“It was a melee of flesh, men packed on top of men, with the only light trickling in from small, barred windows. No guards were in sight. Instead, as far as the eye could see, a sweaty stew of hardened criminals looked me up and down in my soiled white suit.”

“Perhaps the sun was so bright and enticing, the sensation of flying so liberating, that Icarus could not help himself from climbing higher and higher. As for me, I just wanted to see how high I could fly.”

“What an accident of history. What an amusing twist of fate that it took swimming pigs to make the world sit up and take notice. And it is remarkable that Exuma, one of the most beautiful places in the world, would soon be defined by the face of a pig.”

“In all the pigs’ sensitivity, in all their intelligence, curiosity, personality and generic similarities, in their intimate presence in our culture and religion, I wonder if the true magic of the swimming pigs of Exuma is because of some more profound connection. In them, we see us.”

“He stood there for a moment with eyes closed, knowing, fearing yet loving, that this moment would have to sustain him for the rest of the day. Finally he opened his eyes, the water trickling down his skull, streaming down his scared forehead and onto his face.”

‘Pigs of Paradise’ swims the pond to London

The swimming pigs swam “ across the pond” last month for the latest stop on their world tour, this time arriving in London, England, to promote their award-winning book and full-length film.

Pigs of Paradise’, released by Skyhorse Publishing in October 2018, has had an idyllic year. The double international award-winning book on the tourism phenomenon has sold out of its first printing, with a second edition slated for 2020. Stanfords, specialty travel book store in downtown London, received the last boxes of the celebrated book for its book signing in early September.

A new, full-length film, commissioned by executive producer Peter Nicholson, was shown to the crowd later that evening. Charlie Smith, the director of the film, also made the trip from his home base in Miami.

“The famous swimming pigs of The Bahamas continue to fascinate visitors from the world over,” said Anthony Stuart, Director Europe, India & The Middle East of The Bahamas Tourist Office – Europe.

 “It was a privilege to welcome author T.R. Todd and filmmaker Charlie Smith to London and to share with the UK media and swimming pig fans the stories behind our wonderful swimming pigs through Todd’s book ‘Pigs of Paradise’ and the film of the same name. Discovering the background to these enchanting pigs is sure to draw even more visitors to The Exumas, one of the 14 islands which was not impacted by Hurricane Dorian, to see the swimming pigs for themselves and in so doing aid with the recovery of the affected islands.”

 A key message of the night for everyone involved was the promotion of The Bahamas in general, educating the attendees that the country is very much open for business despite the tragedy on two islands – Abaco and Grand Bahama.

 In addition to the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, other strategic partners came together to deliver this message.

Swimming Pigs Gin, a new company founded by a Bahamian living in London, participated by offering complimentary gin and tonics to the crowd, which included members of the media, travel agents and those simply interested in The Bahamas. Grand Isle Resort in Exuma, untouched by Hurricane Dorian, was also represented at the event, along with other Exuma properties Peace & Plentyand  Staniel Cay Yacht Club.

But it was Kew Little Pigs that stole the show. This micro pig breeder, the largest of its kind in Europe, brought in two little piggies from its farm just outside London, setting up an impromptu petting zoo in front of Stanfords. Micro pigs have become increasingly popular as pets in recent times, and Londoners stopped in their tracks to meet the animals and learn more about the animals, and The Bahamas.

“There is no doubt that these swimming pigs are a real source of fascination for people,” said Vivien Godfrey, the third generation owner of Stanfords, which dates its history back to 1853. Those wishing to make a donation to the Bahamas Red Cross, in the wake of Hurricane Dorian, canvisit Stanfords’ website and follow the link.

“It was our pleasure to host ‘Pigs of Paradise’ and all the partners for this truly unique book signing and film screening. We wish The Bahamas well post-Dorian and would certainly encourage people to consider this destination for their next holiday.”

This stop for ‘Pigs of Paradise’ is the latest on the book and film’s world tour, with previous engagements in Fort Lauderdale, the Cannes International Film Festival in France, and local events in Nassau and Exuma. The new, full-length film, narrated by Scott Kelly, recently achieved international distribution, and it is expected to arrive on television networks and streaming services sometime in 2020.

 

 

‘Pigs of Paradise’ returns home after world tour

The film based on the world-famous swimming pigs has arrived back home in The Bahamas, continuing its world tour after stops in Fort Lauderdale and the Cannes International Film Festival in Southern France.

On Saturday, Pigs of Paradise screened to a sold-out crowd at the Island House Cinema.

Charlie Smith, the director of the film, participated in a question and answer period with the audience, alongside Peter Nicholson, the executive producer, and author T.R. Todd, who wrote the book on which the film is based.

Screenings at Island House will continue today. A theatrical release is also planned with Galleria Cinemas beginning in July.

“It is really important to us that all Bahamians have an opportunity to see this film,” said Charlie Smith, the owner of Earthbeat Films.

“At its heart, this is a Bahamian story. The swimming pigs have become globally known. They are a point of pride for many people, not just in Exuma but other islands in The Bahamas. So it is a true honor to show the film where it all started.”

You can read the rest of the article in the Nassau Guardian here.

T.R. Todd featured on Miami’s Deco Drive

There are many famous pigs — Miss Piggy, Babe, Harvey Weinstein. Porky Pig is my favorite. Turns out we have some celebrity swine right in our own backyard. Deco is checking out a new film about the swimming pigs of the Bahamas. Check it out here.

Fyre Festival: My Front Row Seat For the Chaos

Fyre Festival. If you think it sounds like the name of a new sort of natural disaster, you might not be wrong.

It started with an eye-catching video offering a luxury Bahamas festival weekend with models and celebrities galore. It ended with thousands of people stuck on a small island in tents meant for refugees, eating limp sandwiches from trays, and with the organiser, Billy McFarland, jailed for fraud.

As two new documentaries highlight the chaos of the Fyre Festival weekend in April 2017, writer T.R. Todd explains what he and others witnessed. Read here. (for the BBC)

T.R. Todd chats with local media at Nassau book signing

A young Canadian author has taken one of his most exciting experiences in The Bahamas and has penned a new hard-cover book, “Pigs Of Paradise,” which chronicles the phenomena of a herd of swimming pigs who call The Exumas home.

Eight months after deciding to embark on what he called an “ambitious journey,” Canadian author T.R. Todd, has officially launched his hard-cover publication.

“The book looks at the origins of the pigs and a deep history of Exuma itself,” Todd explained.

“It looks at the start of the campaign about the swimming pigs when the attraction first launched back in 2014 and its explosion of popularity via TV shows, magazines and celebrities who also fell in love with the attraction.”

Read the rest of this article & watch a video here.

Astronaut Scott Kelly to narrate “Pigs of Paradise: The Movie”

On March 27, 2015, astronaut Scott Kelly embarked on what came to be known as “The Year in Space”.

Chronicled by Time Magazine, Kelly’s incredible expedition in the International Space Station was well-known for many reasons, and partly because the American explorer documented the experience so faithfully on social media. Through his Twitter, Instagram and other channels, he took snaps of the Earth from space in all its remarkable, awe-inspiring beauty. But one sight, against all others, stood out to astronaut Scott Kelly – The Bahamas, “the most beautiful place from space”.

With his genuine love for The Bahamas, and the islands of Exuma, Kelly was asked to narrate the new film based on the bestselling book, “Pigs of Paradise: The Story of the World-Famous Swimming Pigs”.

This new film is set to premiere at the Bahamas International Film Festival on December 1st, 2018.