Newspaper: Newsday
Date: Tuesday January 24, 2006
Page#: Section B, Page 7
News Reporter: Seeta Persad

Sparrow and daughter voice Caribbean Film

The Mighty Sparrow landed in Arkansas on January 17 with his daughter Karen Francisco to record four songs for the West Indian movie - Rainbow Raani.

According to the New York based writer and director Mickey Nivelli (also known as Harbance Kumar), this is the first time in Sparrow's career that he will be doing what the great singers of India such as Rafi, Kishore Kumar, Mukesh, Lata Mangeshkar, Aasha Bhonsle and other icons are famous for.

"These singers would sing for movies and then the actors would mime their singing for the screen. This is the first time in his life that Sparrow is going to enter this domain," Nivelli said.

Sparrow and Karen are spending some days in Arkansas where the musical group the Rainbows is based.

"Rainbow Raani" is being produced by Guyanese Pradeep Samtani and is being written and directed by Nivelli. Nivelli is known for such films as The Right and Wrong, The Caribbean Fox, Man From Africa, and Girl From India. Nivelli stated that about 95 percent of the film Rainbow Raani will be shot in Guyana, beginning in April.

For that extra dose of international flavour Nivelli selected music makers from Springdale, Arkansas, USA, to record for his latest movie.

He said that after recording seven songs, the musical group was so inspired that it now wants the band to be called "The Rainbows." Leader Arnab Bannerjee, an Indian settled inArkansas says, "If the Beatles could have catapulted Liverpool to the world stage, why can history not repeat itself for The Rainbows?"

"Rainbow Raani's story is set in the West Indies with some scenes being filmed in New York. It is a sexy comedy and through love and music will affirm an ultimate truth that there is an inherent goodness in each and every human being. We are all cherished children of God. Each one is lovable," Nivelli said. "Every rainbow in the sky is a cosmic messenger reminding us that no matter how different in colour, ethnicity, shape, size or statute, each one of us has individual, intrinsic beauty.

"The different colours of the rainbow are divine messages affirming the undeniable truth that the grand design of creation is diversity. We must appreciate and celebrate our differences rather than use (abuse) them to create walls and hatred between the children of God."

A rainbow society is the movie's backdrop. The Rainbows is a musical band of four young men who, like the Beatles, are from Liverpool. The lead players are Raaja, an East Indian, Rodney an African, Adam a Caucasian and Jim, a Chinese.

Raaja loves his East Indian girl friend Raani, who is also the back up singer of The Rainbows, and similarly Rodney loves Naomi, his African beauty.

The Rainbows feels that its true potential can blossom only in America. As a short cut or quick fix the members feel that if raja, their leader can arrange a sham marriage for a US visa, it may well open the doors of opportunities for The Rainbows.