Thursday, March 10, 2011


March 9, 2011
by Jamaica Film Academy

With the REGGAE FILM FESTIVAL‘s move to the island’s premier resort city, Montego Bay, plans are in place to present a first class event from May 23-27 that will make its mark among the premiere international film festivals. The films, guests and plans of the 2011 REGGAE FILM FESTIVAL were revealed to a gathering of film fans at a Preview held at the Bob Marley Museum Legend Cafe on 25. Guests included Ambassador of Spain, H.E. Celso Nuno, Mexican Ambassador H.E. Leonora Rueda; Rohan Marley, Bob Marley’s son, and former Heavyweight Champion Lennox Lewis, directors of Marley Coffee, who announced their sponsorship of a Reggae Film Festival Honour Award.

Also present was Ms. Hema Gurung, UNESCO Regional Culture Representative, acknowledging the sponsorship of an Honour Award by Jamaica National Commission for UNESCO. Adding to the celebrities present was Carl Bradshaw, director of the Jamaica Film Academy, who was interviewed by Donisha Prendergast about his film acting career and role in the Antiguan feature film THE SKIN that will be premiered at the festival.

Carl and Donisha Prendergast
 Among the films already entered whose trailers were shown were:

ROCKSTEADY, a coming of age story set against the world of dirt track stock car racing in rural New York. BC Cook (21) is the son of a Jamaican immigrant who died tragically 10 years earlier leaving him and his mom to fend for themselves. Times are tough financially and they are at risk of losing the family homestead to foreclosure.

Once a talented go-kart racer, BC now spends his time carelessly tending to his father’s garage while engaging in street races and other reckless activities. When BC is busted for running from the cops, again, he is given one last chance. Events lead BC back to the world of racing where he learns not only about how to succeed on the track, but also about becoming a responsible young adult from an Rasta mentor.

David Hinds(Steel Pulse)
 Set to a reggae soundtrack and featuring acting and musical performances by Grammy award-winner, Steel Pulse, ROCKSTEADY follows a young man’s journey over the course of a racing season, but more importantly of self-discovery and growth. The story is filled with humor, poignancy, subtle racial tension, intrigue and plenty of racing action.

THE SKIN – This will be a world and Caribbean premiere of the Antiguan feature film by legendary Caribbean film makers Mitzie and Howard Allen, directors of the 2001 feature SWEETEST MANGO.

REGGAE BRITANNIA explores and celebrates the impact of reggae on British music and culture from the Sixties through to the mid-Eighties. The documentary delves into the world of reggae, examining everything rom the music, the bass lines and the spliff, to black kids speaking brummie or cockney, the romance of Jamaica and the smell of British streets in the Seventies.

Travelling through the years, the programme talks to the performers who brought their music to the UK from Jamaica, discusses how reggae helped forge Rock Against Racism, showcases

the New Wave bands of the Eighties who were influenced by the genre and explores how the genre became a part of the British mainstream my the mid-Eighties. Directed by Jeremy Marre, the programme hears from Jerry Dammers and Neville Staple of The Specials, Dennis Bovell, Chris Blackwell, UB40, Paul Weller, Janet Kay and Carroll Thompson, Dennis Alcapone, Boy George and many more.

BAD INFLUENCE(JA) - This brilliant piece of animated storytelling was made by a self-taught 27-year-old Jamaican youth. He received the biggest, loudest applause at the Preview after this film was shown.

INTENSIFIED(Spain) – Ska became a popular British musical phenomenon, long after it was no longer the music of Jamaican reggae. The surprising renewal of interest in the brass-bound, big band music of the Jamaican 50s was started by INTENSIFIED, a British band that loved the music, made it popular and was good enough to back top reggae artists as Alton Ellis. Historic interviews, stero-recorded soundtrack and an inside look at some of the people who love reggae music, even though they are not Jamaican, or even Black.

Directed by Spanish film maker Jep Jorba, whose film on Rico Rodriques was an entry in the 2008 RFF,
INTENSIFIED tells their interesting story.

RECKONING – Jamaican AIU film student Jovel Johnson‘s graduation film.

SUPERSTONIC SOUND: The Rebel Dread Documentary (UK) – Best known as director of Jamaican feature film “Dance Hall Queen, Don Letts is an unsung hero of British music. “Superstonic Sound: The Rebel Dread” is a documentary about the Letts family legacy that mirrors the history of BASS in the UK from Dub, Reggae and Punk to 80s pop, Hip Hop and Dubstep; a musical, cultural and personal link between past and present. Three generations of DJ; the Letts family has been an integral part of British music for over 50 years. Their story IS the story of BASS in British music.

EVERYDAY SUNSHINE: The Story of Fishbone – Narrator: Laurence Fishburne. A Pale Griot production. Produced, directed, written by Lev Anderson, Chris Metzler. With: Angelo Moore, Norwood Fisher, Chris Dowd, Gwen Stefani, Bob Forrest, George Clinton, Ice-T, Branford Marsalis. Years of “Behind the Music”-style studies suggest that all unhappy bands seem to follow a similar sequence of drug-fueled dissolution. Iconoclastic Los Angeles band Fishbone proves a welcome exception to the rule in Lev Anderson and Chris Metzler’s “Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone,” which uses clever touches (including animation and oil paintings) and resists self-pity in casting the band’s many misfortunes as a sort of secret triumph. Effortlessly entertaining, joyful documentary.

Cedric Sauders
GUESTS – Leading film personalities who have been invited to attend the REGGAE FILM FESTIVAL include US actors Laurence Fishbourne and Carl Lumley, Jamaicans Sheryl Lee Ralph and Audrey Reid; UK directors Jeremy Marre and Don Letts, Jamaicans Ras Kassa and Chris Browne; and Mitzie & Harold Allen of Hamafilms Antigua. Several directors of other festival films have indicated their intention to attend the festival, including a team from the US feature film ‘ROCKSTEADY’ including David ‘Steel Pulse’ Hinds and young lead actor Cedric Sanders, whose performance in the film led to a speaking role in ‘THE SOCIAL NETWORK’.

Jep Jorba at RFF'08
 MEDIA – A team led by Spanish director Jep Jorba will film a documentary on the Reggae Film Festival with highlights of the resort city of Montego Bay, its hotels and tour attractions. Journalists from France, England and the USA have indicated their intention to cover the festival, while Jamaican cable TV channel HYPE-TV has become the first local media sponsor.
CASH PRIZES FOR HONOUR AWARDS – Winners of Honour Awards for excellence in film making arts will each receive cash prizes of $50,000 in this year’s REGGAE FILM FESTIVAL, to be held May23-27 in Montego Bay. Honour Awards in 13 categories will be presented by organizations supporting the growth and development of Jamaican culture in film. Honour Award sponsors also contribute to a fund for future film productions, to be administered by the Jamaica Film Academy which organizes the annual Reggae Film Festival.
UNESCO, through its Kingston office, became the first Honour Award Sponsor in a presentation by the Jamaica National Commission for UNESCO. The UN has declared 2011 the Year of African Descandants and the global celebration of African Liberation Day, May 25, will occur during the Reggae Film Festival. Rohan Marley, son of the reggae hero, announced the sponsorship of a Marley Coffee Honour Award at the Reggae Film Festival preview. He was accompanied by Marley Coffee co-director, heavyweight boxing champion Lennox Lewis. whose second acting role is in the new Jamaican film “Ghett’a Life”.

The RFF producers are now actively seeking other Honour Award sponsors.

PREVIEW SERIES FOR OCHO RIOS, FALMOUTH – A series of REGGAE FILM FESTIVAL Previews will be held across the island, with presentations in Ocho Rios, Falmouth and Montego Bay to continue the promotion of the festival. Festival producers JAMAICA FILM ACADEMY directors report that “All goes well” for the Reggae Film Festival.

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