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Story Highlights

  • The inaugural Jamaica Film Festival, which aims to provide an avenue for local filmmakers to showcase their work, was launched on June 10 at the Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) offices in New Kingston.
  • To serve as a display of Jamaica’s artistic talent, the festival will be heavily focused on creating business opportunities for persons in the film industry, while promoting content for export.
  • In his remarks, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Anthony Hylton, said Jamaica is positioned to benefit from the industry.

The inaugural Jamaica Film Festival, which aims to provide an avenue for local filmmakers to showcase their work, was launched on June 10 at the Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) offices in New Kingston.

To serve as a display of Jamaica’s artistic talent, the festival will be heavily focused on creating business opportunities for persons in the film industry, while promoting content for export.

The event will last for five days, from July 7 to 11, and will feature full-day workshops, led by international professionals in the film industry. There will also be multiple screenings at various locations in Kingston, including 12 Jamaican projects and up to 20 hours of film.

In his remarks, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Anthony Hylton, said Jamaica is positioned to benefit from the industry.

“We have the talent, we have the brand and I believe a set of policy mixes that we are coming with,” Mr. Hylton said.

He also cited the Copyright (Amendment) Act, which seeks to increase the protection of creative works used in Jamaica.

“This is a piece of legislation that will particularly help the film industry and so I am excited about that,” the Minister said.

Under the Bill, copyright protection for local works will be increased from the life of the author plus 50 years, to 95 years from the end of the calendar year in which it was first made available.

Content belonging to corporations will also be increased from 50 to 95 years, from the end of the calendar year in which it was published.

Mr. Hylton said he expects that there will be a sharing of expertise at the festival, which will benefit both local and international participants.

For her part, President of JAMPRO, Diane Edwards, explained that the festival will facilitate the development of the local skill product, in line with international standards.

“Ultimately, we are moving towards developing the skills set in the Jamaica film industry in an effort to package our talent for export in a growing services industry. The film festival is expected to be a marketplace for all members of the industry and we think the networking and the business opportunities will be endless,” Ms. Edwards said.

The film festival will also have a music day to include workshops and a live reggae concert at the Tuff Gong International Recording Studios.