Conversation with Tony Hendriks on his new film, Shoot the Girl

Tony Hendriks

We recently caught up with Jamaican actor, comedian and filmmaker Tony Hendriks as he was getting ready for the Fort Lauderdale Film Festival.  At the festival he will be showcasing his new film Shoot the Girl”. The film is written by Tony Hendriks, directed by Natalie Thompson, produced by them both. Here is our conversation with Tony Hendriks.

Tell us about the film “Shoot The Girl”?
“Shoot The Girl” is about ten year old Trench Town girl Likkle who must outwit area don Satan after he kills her father and is coming for her, proving “Brains will always beat brawn”.

Is this a Jamaican movie or a movie with Jamaicans?
100% Jamaican. The screenplay was written by me, Natalie Thompson directed it, we both produced and the film is filmed entirely in Trench Town and Rose Town, Jamaica.

Is the movie based on a true story?
It’s a work of fiction but the idea comes from knowing people in Trench Town and other inner city areas and what they face on a daily basis. So many people live in fear of violence and life threatening danger and nowadays outsiders get a glimpse of ghetto life via Facebook, Snapchat, Periscope, Instagram, etc.

Has the film been screened by an audience yet?
Five short films were made via the JAFTA PROPELLA initiative and CHASE Fund in association with JAMPRO and first shown in Port Of Spain, Trinidad at TTFF and was well received. We also had a cast and crew showing last week which was off da hook!

Is the movie entered in any festivals?
Not yet in any competitions.

How will the movie be distributed? Are you currently working on getting it in theaters?
As a short film it’s more about showing at festivals initially and being used a calling card to show the talents of the director, writer and actors but we are considering all options.

Tell us about some of the talented actors in the film?
Our short film stars Rejalla Ellis, her father Joel Ellis (granddaughter and eldest son of Owen Blakka Ellis), Glen Campbell as Satan, Kadeem Wilson, David Crossgill and Peter Heslop as Nomad a homeless man.

What is your next project?
I write and record a weekly radio bite for radio in Fort Lauderdale and New York and as a writer am constantly making notes and ideas. As we speak I am writing a feature length screenplay for Shoot The Girl and Natalie and I are developing other ideas to produce for T.H.E. Picture Co. Ltd.

What advice do you have for young filmmakers?
Watch as many films in as many genres as you can and learn from them all. Good, bad and ugly. Read as many books on storytelling, screenwriting and directing as you can lay your eyes on and learn from them all. Good, bad and ugly! Tell stories you really care about. Life is not a dress rehearsal. You’re on air now!

Your favorite Jamaican food is…?
I could exist on Rice & Peas and gravy alone but add Fried Ripe Plantain and Ox Tail and me do anything for you.

Seven day, six night, all expense paid, my vacation destination is…
Jamaica is hard to beat but it’s easy to understand why Greeks created stories about their God’s if you go to the island of Santorini and stay in Fira or Oia above the caldera.

When can we see your film?
The Fort Lauderdale Film Festival Saturday 12th November 2016, Cinema Pardiso 20:30hours.

Thanks for the interview any closing thoughts for visitors to
Travel the world and you will realize just how magnificent Jamaica truly is!


About the author

Xavier Murphy