Shari Petti

IG: @sharipettiii | ScenePresents IG: @scenepresents |email:

When did you realise you wanted to work in the film industry?

I realized I wanted to work in the film industry the first couple days I interned behind the scenes on my first film set. I loved the fast pace, the energy of the people around me, solving problems for people, and overall, just being in a creative environment of such high intensity. I never experienced anything like that before and wanted to learn more!

What was your first production job that you worked on and what was it like?

The first production I worked on behind the scenes was Bazodee, before that I worked as an actress on camera before. That experience working behind the scenes was a major eye opener for me and the reason why I decided to pursue a degree in film. It was a lot of hard work, I did a lot of things I didn’t exactly want to do (like clean toilets and taking out the garbage  all day lol), but I knew the work i was putting in would lead to other opportunities. I also learned a lot about other departments by observing how things operated and that gave me the confidence to take on other positions in the film industry in the future when presented with opportunities.

Why “Scene Productions” and what do you want to shoot?

I wanted to start a platform to display my work, since there were a lot of projects I wanted create, but I didn’t want them to all be on my personal social media pages, and I also needed to register a company in order to formalize my career, so the idea came at the right time. I started making my own content because I found that when I spent hours on YouTube, I rarely ever found channels dedicated to content from the Caribbean that wasn’t a vlog, or music videos, so I wanted to contribute to the kind of work people saw when they searched Trinidad or the Caribbean on YouTube. It’s a platform I want to grow beyond what it is currently, as a place where anyone from anywhere in the world can browse if they want to see mostly short form digital media from the Caribbean, and I hope to expand and make content in the diaspora as well. Whether it be short documentaries, narrative and documentary series, short films, investigative journalism, experimental work etc.

How has the pandemic encouraged you to explore film otherwise?

Honestly, during this time I have mainly been doing a lot of post-production work, and research. I filmed a good bit of projects right before lockdown, so I’ve seen picture locking projects I would have had in progress for a while, editing projects that were shot right before the pandemic, and jotting down ideas for new work I plan to make in the future, and watching a lot of movies and series.

As a Caribbean filmmaker what inspires you?

What inspires me is my community and my family and the fact that I want to be an example for them and encourage them to take steps towards achieving their goals and not using their circumstances as an excuse to settle for less. I want them to see that I look like them, grew up around them, and was able to make something of myself regardless of the challenges I would have faced growing up. And I also want to be in a position to assist them financially and otherwise, so I know I have a lot of work to do still.

What is your hope for the Caribbean industry?

I hope that one day watching a Caribbean film in the movie theatres, Netflix, television and other platforms across the region and the globe, becomes the norm and not a “once in a while” experience. I want us to be able to profit off of our films and really make our mark in the global film industry just as Nollywood, Bollywood and Hollywood.

What advice can you give to persons interested in working in the film industry?

I will say to research on YouTube or via books as much as you can about the industry to see if this is something for you because it takes up a lot of your time. I would also suggest reaching out to the people in your local industry and ask if they need a hand or assistance in anyway, even if it’s for free. A lot of times that’s how people get to experience being on set for the first time and if you perform well, I’m sure people would want you around more.