‘Prerogative Of Mercy’ Screenplay Completed

December 5, 2017

The film screenplay, ‘Prerogative of Mercy,’ based on Island Flames, the best-selling book about the “last hangings on British soil and the December 1977 riots,” has been completed.

Jonathan Smith, President of Island Flames Limited which owns the screenplay rights, stated: “When we announced this project in 2016, we recognized the opportunity to produce this dramatic Bermudian story on an international scale with overseas partners.

“Prerogative of Mercy, the working title for the film, has significant potential for putting Bermuda on the map as a film production site and will realise employment benefits and injection of foreign capital at the production stage.”

A filmmaker collaborative, Afflare Films Ltd., consisting of the award-winning director Lucinda Spurling; writer and actress Liana Hall; and filmmaker, photographer and former broadcast-news journalist Alia Hamza were contracted to write the full length film version which was completed in the same week that the Island recognized the 40th Anniversary of the riots.

Alia Hamza, Lucinda Spurling & Liana Hall:

Island Flames Bermuda Dec 2017 (2)

The philosophy behind the collaborative is wholly consistent with the Bermuda Tourism Authority’s [BTA] pronouncements on a local film industry, the company said, adding that the BTA promotes Bermuda as a film location destination and joined the Association of Film Commissioners International at the 2016 Locations Expo to promote Bermuda as a photo and film destination.

Lucinda Spurling, owner of Afflare Films, said, “In the film industry, the screenplay is the commodity and is essential before any prospective producers and movie-investors become contractually engaged to convert the screenplay into a successful feature film.

“From conception to completion, the Prerogative of Mercy screenplay has been no small task. The timing of its completion could not be more serendipitous and it has been an incredibly enriching process for all involved. We are excited to finally share the story with potential partners in a bid to have it realized and further share this important story with the world. “

Spurling talked of the work ahead: “Moving forward, the Prerogative of Mercy team is actively seeking interested development partners in order to move towards actualizing the film’s production. 80% of the film will be filmed in Bermuda with the remainder in London.”

“The professional goal and significance of this project is not only to bring a film production to Bermuda, but chiefly to tell this globally relevant story for an international audience.

“It is also significant that this project is led by a team of four Bermudians who will shepherd this project into a film. True stories crowd the Oscar podium every year and we are convinced there is room for this. “

Smith added: “This Bermuda story of injustice, murder, struggle, racial discrimination, transformation and reform, resonates universally. My commitment to complete the book, Island Flames, and now embark on a film project is indicative of my passion that the story achieves a global reach.”

Alia Hamza and Liana Hall agreed that there is an increasingly vocal demand on the international scene for films of a diverse nature, specifically those that deal with issues facing minorities. Such subject matter allows for the involvement of actors and filmmakers who have historically been mostly excluded from these productions.

“The momentum in Hollywood for such stories and minority involvement is growing in force and the Island Flames team is committed to bringing this Bermudian story with universal themes to a wider audience.”

Former Premier Alex Scott, who is the last surviving Bermudian member of the Pitt Commission 1978, was interviewed extensively for the book and the film:

Island Flames Bermuda Dec 2017 (1)

Lucinda Spurling and Jonathan Smith have successfully collaborated before. Smith authored the non-fiction WWII based, In the Hour of Victory.

He was the Executive Producer of the award-winning documentary film based on the book while Spurling wrote and co-directed it with Andrew Kirkpatrick. The film won major awards at the Worldfest Houston International Film Festival in the USA and the Southampton International Film Festival, UK in 2013.

Island Flames was released in Bermuda during October 2015 and sold out within days. In 2015 and 2016, it was the #1 best-selling book in Bermuda and continues to sell here and internationally on Amazon.

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Comments (2)

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  1. Proud to be Bermudian says:

    Congratulations to you all.

  2. Jonathan Land Evans says:

    Jonathan Smith was a PLP politician. It is surely relevant to the piece.
    It certainly could be an interesting film, though (from the sound of it) rather slanted to the political left.