Diaspora Member Commits to Local Film Industry

Photo: Dave Reid Emmy Award-nominated actress Victoria Rowell (2nd right) enjoys a light conversation with (from left) Chairman, Economic Growth Council (EGC), Michael Lee-Chin; Jamaican Diaspora Foundation Chairman, Earl Jarrett; and Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Daryl Vaz, at the Jamaica 55 Diaspora Conference in Kingston on Tuesday (July 25).

Story Highlights

  • Well-known American actress Victoria Rowell, who filmed her comedic soap opera ‘Rich and Ruthless’ in Jamaica last year, has committed to further projects in the island.
  • The Emmy-nominated actress and film-maker, who was speaking to JIS News at the Jamaica 55 Diaspora Conference on Tuesday (July 25) at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston, said she sees great potential in Jamaica.
  • Ms. Rowell, who is best known for her role in the ‘Young and the Restless’, was born in the United States of America to a Jamaican father and identifies as a part of the Jamaican Diaspora.

Well-known American actress Victoria Rowell, who filmed her comedic soap opera ‘Rich and Ruthless’ in Jamaica last year, has committed to further projects in the island.

“Persons come to Jamaica, take Jamaica and leave with it, but my goal is to come and commit to Jamaica, employing persons, and to come again and again,” she said.

The Emmy-nominated actress and film-maker, who was speaking to JIS News at the Jamaica 55 Diaspora Conference on Tuesday (July 25) at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston, said she sees great potential in Jamaica.

“We have the resources here; my hair and make-up team was from Jamaica, my line producer is from here, you have all the equipment here, you have editing, sound, costuming and even directors,” she noted.

“The value of the work that I experienced here in Jamaica was superb, commensurate with California and Hollywood,” she added.

The 20-minute long, six-episode soap opera, guest starring award winning actor and comedian Oliver Samuels, was partially shot in Montego Bay in 2016.

Approximately 25 per cent of the cast and crew of the show are Jamaicans living in the island.

“The investment in Jamaica was significant; we hired about two dozen Jamaican professionals,” Ms. Rowell told JIS News.

She noted that she worked alongside JAMPRO and received support from several public and private entities in the film venture.

Ms. Rowell, who is best known for her role in the ‘Young and the Restless’, was born in the United States of America to a Jamaican father and identifies as a part of the Jamaican Diaspora.

The film-maker said that coming to the Diaspora Conference will help her to interface with other Jamaicans, build new relationships, and forge potential financial partnerships.

‘Rich and Ruthless’ premieres on July 28 on Urban Movie Channel (umc.tv), which is an urban-focused subscription streaming service.

Filming for the second season will start on August 31. Ms. Rowell, who executive produces and directs the series, said the goal is to return to Jamaica to shoot part of the second season.

The film-maker is seeking investment from local investors in her Days Ferry production company.

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