NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Goombay Kids, the Bahamas-produced children’s show, has created international buzz with five international awards under its belt, now including Cannes World Film Festival awards for Best Web/TV Series and Best Producer for Stephanie K Nihon, who created the show.
The wins come on the heels of Leah Eneas winning Best Actress for her character Mama DLo within the Multi Dimension Film Festival (UK) and Goombay Kids winning Best TV Pilot.
Nihon said: “Congratulations to the incredible writers, director, producers, crew and forged whose whole past summer was dedicated to creating this last season of Goombay Kids a reality.
“We couldn’t have done it without the dedication and support from REV Cable Bahamas, the MoVi Group, the Valley Boys Junkanoo group, the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture’s Cultural Grant and LFD Productions.”
The groundbreaking educational show features stunning Bahamian locations in addition to the Atlantis, the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas, the pirate museum, all of the Bahamian islands and even Junkanoo.
The manager producer of Goombay Kids is Rowena Poitier-Sutherland, niece of legendary Bahamian-American actor Sir Sidney Poitier.
She can also be the force behind the leading film and acting school within the Caribbean, Bahamas Artist Movement and the previous executive director of the Ministry of Culture.
Serving as senior producer is Leslie Ellis-Tynes, known for being the star and producer of the hit Bahamian talk show The Stew.
Nihon said: “The very talented all-Bahamian forged and crew made this vision come to life and I’m absolutely thrilled that they’ve been rewarded internationally for his or her exertions and dedication.
“It’s an ideal honor to be awarded Best TV Series and Best Producer by the Cannes World Film Festival, who frequently awards well-known faces through its prestigious award event.”
Nihon continues to offer opportunities for creatives, using a neighborhood forged and crew, including the three stars of the show — child actor Javien Rankine (Netflix’s Mighty Express), Ravyn White and Keara Jones, all with CMM Talent Agency in The Bahamas — in addition to actress Leah Eneas (Beneath The Blue, Miracle at St Anna) and director/filmmaker Lanthro Munroe (Coco Studios, Tyler Perry Studios).
The Movi Group (Orbitz, Miss Universe, HGTV, Atlantis) worked together with Goombay Kids to offer crew, equipment and editors.
The all-Bahamian team behind the award-winning Goombay Kids television show includes creator and executive producer Stephanie K Nihon; Senior Producer Leslie Ellis-Tynes; Atlanta-based Bahamian Director Lanthro Munroe (Coco Studios, Tyler Perry Studios); and Rowena Poitier-Sutherland, niece of legendary Bahamian-American actor Sir Sidney Poitier who can also be the force behind the leading film and acting school within the Caribbean, Bahamas Artist Movement and former executive director on the Ministry of Culture. (GOOMBAY KIDS)
An episode of Goombay Kids being filmed on the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas (NAGB). (GOOMBAY KIDS)
Javien Rankine (Netflix’s Mighty Express), Ravyn White and Keara Jones, all with CMM Talent Agency in The Bahamas, are the kid stars of Goombay Kids. (GOOMBAY KIDS)
Acclaimed Bahamian actress and Fisk University graduate Leah Eneas was named Multi Dimension Film Festival (UK) Best Actress for her role as Mama DLo on Goombay Kids. The character has drawn comparisons to Queen Quet of the Gullah Geechee and west African deity of the ocean Yemaya. (GOOMBAY KIDS)
Eneas said: “It’s going to sound cliché, nevertheless it feels surreal and I still can’t imagine it.
“I didn’t even know I had been entered within the category at so many film festivals to start with, so it was an enormous surprise.
“I feel ‘legit’ now, despite the fact that I literally have a level in performance.”
Eneas graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Dramatics and Speech/Dance and Communications from Fisk University, where she pledged Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc in 2005.
Her character on Goombay Kids has been in comparison with Queen Quet of the Gullah Geechee people and Yemaya, a west African deity of motherhood and the ocean.
“This character felt very natural for me to play. Mama DLo sings, crochets and tells stories identical to I do,” said Eneas.
“She protects the kids, together with protecting the legends and stories of the African diaspora in The Bahamas and The Caribbean.
“I feel that because the actress playing her, I’m passing on the legacy and the stories to all the long run Bahamian children in the humanities.
“She could be very essential to me and my development as a performer.”
For more information and auditions for the following season, visit @goombaykids on Facebook or Instagram.
Other awards and festival recognitions:
- Award winner for Best TV Series at the two 11 17 International Film Festival in Tamil Nadu, India.
- Award winner for the Multi Dimension Film Festival for Best TV Series.
- Award winner for the Multi Dimension Film Festival for Best Actress.
- Finalist within the St Petersburg Television and Film Festival for Best TV or Web Series.
- Official selection within the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival (Coalition for Quality Children’s Media) for Best Episodic.
- Semi-finalist within the London Indie & Short Film Festival for Best Episodic.
- Quarter-finalist within the Vancouver Independent Film Festival.