Auntie is a 16 minute film written and directed by Lisa Harewood, a filmmaker from Barbados. It was one of five shorts selected for development by the Commonwealth Foundation under its Commonwealth Shorts programme, a capacity building scheme to give emerging writers/directors the opportunity to make a film which highlights issues affecting them and their communities on the theme of inter-generational relationships.
Auntie focused on the issue of parental separation through migration, a very common, yet largely undiscussed aspect of Caribbean life. In many instances migrants with children will opt to leave them behind temporarily while they set up a new life in a new country. In the interim, children are looked after by family members or trusted members of the community.
In the film, the lead character “Auntie” (Marcia Burrowes) is a middle-aged seamstress and respected caregiver in her rural Barbadian community. Twelve year old Kera (CheAnnika Mayers) is her latest ward and a special child, left in Auntie’s care when her mother migrated to England in search of a better life. Seven years later, the two have grown close and Auntie is confronted with the day she has long dreaded when the plane ticket arrives that will reunite Kera with her mother. Unable to accept the inevitable, Auntie makes a hasty decision that goes against everything she stands for and risks damaging the special bond between them on the eve of the child’s departure.