MICYS Prepares to Present Exciting Reggae Film Festival


Director of the second annual Reggae Film Festival (RFF), Ministry of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports (MICYS) Consultant, Barbara Blake Hannah, has reported that the festival is currently generating a buzz of excitement among local and international film makers.
“Gittins of Reggae Films UK and I have been working since the last film festival [February 2008] and actively organisng since July [2008] so that’s why we are now at a stage where we have a lot of entries from abroad,” she revealed during an interview with JIS News, while adding that there is a great deal of interest all around.
“We will have some new Jamaican films, including a film from ace videographer Ras Kassa and a documentary about Black hair by two Jamaican women. We also have a lot of Rasta films entered, so much so that we are planning to have a programme that we are calling Red, Gold and Green Screen, so that we can show a lot of these films together and I know there would be a very interested audience,” she said.
Three of the films scheduled to make their Jamaican debut at the Festival are ‘Babylon’, a British feature by ace director Chris Menges and starring former Aswad lead singer Brinsley Forde; ‘Made in Jamaica’, a music documentary featuring some of reggae’s greats; and ‘What Goes Around’, a United States (US) feature starring Dancehall artiste, Mavado.
‘Babylon’ tells the story of a young Rastafarian toaster (rapper) with Reggae sound system Ital Lion, who hopes to rise above the trials of his daily life and succeed at a sound system competition. Set predominantly in South London, it presents a portrait of the young black community in London that is different from the tabloid stereotype.
‘Made in Jamaica’ is a documentary of Jamaican music history by award-winning French director Jerome Lapperousaz, and tells the story of how a small island nation of approximately three million people took their pain and misery and turned those emotions into songs that resonate around the world. The film showcases performances by some of the best Reggae and dancehall artistes ever assembled including Capelton, Third World, Elephant Man, Lady Saw, Bunny Wailer, and many others.
‘What Goes Around’ is a U.S. feature that follows the romantic relationships of two brothers, their triumphs and failures, the tangled webs they weave with the women they love, like or just ‘check for’. Written and directed by Steve “Tehut-Nine” McAlpin, ‘What Goes Around’ is a dramatic relationship tale based on the adage, “You’ll reap what you sow”.
Given the favourable response from film makers Ms. Hannah expects RFF 2009 to be a huge hit. “It certainly will be bigger than last year and last year was absolutely great,” she reminisced. The Reggae Film Festival is presented by the Jamaica Film Academy, a project of MICYS and will run from February 23 to 27, 2009.

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