Miss Earth International Pageant in Vietnam. Madison’s stellar performances in various segments have not only showcased her diverse talents but also brought significant honor to her homeland.

In the talent segment, Madison’s exceptional skills shone brightly, earning her widespread acclaim. Her poise and charisma were equally impressive in the swimwear segment, captivating both the audience and the judges. In a nod to the pageant’s environmental theme, Madison’s national costume, inspired by mangroves, displayed a creative blend of fashion and nature.

Her sophistication and style were unmistakable in the fashion show segment, further solidifying her status as a key competitor in the pageant.

Madison’s participation is more than a display of talent and elegance; it is a celebration of the U.S. Virgin Islands’ culture and spirit, which she personifies gracefully.

In the People’s Choice category, Madison initially led the pack, supported by an overwhelming number of votes from her fans. However, a recent change in the voting rules, allowing double votes from a different segment, has affected her standing in this category.

With the pageant concluding in just a few days, it’s essential to mobilize support for Madison to help her reclaim the top position and ensure her spot among the top 20 contestants. Her journey at the pageant symbolizes not just her individual aspirations but also the pride and spirit of the U.S. Virgin Islands on a global platform.

To back Madison Ramsingh in the Miss Earth Pageant, supporters can cast their votes through the provided link. The Miss U.S. Virgin Islands team is diligently updating the Miss USVI and Miss Earth USVI social media channels with the latest on Madison’s journey and emphasizing the significance of voting in these pivotal final moments of the competition.

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