Now That I’m a River

Collaboration, Short Film

We were involved in the creation of the film “Now that I’m a River” which took the form of a short looped film reflecting on personal transformation, self expression, and femme sexuality in the context of Carnival in Trinidad & Tobago.

Notes from the Artist

Now That I’m a River is the most recent iteration of my ongoing project using the process of a snake shedding its skin to explore various states of personal transformation.

This latest shedding takes place during the Carnival season: a cyclical, transformative period that coincides with a relaxing of colonial regulations on what our bodies can look like and where they can take up space. This interdisciplinary mas is centred around a snake that sheds its skin and becomes a river: a metaphor for the cyclical relationship between celebrating femme sexuality during Carnival and violently suppressing it throughout the year, a tense dynamic which contributes to gender-based violence in this space.

Now That I’m A River draws inspiration from the Orisha, kundalini mythology, Jungian dream theory and Trinidad’s folklore character Mama D’leau, a protector and healer of the river who is often depicted as part woman, part snake


Written and Performed by


Produced by


Shari Petti

Filmed in Association with

Scene Productions Ltd

Directed by


Shari Petti

Cinematography by

Shari Petti


Olajuwon Scott

Camera Assistant

Jonathan the Gift

Studio Location

Pomegranate Studios


Ajibola Music TT

Sound Bath

Isabel Gomez Burke

Sound Designer

Mikhail Gibbings

Production Manager

Kamron Waithe

Production Assistant

Tracy Assing

Production Assistant

Timiebi Souza-Okpofabri

Colour Grader


Collaborating Costume Designer

Kristian Jaggesar

Technical Support

Kriston Chen

Made at

Alice Yard

Behind the Scenes