Published on April 15, 2016 by Made Better Media

Atlantic Heart

Our studio is next door to writer/director Robbie McCallum of The Brighton Brothers, which over the last couple of years has led to a great deal of collaboration. Probably the biggest project we have worked on together was the post-production of his feature film Atlantic Heart, which was shown at the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles this year.



Atlantic Heart is the first film ever in ‘Kriolu’, Cape Verdean Creole. In fact, there is a very good chance the script is the longest document ever written in the language, which the oldest surviving creole in the world. Almost all the actors are from Cape Verde.

The film tells a compelling tale from a single, unique perspective. Set on the tropical island of São Vicente, Cape Verde, an exotic corner of Africa with a rich colonial past, teenage siblings Lucas and Telma struggle to survive the seedier side of island life and hold on to their dreams whilst the outside world conspires to rob them of their innocence.

Naive Lucas sets out on a life-changing journey, searching the favelas, bars, and brothels to find his lost puppy before the authorities capture and destroy the animal in their pre-Carnival clear up. During his odyssey, Lucas learns Telma's new boyfriend is in fact a ruthless pimp, grooming her for prostitution, and that their drunken, charismatic father has a hand in the dog's disappearance.

It was a huge challenge to edit a film in a language none of us understood. Before cutting each scene we read each part out loud, working from an English translation, to bury ourselves in the story and let the authenticity of the performances guide us in a way the words would in a normal edit.

Post-edit we helped Robbie promote the film with a series of social media video clips in the run-up to the world premiere in LA and shortly afterward the premiere Cape Verde.  

Robbie was nominated for a BAFTA for writing ‘Rank’, a film by Harry Potter director David Yates. After spending some years living in Africa, he returned to the UK where he has been writing short films and features since 2000 and directing films since 2013.