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JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Some of the leading practitioners and executives in international film and media will be in the island for the inaugural staging of the Jamaica Film Festival, which gets underway on Tuesday (July 7).
  • The five-day event, to be held in Kingston, under the theme: ‘Where Art Meets Business’, will feature 14-capacity building workshops and the screening of 43 films at five locations.

Some of the leading practitioners and executives in international film and media will be in the island for the inaugural staging of the Jamaica Film Festival, which gets underway on Tuesday (July 7).

The five-day event, to be held in Kingston, under the theme: ‘Where Art Meets Business’, will feature 14-capacity building workshops and the screening of 43 films at five locations.

The venues are the Courtleigh Auditorium; JAMPRO Business Auditorium, Triple Century, Usain Bolt’s Tracks and Records and Red Stripe.

Speaking at a JIS Think Tank on July 2, Film Commissioner and Manager of Creative Industries at Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), Carole Beckford, noted that the workshops, which include panel discussions, will feature leading experts in the creative industries, who will offer technical advice and support to local film-makers.

Among these are actors Tonya Lee Williams (Young and the Restless), Stephen Bishop (Being Mary Jane) and Basil Wallace (Judging Amy, The Pretender, and NYPD Blue); Executive Vice President, Fox Group, Nicole Bernard; and Creative Executive at Fox Filmed Entertainment, Gina Reyes.

“We will be having two writing workshops, one of which will be offered by Jeffrey Reddick from the ‘Final Destination’ series and he will be accompanied by Basil Wallace. There is a directors and writers’ initiative, which will be offered by the Fox Group and presented by Nicole Bernard, who has Jamaican connections, and Gina Reyes,” Miss Beckford informed.

Among the discussion topics are: ‘Breakthrough’, ‘The Business of Film-making’, ‘The Future of Television’, and ‘Jamaica’s Production Capabilities – Film, TV, Radio and Music’.

“We are having education and academia looking at the role of film-making, which will be presented by personnel from Full Sail University, located in Florida. We will also be looking at ‘Financing Your Film Project’ which will involve participation from Global Renaissance Group, EXIM Bank and CHASE, which are considered funders of creative products,” the Film Commissioner added.

Other focus areas will include pitching, distribution, how to find the right music for film, and marketing.

Miss Beckford informed that of the 43 films that will be shown at the festival, 20 of them include a Jamaican producer or director. They cover subjects such as history, education, comedy, sport, music, drama and dark comedy.

Miss Beckford informed that eight Jamaican films will be premiered, five of which are from the JAMPRO Script to Screen programme, and include documentary short, documentary feature, narrative short and narrative feature.

The Film Commissioner explained that the film festival aims to provide an avenue for local film-makers to show their work to a large audience and receive technical advice from international experts, while also marketing their content.

The festival opens on Tuesday with an international show showcasing brand Jamaica. Workshops will be held on Wednesday and Thursday morning, followed by screenings in the afternoon.

“Friday is music day, where we will look at all the videos that were submitted with a barrage of music being played throughout Kingston, and Saturday night is the Grand Gala and awards,” the Film Commissioner outlined.

She told JIS News that the work of JAMPRO in promoting the country’s film industry “does not stop on July 11.”

“While we are having five days in Jamaica, the work continues and part of JAMPRO’s mandate is to build the capacity to prepare people for export so that they can earn, so we are putting them along a value chain and the film festival is just one element of that,” she pointed out.

For further information, persons may visit www.filmjamaica.com for a full schedule, ticket details, etc.