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Fangirlin' News

Interview with Caribbean Screenwriter Diane De La Haye

Caribbean filmmakers, Diane De La Haye and Peter Sagnia created a comedy film titled Fab 4 and the Silent Retreat. To celebrate the project–which had a screening at Caribbean Cinemas on St. Maarten, I spoke with Diane. So, if you’re a screenwriter or interested in Caribbean films, click the YouTube video below. Diane and I discuss the writing and producing process. We also watch the amazing trailer for Fab 4 and the Silent Retreat.

About Caribbean screenwriter, Diane De La Haye

Diane De La Haye is a Jamaican-Canadian screenwriter and story editor. She studied scriptwriting at Vancouver Film School. Diane is a Partner and Instructor at Media Business Institute and MBI Productions in Toronto where she’s worked on film projects such as Shalom Jamaica, Of Cod and Rum, and Rasta: a Soul’s Journey.

https://www.twitter.com/dianedelahaye
https://www.mediabusinessinstitute.com/mbi-productions
delahaye[at]mediabusinessinstitute[dot]com

Fab 4 and the Silent Retreat

Faced with a myriad of issues as they approach 40, a group of loud, feisty Caribbean friends travel to Nepal for a Silent Retreat.

‘Fab 4’ was written by Diane de la Haye and directed by Peter Sagnia. The super funny comedic short film was shot on St Maarten and stars Rita Gumbs, Shama Flurton, Clarisse Glasgow and Kedisha Vidal.

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Fangirlin' News

‘Fab 4 and the Silent Retreat’ movie premier

Hey Friends,

How you been? Today I’m celebrating my nephew’s birthday. He’s so tall and beautiful and smart!

Speaking of things to celebrate. Congratulations to Diane de la Haye and Peter Sagnia on the premiere of their film Fab 4 and the Silent Retreat. They will be holding a screening on March 8 at Caribbean Cinemas on St. Maarten.

Diane and Peter are collaborators on The Wonderful Counsellor. Fab 4 was written by Diane and directed by Peter. The super funny comedic short film was shot on St Maarten and stars Rita Gumbs, Shama Flurton, Clarisse Glasgow and Kedisha Vidal.

Fab 4 and the Silent Retreat

Faced with a myriad of issues as they approach 40, a group of loud, feisty Caribbean friends travel to Nepal for a Silent Retreat.

Fab 4 and the Silent Retreat is loosely based on a group of actual friends from Jamaica, all born in December, who meet up somewhere in the world to celebrate milestone birthdays and experience a memorable adventure.

I’m grateful to have met Peter through Onicia, thrilled at his brilliant execution of the project and touched by how well the talented actresses in St. Maarten brought my words to life.” — Diane de la Haye.

Diane de la Haye - Jamaican screenwriter
Diane de la Haye, Fab 4 and the Silent Retreat sreenwriter


A sketchy dinner date with a broke sugar daddy—Just Being Funny

Whoring ain’t easy. Mess around with the wrong stranger, and we’d end up like that girl in Taken. And ain’t nobody looking for two broke black girls who were last seen in a hostel. KEEP READING

Big Man Dan: Heartbreak Happens

TBT to Kafi Kareem’s (@KafiKareem) super hilarious animated web series Big Man Dan.

In May 2018, reports of a shootout between two police officers shocked the nation of Trinidad & Tobago. In “Heartbreak Happens,” Dan of Story Play TV’s Big Man Dan re-imagines how he would have handled the heartbreak that led two officers to open fire on each other.
Heartbreak Happens – #BigManTing PSA 1

Black-owned funny greeting cards

Let the Black people in your life know you care. Send them a funny greeting card. [JOIN MAILING LIST] for 30% off all orders over $20.

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News Onicia Updates

I produced a TV pilot! — Onicia Update

Happy Black History Month! I PRODUCED MY FIRST FULL-LENGTH TV PILOT!!!!

Having a television show that runs for 3+ seasons is one of my big career goals. Filming a pilot is a looooong way from that goal, but it is a major milestone. I won’t share the entire pilot because we’re shopping the idea and seeking additional funding to produce the other 5 episodes of season 1. However, I can share the trailer. 

Special thanks to Peter Sagnia for trusting me with his story idea and to Diane de la Haye and Maya Montrell for providing additional writing and story support.

When I have a moment, I’ll post the full project details with cast and crew info. Please, ‘like’, share, and leave a comment.

2021 Resolution and Goals
In December, I shared that I didn’t want to make plans for 2021, but I lowkey felt inspired to write and workshop a new half-hour pilot. I also wanted to rest more. Well, I did just that. I took the entire month of January off. I feel pretty refreshed.

I wrote a new pilot called Matched. Very thankful to my friends Devin Whitlock and erica Dreisbach for their feedback and encouragement. Now I have a kickin’ script to submit to Sundance’s Episodic Lab and Warner Media Access’ (f.k.a. HBOAccess) fellowship.

On set of The Wonderful Counsellor, a Caribbean TV drama by Peter Sagnia and Onicia Muller

Want to own an original Onicia Greetings? Buy a greeting card from my online store. Cards not your thing? Consider sending me ice cream money. Full disclosure: sometimes, I buy cookies instead of ice cream.

Lastly, I want to thank the GOOD web developer erica dreisbach for creating my new WordPress website. Holla at her. 

Looking for a content writer or editorHire me to write snappy blogs, articles or witty social media posts! HeyOnicia[at]niciaMuller[dot]com

Categories
Stories TV Scripts

The Wonderful Counsellor — Original TV pilot by Peter Sagnia and Onicia Muller

Logline: After his wife requests a divorce, a moralistic psychologist with a struggling practice learns to let go of perfection and relearn the life coping lessons usually reserved for his patients.

‘The Wonderful Counsellor’ was created, directed, and produced by Peter Sagnia. The pilot was written by Onicia Muller. Subsequent episodes were written by Diane De La Haye.

Cast: Edsel Monzon, Jenise Diaz, Shama Flurton, Denicia Liverpool, Frankie Pena, Ayana Mossell, and Adelicia Mossell.

Pilot synopsis

ACT I

Dr. Michael Williams, a moralistic psychologist, wraps up a team meeting with his wife, Chloe Williams, and his assistant, Amanda Thompson. The business is struggling and needs more clients. Amanda suggests beefing up their social media. Chloe is a bit distant. She says she’s more worried about getting the cafe ready for the day.

Later that morning, Michael has a session with Diane and her overbearing mother Sarah. This is Sarah’s first time sitting in on a session and she wants to know if Michael is making progress with convincing Diane to become a doctor or lawyer.

Over at the cafe, Cloe’s friend Vanessa comes to gush about her fabulous birthday present. Her husband Kenneth is taking her on an Alaskan cruise. Chloe is jealous and realizes she can never have that with Michael.

Back at the office, Michael is wrapping up his session with Diane and Sarah. Sarah is upset to learn that Micheal and Diane have been spending the time talking about Sarah’s inappropriate dating life instead of school options. 

Amanada is attempting to film a YouTube video. She’s very stiff on camera and decides it’s better to just encourage Michael to take on the task.

As Sarah and Diane leave, Sarah tells Amanda that she’s canceling all future sessions with Michael because he seems unreliable. They are going to a therapist with a larger social media following. Sarah likes what that therapist promotes.  Amanda interprets that as a sign that vlogging is a way to be more relatable.

ACT II

Michael overhears Sarah’s ranting from his office. He calls Chloe to lament about yet another client leaving. Chloe laments that they both work too much, have very little, and she’s running out of time to have kids. As Michael offers an apology, Chloe cuts him off to say she wants a divorce.

Before Michael can respond, Amanda enters. Amanda pressures Michael to start vlogging ASAP. He needs to share his feelings and be relatable or else they will be out of business. Chloe hangs up.

Distraught, Michael finally records the vlog Amanda has been nagging him about. The vlog turns personal and he decides to delete it. 

However, he’s interrupted when Chloe shows up with divorce papers.  Michael takes Chloe somewhere private to talk.

Moments later, Amanda enters and finds the vlog. She uploads it to YouTube without watching the full video.

ACT III

Chloe is about to serve a customer who is watching a video. She recognizes Michael’s voice. The customer reacts loudly and says they are going to share the video with their friends. 

Amanda and Sarah speak on the phone. Because Diane refuses to talk to the new doctor, Sarah is forced to return to Dr. Michael. The women discuss scheduling a new appointment.

As Michael enters, Amanda thanks him for the vlog. It’s going viral. Micheal has no idea what she’s talking about. By the time Amanda can explain, Chloe shows up to chew both of them out. Chloe tells Michael to delete the video and sign the divorce papers immediately. 

Instead of deleting the vlog Michael decides to continue on this path of radical vulnerability. Michael is determined to woo her back with this new life perspective. Michael assures Amanda that her job is still assured and that they’ll keep vlogging.  

About the team

Peter Sagnia – Creator/Director/Producer

Peter Sagnia is a Caribbean filmmaker with over 20 years of experience. His commercial video production clients include NBC, Masterclass, ABC, Telem, Government of U.S Virgin Islands and many more. He’s worked in the United Kingdom, United States, Sint Maarten, U.S Virgin Islands. Other cinematic works by Peter includes ‘Meltdown,’ ‘Family,’ ‘Preciosa,’ ‘That Which is Needful,’ and ‘Consumed.’

Diane De La Haye

Diane is Canadian-Jamaican Screenwriter who left the corporate world after 15 years to pursue a career in Film. After earning a “Writing for Film and TV” Diploma from the  Vancouver Film School, she worked in Script Development at Goldrush Entertainment in Montreal, and was a Judge with both ACTRA Toronto’s “Women of Color Creators Short Film challenge” as well as NYC Midnight Short Film Screenplay Competition.

Diane has been commissioned to write screenplays and pitch bibles for leading Canadian and Jamaican film producers/production companies and her Sketch Comedy “Fab 4” was featured at the NaSkeWriMo in Chicago.

In between all this, Diane feeds herself by freelancing as a Film Festival Promotions and Operations Manager in Toronto, Jamaica and Barbados.