Interview: Colin Roach

BSN: What audience do you expect this film to find?
CR: We are really going after spiritual communities globally, but specifically, the African-American, Canadian, English, African, Caribbean and Brazilian markets are our bulls-eye targets.


Born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago, Colin Keith Roach migrated to New York City in 1970 before moving on to Los Angeles seven years later.

He attended college out West, earning an undergraduate degree in Industrial Engineering and a graduate degree in Public Administration from California State Dominguez Hills and California State Los Angeles Universities.

In the mid-Eighties, he studied ancient Egyptian history and its related spirituality, authoring numerous articles on the Egyptian philosophy of MAAT, focusing on its application to contemporary life. After recently developing an interest in filmmaking, he wrote a screenplay, “Light the Flambeau,” and produced a very intriguing, professional-quality trailer for it which can be viewed at:

By day, he’s the Industrial Engineering Manager of a large fireplace manufacturing company in L.A., though he’s currently co-writing another script called “Downside.” Colin is divorced and has two sons but he is about to remarry soon. Here, he talks about “Light the Flambeau,” which he hopes to turn into a full-length feature. The movie is about a suicidal, 21 year-old college student’s attempt to convince the father he has just met to take him back to their Caribbean roots to heal his illness.

Are you related to the late Trinidadian poet, Eric Roach, who is known as the Black Yeats?
CR: He was my father.

I was a Black literature major, and enjoyed his work. Where did you come up with the idea for Light the Flambeau?
CR:  As they say, Kam, fiction usually has some elements of truth to it. My son entered my life when he was 21. To find answers, I simply drifted back through the generations and my experiences from growing up in a family in Tobago that really didn’t want me.

Do you identify with the main character?
CR: There are two main characters and I identify with both of them. I’ll let the audience decide whose story it is.

How would you describe the angst that he’s going through?
CR:  When one is battling for survival in an unorthodox way, you either build character if you don’t have it, or else lose your fight. Imagine a 21 year-old propelled by forces he cannot see, and fighting his inherited demons on a journey to save himself. Bloom or doom, human beings teach us something either way.

What genre of film would you consider this picture and what themes will it be exploring?
CR: To me and those who worked on the trailer, read and edited the script, it’s a spiritual melodrama. In Flambeau, people are struggling with the cards they were dealt, and with the consequences of the decisions they made. The results are deeply transformed characters.

What is your prior experience with moviemaking?
CR: None.

Did you study cinema in school?
CR: Just some workshops and classes in screenplay writing.

What audience do you expect this film to find?
CR: We are really going after spiritual communities globally, but specifically, the African-American, Canadian, English, African, Caribbean and Brazilian markets are our bulls-eye targets.

Are you looking for help to turn this trailer into a full-length feature?
CR: Boy are we! Part of our approach is to cast actors from each of the regions I just mentioned. We already have bios and photos from many actors. We have a budget done and would really like our community businesses to participate through our corporation that’s has already been set up.

When did you decide to take a shot at showbiz?
CR: I have lived in Los Angeles since 1977 but I am not employed in that industry. Living here gave me access to training and professionals but this type of project is independent. Hollywood studios make action thrillers and horror movies for 18 to 24 year-old audiences. They will have nothing to do with these types of non-white dramas, and that’s understandable. These stories must be told independently. To be successful, we must take risks and have support from like-minded people across the globe.

What’s the message of the movie?
CR:  I don’t want to give away much but I’ll say the story suggests the human capacity to grow and adapt is limitless when we step off the beaten path.

Do you plan to bring back the same cast members from the trailer to be in the movie?
CR:  That’s up to the fine production company, Production HQ, and Judy Marcelline who produced it. It’s their call, but I’ll say probably not. I think they would love to talk with Delroy Lindo about playing Noah.

Do you have any interest in perhaps acting in it yourself?
CR: Oh God, none.

Who’s your favorite director?
CR:  Mira Nira, the Indian lady who made Monsoon Wedding.

What do you do to unwind?
CR: I am energized by going after Caribbean immigrant stories. I have three log lines in the can. My cousin and I are working on one about a young man who rejects his family’s deeply-held values of hard work and opted for a very different lifestyle. He is on a journey also but in the wrong direction

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