Friday, August 08, 2008

Jamaica Film News


Acting on a recommendation made by the Jamaica Film Academy Commissioners, the Jamaican government has taken a pioneering step to gain economics benefits for the preservation of Jamaican culture, by participating in a profit sharing agreement with the producers of a new reggae documentary, ‘GET READY TO ROCKSTEADY”. In an agreement signed by Minister of Information, Culture, Youth & Sports Olivia Grange, royalties of 2% on all gross profits will be paid into a Cultural Enhancement Fund whose set-up is presently in process in the Ministry.

The documentary was made with the production assistance and facilitation of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission, a division of the Ministry, with Minister Olivia Grange acting as Executive Producer, alaong with Project Co-ordinators Trevor Nairne, Sharon Burke and Ronnie Burke, and features several artists from the Rock Steady era of Jamaican music including Alton "Mr. Rocksteady" Ellis, Dawn Penn, Ken Boothe, the Tamlins and Judy Mowatt.

The Cultural Industries Fund will provide financing for Jamican film production and training.

The Cuban Film Institute (ICAIC) is once again organizing a traveling Festival of Caribbean Films, this year dedicated to films for and about children. Jamaica sent a collection of films to a selection meeting in Havana, from which the national contribution was chosen. The films were collected by a committee of 3 consisting of Women in Film executives Natalie Thompson, Tanya Batson-Savage and JTI Film Commissioner Del Crooks, but the final list was not made public.

The collection was taken to Cuba by Batson-Savage in her capacity as Director of Entertainment in the Ministry of Information & Culture on a trip arranged at very short notice by the Ministry of Information & Culture’s Principal Director of Culture, Sidney Bartley, who apologised for the fact that the collection was not as comprehensive as anticipated due to the short time allocated for the selection process.

The Jamaica Trade & Invest division of the Ministry of Industry & Investment contributed to the staging of a Caribbean Tales film festival in Toronto recently. The festival was organized by Frances Ann Solomon, director of “A Winter Tale”, a Canadian film starring Jamaican actress Leonie Forbes, who was among those honoured at the Festival.

Others were Trinidadian-Jamaican cinematographer Franklyn “Chappie” St. Juste, and ace videographer Ras Kassa. Women In Film’s Mary Wells’ short film about the Jamaican premiere of “A Winter Tale” in May this year, was the featured documentary at the festival.

Among the films shown in what was announced as a tribute to Jamaican film making and film makers were “Africa Unite”, a documentary by American film maker Stephanie Black shot in Ethiopia about a Bob Marley tribute concert, the late Perry Henzell’s 35-year-old cult classic “The Harder They Come”, and oldies-but-goodies “Third World Cop” and “Dance Hall Queen”. However, no release has yet been issued about the value of goods traded at the event, nor the investments resulting from Jamaica Trade and Invest’s investment in the Festival.

(Taken From

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