Article about the Jamaica Reggae Film Festival in The Jamaica Gleaner

The Jamaica Gleaner published an article about the Jamaica Reggae Film Festival at the end of April. Here is the article.

The Jamaica Film Academy has announced final plans for the fourth Jamaica Reggae Film Festival to be held at Studio 38, Trafalgar Road, New Kingston, from May 23-27.

Studio 38 CEO Kingsley Cooper, has welcomed the Reggae Film Festival to the venue’s calendar of events, and all is set for a five-night programme of film screenings, seminars and meetings of the Jamaican and international film communities.
One of the main focuses of interest at the festival this year is the Make A Film in 24 Hours competition, in which teams will use any media to make a five-minute film in 24 hours and compete for prizes, including cash, Jamaican vacations and entry in international film festivals.

international support
The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) through the Jamaica National Commission for UNESCO, is supporting the Reggae Film Festival as an event celebrating the United Nations Year of African Descendants, which will be celebrated at the festival on May 25, African Liberation Day. UNESCO will present the Honour Award for Best Documentary.
Entries in the Reggae Film Festival have come from the United States (US), United Kingdom (UK), Antigua, Poland, Brazil and Catalonia, with the largest number of entries from Jamaica.

Different forms
Jamaica’s 11 entries include animation, short and long features and documentaries. Films include:

Rocksteady – The Movie
(USA), A brilliant feature film starring Cedric Sanders, whose performance won him a role in The Social Network, and David Hinds, lead singer of Steel Pulse reggae band which provided the film’s soundtrack.

Reggae Britannia (UK) – the February 2011 BBC documentary tribute to Jamaica’s reggae and its influence on Britain.

Intensified (Spain) – A look at the British band that revived interest in Ska in the 1980s, long after it was no longer popular in Jamaica, and inspired scores of European bands to follow their example.

Bob Marley – Making of a Legend (Jamaica/UK) – Rare footage by Jamaican actress Esther Anderson of Marley and musicians in the early years before the Catch A Fire album.

Room For Rent (Jamaica) – Film of Ginger Knight’s popular roots play, a load of laughs, starring Volier Johnson and Deon Silvera. This year’s festival includes five films by female directors, including the short features Dinner by Tameka Jarvis-George of Antigua, and Reckoning by Jamaican film student Jovel Johnson.

Innovative entries

Innovative entries from Jamaica include animated films Bad Influence by Reinardo ‘Mental’ Chung and Cabbie Chronicles by Alison Tabois Latchman.

Among the unusual entries are David Is Dying – a black British feature by director Stephen Lloyd Jackson, and Bubblin’, a feature by new Jamaican director Denisse Campbell in which a country girl turns go-go dancer to make ends meet.

Both films will be shown in the Midnight Movies programme to be screened after midnight.

Special guests of the Reggae Film Festival are David ‘Steel Pulse’ Hinds; producers Mitzie and Howard Allen of HamaFilms Antigua, directors of The Skin; and Jamaican actors Audrey Reid and Carl Davis – all of whom will participate in the Film Festival seminars.

A contingent of supporters from the Rocksteady film production company, led by producer Stephen Mays, will also be attending the festival.

Antiguan producer-director Jarvis-George, Jackson, and first-time director Campbell are all expected in Jamaica for the week-long event.

The Reggae Film Festival is an annual event presented by the Jamaica Film Academy to inspire and influence the development of the Jamaican film industry, with special emphasis on films that focus on or include Jamaica’s reggae-music culture.

Winning entries will be included in the Best of the Reggae Film Festival international tour to the UK, US and Europe.


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