Critically-acclaimed sitcom Lord Have Mercy! starring Trinidadian comedian Dennis 'Sprangalang' Hall hits the airwaves in Trinidad
Posted 05-01-08

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Dennis 'Sprangalang' Hall, right, as Pastor StevensToronto - April 30, 2008 -- The debut season of Canada's Gemini-nominated sitcom Lord Have Mercy! has been picked up by Gayelle TV and NCC TV in Trinidad. Co-created and directed by Trinidadian filmmaker Frances-Anne Solomon, Lord Have Mercy! is a groundbreaking multicultural comedy series starring Trinidadian comedian and actor Dennis 'Sprangalang' Hall and Jamaican icon Leonie Forbes. The sitcom will debut on Gayelle TV on Friday May 2nd at 8 p.m. and continue weekly. NCC TV will air a Lord Have Mercy! marathon from May 5 - 21.

The show debuted in 2003 on Canada's Vision TV, and several national television critics weighed in on the multicultural sitcom. John Doyle of the Globe and Mail called Lord Have Mercy! "cheerful, brimming with clichés and fabulously light."

Set in a storefront church called Mt.. Zion, the series centres on the friction between a father-in-law and son-in-law team of pastors, and the array of eccentric characters and unusual personalities who frequent the church. Hall portrays Pastor Lloyd Cuthbert Stevens, the more senior or the two main characters.

In addition to Lord Have Mercy!, Hall has been making headlines in Trinidad lately, for a more recent acting role - his portrayal of "Professa" in Solomon's dramatic feature film A Winter Tale. The film will make Trinidad its premiere with a red carpet launch screening and reception on May 14 at 6:30pm at the Globe Cinema. A Winter Tale will go into general release across the island on May 15 at Cinema 8, Trincity Mall; Hobosco Cinema, San Fernando; and Globe Cinema, Port of Spain.

A Winter Tale's Trinidad premiere marks the second stop in a string of theatrical releases scheduled to take place across the Caribbean. It is generously sponsored by the T&T Entertainment Company, Trinidad and Tobago Film Company, E-Zone Entertainment Ltd Skywritings, Caribbean Beat, COTT, Gayelle TV, NCC TV, CNMG, Red 96.7FM, Synergy TV, E-Zone Entertainment Ltd., EZ Rental and Maria Habib.

Last September, the film took home the People's Choice Award for Best Feature at the 2007 Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival. It also won the Outstanding Canadian Feature Film Award at the 2007 ReelWorld Film Festival, and Best Foreign Film at the San Diego Black Film Festival.

A Winter Tale features a brilliant cast including Trinidadian comedian and actor Dennis "Sprangalang" Hall who portrays "Professa" in the movie, alongside international stars such as Jamaican icon Leonie Forbes and Jamaican-Canadian star Peter Williams, who was dubbed one of Canada's finest actors by the Montreal Gazette.

Over the past year A Winter Tale has traveled the world, garnering awards and international recognition through film festivals in Toronto, Montreal, Halifax, New York, Atlanta, Los Angeles, India, Trinidad, England and Germany.

The film has had the honour of opening and closing a number of festivals, including the prestigious ReelWorld Film Festival in Toronto. Most recently, A Winter Tale was selected to open the 15th annual African Diaspora Film Festival in Manhattan, the largest festival of black cinema on the east coast.

In addition, A Winter Tale's community distribution project Talk It Out will continue in Trinidad, as the film screens to groups of young people through high schools and community organizations. A number of riveting Talk It Out sessions took place across Jamaica, where audiences witnessed an outpouring of emotion, as many young people expressed their appreciation of the film's relevance to their own personal experiences.

Frances-Anne Solomon is an award-winning filmmaker, writer, director and producer. She is the president and artistic director of the two companies she founded: Leda Serene Films and CaribbeanTales, and has also worked as a film and television drama producer for the BBC.

Recent projects include A Winter Tale (for Telefilm Canada/CHUM Television); Heart Beat (Bravo!) which profiles Caribbean musical creators; Literature Alive, a multi-facetted multimedia project profiling Caribbean authors; and the Gemini-nominated Lord Have Mercy!, Canada's landmark multicultural sitcom, for Vision TV, Toronto1, APTN and Showcase.

Dennis "Sprangalang" Hall is a popular comedian, historian, producer and singer/composer from Trinidad. He has previously worked with CaribbeanTales in the Gemini-nominated sitcom Lord Have Mercy!

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