The name Richard B. Mahase has been synonymous with many extraordinary writings. But his latest spectacular piece is likely to be the most captivating he has ever put his hands to.
The piece in question is a script for a dramatic movie called, ‘The Tenant: Rent’s due’ which he also directed.
The movie can easily be categorised as a masterpiece, which Mahase, a Guyanese who migrated to the United States a number of years ago, was able to create with the support of George Subraj ahead of his [Subraj’s] passing in November 2016.
Subraj, a Guyanese by birth, was a renowned philanthropist and business mogul who migrated many years ago to the United States. He was able to make it big there.
The Guyanese-made movie, which is expected to be appealing to many immigrants, is scheduled for a July 25, 2019 grand opening at the Giftland Mall’s Caribbean Cinemas at Plantation Pattensen, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown.
Mahase is currently here in Guyana to promote the movie.
At a press conference on Friday in the Caribbean Cinema’s party room, he credited Subraj as the producer of film and disclosed that it was his life as a landlord, which was the motivation for it becoming a reality.
His promotion of the movie was supported by Subraj’s widow, Gloria; daughter, Jasmine; and long time friend, Jay Jainarine, who were all present at the press conference.
“We are proud to bring to Guyanese an American film which was made by Guyanese in the United States. It is a film, pre- and post-production, 100 percent done in the United States to the US level of production,” Mahase said.
“Mr. Subraj did not spare expenses in making a Hollywood-like film…He wanted it to be shown that Guyanese are capable of doing such a project.”
The film, which is set in New York, tells the tale of the business of renting apartments, which Mahase described as “an extremely challenging procedure that has many layers of difficulties and also layers of help.”
Subraj, Mahase explained, became one of the dynamic figures in Queens, New York in the early 1980s after he purchased his first apartment building. By 1992, Subraj was the owner of more than 20 buildings. The apartment building featured in the movie is in fact the property of Subraj.
At the press conference, Mahase reflected a bit on the life of Subraj. He recalled that after making a name for himself through a thriving housing venture – Zara Realty–, Subraj was inclined to give back to the less fortunate.
While it came naturally for him to lend support in his adopted country, Subraj also wanted to give back meaningfully to the land of his birth.
This saw him opting to do humanitarian work through a US-based charity foundation [founded by another Guyanese/American businessman – Tony Yassin] called Guyana Watch. In 2008, Subraj was able to pioneer Guyana’s first kidney transplants and after 25 missions, has been able to complete more than 25 such procedures.
There have been cornea transplants and free distribution of spectacles through its collaboration with the country’s premier public health institution – the Georgetown Public Hospital. Subraj was also passionate about education. He also made some very tangible donations to educational institutions here.
But according to Mahase, “He was also a man who felt that the society was never complete without the structure of the art…the art form is reflective of a society’s growth and how well we present ourselves.”
Inspired by Subraj’s life, Mahase said that he was given his blessing to create a screenplay for the movie to reflect his business and the struggles of people from all over the world who seek to make a life for themselves in New York and therefore have the need to rent an apartment.
It was in recognition of related challenges faced by many, himself included, when he first migrated to the United States, that Subraj decided to purchase buildings which he could in turn rent to the many people in need of accommodation.
But according to Mahase, while renting an apartment can be deemed a simplistic process, Subraj had come to the realisation that “qualifying to become a landlord in New York is a massive structure of conditions and requirements and paperwork.”
Mr. Subraj, according to Mahase, “Studied all of this; he self-taught himself how to handle this industry and today we can consider his business one of the iconic businesses as it pertains to apartment renting.”
The bottom-line, Mahase said, is that Subraj wanted to have a movie made where people could, in Guyana and around the world too, known exactly what he did as a business man. The PG rated movie starring Nick Radu, Kyoko, Allan McCormic, R. J. Kholi and Brent White, is one that highlights the life of Matt, played by Nick Radu, who is just one of a multitude of people from many walks of life, living in a run-down apartment building in New York.
Down on his luck, Matt finds himself behind on rent and locked out of this apartment.
Sleazy super, Marcel [R. J. Kholi], rents Matt’s apartment to two college girls, Reeda and Windee, looking to make it on their own. After coming up with the money, Matt reluctantly takes the keys from Marcel to another tenant’s apartment.
Mistaken identities, a bag of missing money and multiple kidnappings bring these strangers together to fight for their property, their home and their lives.
The 111-minute long movie, once opened next month, will have four shows daily.
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