Monthly Archives: April 2012

5th REGGAE FILM FESTIVAL – HISTORIC

The 5th annual JAMAICA REGGAE FILM FESTIVAL opened on Monday, April 16 with the start of the RBC Make A Film In 24 Hours competition. The Gardens of the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel were neatly trimmed and flowering, as competitors arrived to register, then listen to words of encouragement from Chief Judge, Psychologist and Motivational Speaker Dr. Leahcim Semaj.“Why is it,” he asked, ‘that the story always ends ‘… and the hunter killed the lion? Because the hunter always tells the story. If the lion told the story, it would have a different ending. Go out now and be lions,” he advised, “telling your own story in 24 hours.”

Competition Judges Dr. Leahcim Semah, 'Jungle George' Tait, with Technical Director Makonnen Hanna, RBC Staffers

Seven teams then set off to make their films and on Tuesday, April 17, 24 hours later, the team of 5 judges sat down to consider the entries and award their points. Eventual winner was “Take Me To the Ball”, with second place winner “Grow Jamaica, Grow” and third place to “Cyan’ Stay Suh” (Read complete story on RBC 24 Hours Competition HERE).

Young film makers & guests

OPENING NIGHT    The Opening Night of film screenings took place on Wednesday, April 18, in the presence of the Mayor of Kingston, Her Worship Mrs. Angela Brown-Burke; the US Ambassador to Jamaica, H.E. Mrs. Pamela Bridgewater, the Jamaican Ambassador-Designate to London, Hon. Aloun Assamba-ndombett and Mr. & Mrs. Ray McElrae, Second Secretary of the Canadian High Commission. Also present were Hon. Maurice & Mrs. Valerie Facey, , Dr.Marcia Forbes, PhD of Phase Three Productions, Mr. Wayne Chen,  Chair of the Jamaica Employers Federation and wife Diana; the Chairman of the Broadcasting Authority Mr. Cordel Green, former Miss Jamaica Joan McDonald and sponsors representatives Mrs. Janice Murdoch of RBC Royal Bank, Jeanette Lewis of FLOW Communications and several filmmakers.

The Opening Night feature documentary was “SING YOUR SONG”, the tribute to singer and social activist Harry Belafonte whose Jamaican roots gave him hit songs “Jamaica Farewell” and “Day Oh, The Banana Boat Song”. Belafonte’s work as a leader of the US Black civil rights movement, his work with Dr. Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela and his continuous fight against racism, were some of the issues highlighted in the film, which received great commendation from the audience.

The feature film WE, THE RAGAMUFFIN was screened in the presence of stars Mikey General and Bucky Ranks. The film, made in the 1990s by Jamaican director Dr. Julian Henriques for Britain’s Channel Four TV, this was the film’s first screening in Jamaica.

THURSDAY – SEMINAR      Due to the surprising scheduling of the MARLEY documentary premiere in the middle of the Reggae Film Festival dates at a location exactly across the street from the Festival venue, the Jamaica Film Academy decided not to screen any films on Thursday, April 19. However, the afternoon was used to hold a Seminar on Scriptwriting. This was led by writers Amba Chevannes, a graduate of the University of the West Indies and the Tisch School of the arts in New York with a MFA in Dramatic writing, and Tanya Davies, a creative agent who teaches and consults in the field of Traditional, Digital and Interactive Media and is a lecturer at the Northern Caribbean University in Jamaica teaching TV Production, Writing for E-Media and Script writing.

Joe Isaacs & Marcia Griffiths

FRIDAY NIGHT    Film screenings resumed on Friday night, with the presentation of the CINE JAMAICA films “I RASTA” Director: Adrian Curry (Canada/JA) and the music videos “Cyan Lock Off the Dance” by Tillibop, “Juiceman” and ‘Babylon Trail. It was followed by the music documentary STUDIO DRUMMIE ONE AND THE HISTORY OF ROCKSTEADY MUSIC. Legendary music icon Joe ‘Drummie’ Isaacs, the ‘star of the film, was present in Jamaica for the screening, as was director Guy Ragosta, plus several of the musical legends with whom Joe isaacs has worked. These included The Heptones and Marcia Griffiths, who shared memories of musical times past.

The Jamaica feature film ‘MISTAKE’ was screened, one of two features entered by young director Karret Barclay (only one was programmed). 

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWaTafEZ6ko]

The tale set in a rural ghetto where crime has power and life is cheap, is well filmed, directed and edited with a soundtrack that pays attention to the visual action. While the theme may be just another ‘badman’ story, Barclay shows he has full grasp of the cinematic medium to tell his story. (His other feature ‘CAUGHT WITH MI EYES” is the story of a man who goes insane when he finds his wife being unfaithful in their marital bed, and follows the madman’s crazy behaviour around the countryside, until he regains his senses, forgives his wife and returns to normal life.)

After screening the entries in the RBC 24 Hours competition, the documentary ‘FIRE BURN BABYLON’ was shown. Directed by Sarita Siegel (UK), it depicts the life now being lived by some Rastafari men relocated from Montserrat after the volcanic eruption to life in London, and how their lives have changed from pure Rastfari spirituality, to becoming petty criminals, with music as a hope for escape from their new, unwelcome lifestyle.

SATURDAY NIGHT  The CINE JAMAICA films shown were the animated short “DUTTY BWOY” by Reinardo Chung, “RED, AMBER, GREEN, Director: Christopher Byfield, third place winner of the 2011 RBC 24 Hours Competition and eventual winner of the 2012 CINE JAMAICA AWARD – SHORT FEATURE (under 30 mins). The film about three boys earning a living at Kingston’s stop light was a winner in another local film competition. Also shown was ‘CAMARIAH’S WAY” a film by Craig ‘Amaziyah the Great’ Kirkland , who has participated and won previous 24 Hours film competitions.

The documentary ‘WITH FIDEL, NO MATTER WHAT” by Goran Radovinovich (Serbia), a documentary without commentary that shows a day in the life of 3 Cubans, in preparation for celebration of May 5th, Revolution Day, was screened. Comments from the Jamaican audience showed surprise at how simply Cubans live without complaining, saying that the film showed good reasons to admire the Cuban revolution.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBCVpQk7bQU] The feature film ‘BLIND SHOTTA‘ was shown, in the presence of Director Diavallian Fearon and several of the actors who starred in the film. The comedy about a blind man in the ghetto who decides to become a ‘don’ even though he can’t see where to fire his gun, had the audience in stitches, and talking about it after the film ended.

Director & stars THE INCREDIBLE BANANA

After screening of the entries in the RBC 24 Hours Film competition, the feature film THE INCREDIBLE BANANA, directed by Paulette King (JA/USA) was shown. The story of a wealthy man who loses his job, his big house and possibly his high-maintenance wife and family, but saves himself by remembering an old Jamaican proverb, was much appreciated by all who came to see the director’s first feature film.

AWARDS NIGHT    Torrential rains that pelted Kingston on Sunday, April 22 caused an emergency move of venue from the Gardens to the Jamaica Pegasus Ballroom, where the Montego Suite was hastily converted into a new venue for the Awards Ceremony. Decorator Scheed Cole of Props & More rescued and repaired the signature clapper-board screen and film-reel sculpture to create a beautiful backdrop to the Awards.

Honouring Christopher Browne

The night began with a welcome to the Sponsors and to Guest of Honour, Jamaican filmmaker CHRISTOPHER BROWNE. First the final CINE JAMAICA -Short Feature entry, “6AM” by Director Wayne Benjamin, in which the Devil offers to buy a man’s soul. Then JFA Executive and Reggae Film Festival Director Barbara Blake Hannah invited Christopher Browne to take the Seat of Honour, while she read his Biography. (Read Christopher Browne’s bio HERE.) Next his short film “ENTRY DENIED” was screened, to much applause from the audience at the end. Chris Browne then spoke a few words, encouraging new young film makers to continue honing their craft. He advised them to get as much training as possible and continue following their dreams.

24Hrs directors Kyle Chin & Mezan Ayoka with RBC VP Antoinette Reid-Walker

The films in the RBC 24 Hours competition were shown, and Awards presented. (See Judges REPORT of RBC 24 Hours Competition HERE) . Thanks were expressed to Sponsors of competition Second Prize Couples Tower Isle Hotel and to Phase Three Productions which sponsored a special prize of a two-week internship with their company.

The Awards for the 2012 JAMAICA REGGAE FILM FESTIVAL were then presented. Mrs. Blake-Hannah announced that the JAMAICA FILM ACADEMY was presenting a REGGAE FILM FESTIVAL -JAMAICA 50 HONOUR AWARD to Harry Belafonte, subject of the documentary film ‘SING YOUR SONG’.  (See list of RFF 2012 Awards HERE.)

After the presentation of Awards, a leter of greetings and apology from film producer/director/actor Giancarlo Esposito was read in which he explained that rehearsals for a new play prevented him from attending the Reggae Film Festival as agreed. Then the feature film ‘GOSPEL HILL”, produced and directed by Giancarlo Esposito was screened to close the nigh. 

The 5th JAMAICA REGGAE FILM FESTIVAL was historic, because for the first time more than 60% of the Festival films were Jamaican, with all four feature films by Jamaican directors. The Jamaica Film Academy is pleased to see its objective of developing the Jamaican film industry being accomplished.

JAMAICA REGGAE FILM FESTIVAL – PROUDLY CELEBRATING JAMAICA 50 IN FILM.

(See THANKS to Sponsors and Friends HERE)

5th REGGAE FILM FESTIVAL – HISTORIC

The 5th annual JAMAICA REGGAE FILM FESTIVAL opened on Monday, April 16 with the start of the RBC Make A Film In 24 Hours competition. The Gardens of the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel were neatly trimmed and flowering, as competitors arrived to register, then listen to words of encouragement from Chief Judge, Psychologist and Motivational Speaker Dr. Leahcim Semaj.“Why is it,” he asked, ‘that the story always ends ‘… and the hunter killed the lion? Because the hunter always tells the story. If the lion told the story, it would have a different ending. Go out now and be lions,” he advised, “telling your own story in 24 hours.”

Competition Judges Dr. Leahcim Semah, ‘Jungle George’ Tait, with Technical Director Makonnen Hanna, RBC Staffers

Seven teams then set off to make their films and on Tuesday, April 17, 24 hours later, the team of 5 judges sat down to consider the entries and award their points. Eventual winner was “Take Me To the Ball”, with second place winner “Grow Jamaica, Grow” and third place to “Cyan’ Stay Suh” (Read complete story on RBC 24 Hours Competition HERE).

Young film makers & guests

OPENING NIGHT    The Opening Night of film screenings took place on Wednesday, April 18, in the presence of the Mayor of Kingston, Her Worship Mrs. Angela Brown-Burke; the US Ambassador to Jamaica, H.E. Mrs. Pamela Bridgewater, the Jamaican Ambassador-Designate to London, Hon. Aloun Assamba-ndombett and Mr. & Mrs. Ray McElrae, Second Secretary of the Canadian High Commission. Also present were Hon. Maurice & Mrs. Valerie Facey, , Dr.Marcia Forbes, PhD of Phase Three Productions, Mr. Wayne Chen,  Chair of the Jamaica Employers Federation and wife Diana; the Chairman of the Broadcasting Authority Mr. Cordel Green, former Miss Jamaica Joan McDonald and sponsors representatives Mrs. Janice Murdoch of RBC Royal Bank, Jeanette Lewis of FLOW Communications and several filmmakers.

The Opening Night feature documentary was “SING YOUR SONG”, the tribute to singer and social activist Harry Belafonte whose Jamaican roots gave him hit songs “Jamaica Farewell” and “Day Oh, The Banana Boat Song”. Belafonte’s work as a leader of the US Black civil rights movement, his work with Dr. Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela and his continuous fight against racism, were some of the issues highlighted in the film, which received great commendation from the audience.

The feature film WE, THE RAGAMUFFIN was screened in the presence of stars Mikey General and Bucky Ranks. The film, made in the 1990s by Jamaican director Dr. Julian Henriques for Britain’s Channel Four TV, this was the film’s first screening in Jamaica.

THURSDAY – SEMINAR      Due to the surprising scheduling of the MARLEY documentary premiere in the middle of the Reggae Film Festival dates at a location exactly across the street from the Festival venue, the Jamaica Film Academy decided not to screen any films on Thursday, April 19. However, the afternoon was used to hold a Seminar on Scriptwriting. This was led by writers Amba Chevannes, a graduate of the University of the West Indies and the Tisch School of the arts in New York with a MFA in Dramatic writing, and Tanya Davies, a creative agent who teaches and consults in the field of Traditional, Digital and Interactive Media and is a lecturer at the Northern Caribbean University in Jamaica teaching TV Production, Writing for E-Media and Script writing.

Joe Isaacs & Marcia Griffiths

FRIDAY NIGHT    Film screenings resumed on Friday night, with the presentation of the CINE JAMAICA films “I RASTA” Director: Adrian Curry (Canada/JA) and the music videos “Cyan Lock Off the Dance” by Tillibop, “Juiceman” and ‘Babylon Trail. It was followed by the music documentary STUDIO DRUMMIE ONE AND THE HISTORY OF ROCKSTEADY MUSIC. Legendary music icon Joe ‘Drummie’ Isaacs, the ‘star of the film, was present in Jamaica for the screening, as was director Guy Ragosta, plus several of the musical legends with whom Joe isaacs has worked. These included The Heptones and Marcia Griffiths, who shared memories of musical times past.

The Jamaica feature film ‘MISTAKE’ was screened, one of two features entered by young director Karret Barclay (only one was programmed). 

The tale set in a rural ghetto where crime has power and life is cheap, is well filmed, directed and edited with a soundtrack that pays attention to the visual action. While the theme may be just another ‘badman’ story, Barclay shows he has full grasp of the cinematic medium to tell his story. (His other feature ‘CAUGHT WITH MI EYES” is the story of a man who goes insane when he finds his wife being unfaithful in their marital bed, and follows the madman’s crazy behaviour around the countryside, until he regains his senses, forgives his wife and returns to normal life.)

After screening the entries in the RBC 24 Hours competition, the documentary ‘FIRE BURN BABYLON’ was shown. Directed by Sarita Siegel (UK), it depicts the life now being lived by some Rastafari men relocated from Montserrat after the volcanic eruption to life in London, and how their lives have changed from pure Rastfari spirituality, to becoming petty criminals, with music as a hope for escape from their new, unwelcome lifestyle.

SATURDAY NIGHT  The CINE JAMAICA films shown were the animated short “DUTTY BWOY” by Reinardo Chung, “RED, AMBER, GREEN, Director: Christopher Byfield, third place winner of the 2011 RBC 24 Hours Competition and eventual winner of the 2012 CINE JAMAICA AWARD – SHORT FEATURE (under 30 mins). The film about three boys earning a living at Kingston’s stop light was a winner in another local film competition. Also shown was ‘CAMARIAH’S WAY” a film by Craig ‘Amaziyah the Great’ Kirkland , who has participated and won previous 24 Hours film competitions.

The documentary ‘WITH FIDEL, NO MATTER WHAT” by Goran Radovinovich (Serbia), a documentary without commentary that shows a day in the life of 3 Cubans, in preparation for celebration of May 5th, Revolution Day, was screened. Comments from the Jamaican audience showed surprise at how simply Cubans live without complaining, saying that the film showed good reasons to admire the Cuban revolution.

The feature film ‘BLIND SHOTTA‘ was shown, in the presence of Director Diavallian Fearon and several of the actors who starred in the film. The comedy about a blind man in the ghetto who decides to become a ‘don’ even though he can’t see where to fire his gun, had the audience in stitches, and talking about it after the film ended.

Director & stars THE INCREDIBLE BANANA

After screening of the entries in the RBC 24 Hours Film competition, the feature film THE INCREDIBLE BANANA, directed by Paulette King (JA/USA) was shown. The story of a wealthy man who loses his job, his big house and possibly his high-maintenance wife and family, but saves himself by remembering an old Jamaican proverb, was much appreciated by all who came to see the director’s first feature film.

AWARDS NIGHT    Torrential rains that pelted Kingston on Sunday, April 22 caused an emergency move of venue from the Gardens to the Jamaica Pegasus Ballroom, where the Montego Suite was hastily converted into a new venue for the Awards Ceremony. Decorator Scheed Cole of Props & More rescued and repaired the signature clapper-board screen and film-reel sculpture to create a beautiful backdrop to the Awards.

Honouring Christopher Browne

The night began with a welcome to the Sponsors and to Guest of Honour, Jamaican filmmaker CHRISTOPHER BROWNE. First the final CINE JAMAICA -Short Feature entry, “6AM” by Director Wayne Benjamin, in which the Devil offers to buy a man’s soul. Then JFA Executive and Reggae Film Festival Director Barbara Blake Hannah invited Christopher Browne to take the Seat of Honour, while she read his Biography. (Read Christopher Browne’s bio HERE.) Next his short film “ENTRY DENIED” was screened, to much applause from the audience at the end. Chris Browne then spoke a few words, encouraging new young film makers to continue honing their craft. He advised them to get as much training as possible and continue following their dreams.

24Hrs directors Kyle Chin & Mezan Ayoka with RBC VP Antoinette Reid-Walker

The films in the RBC 24 Hours competition were shown, and Awards presented. (See Judges REPORT of RBC 24 Hours Competition HERE) . Thanks were expressed to Sponsors of competition Second Prize Couples Tower Isle Hotel and to Phase Three Productions which sponsored a special prize of a two-week internship with their company.

The Awards for the 2012 JAMAICA REGGAE FILM FESTIVAL were then presented. Mrs. Blake-Hannah announced that the JAMAICA FILM ACADEMY was presenting a REGGAE FILM FESTIVAL -JAMAICA 50 HONOUR AWARD to Harry Belafonte, subject of the documentary film ‘SING YOUR SONG’.  (See list of RFF 2012 Awards HERE.)

After the presentation of Awards, a leter of greetings and apology from film producer/director/actor Giancarlo Esposito was read in which he explained that rehearsals for a new play prevented him from attending the Reggae Film Festival as agreed. Then the feature film ‘GOSPEL HILL”, produced and directed by Giancarlo Esposito was screened to close the nigh. 

The 5th JAMAICA REGGAE FILM FESTIVAL was historic, because for the first time more than 60% of the Festival films were Jamaican, with all four feature films by Jamaican directors. The Jamaica Film Academy is pleased to see its objective of developing the Jamaican film industry being accomplished.

JAMAICA REGGAE FILM FESTIVAL – PROUDLY CELEBRATING JAMAICA 50 IN FILM.

(See THANKS to Sponsors and Friends HERE)

  

RBC MAKE A FILM IN 24 HOURS – REPORT

REPORT – RBC MAKE A FILM IN 24 HOURS COMPETITION

The RBC Make a Film In 24 Hours competition had a successful third year of development of the Jamaican film industry, with entries from first-time, upcoming and seasoned creative film makers.

The competition opened at 9 a.m. April 16 in the Gardens of the Jamaica Pegasus, addressed by Chief Judge, motivational speaker and resultant Dr. Leahcim Semaj. “Why does the story end “…and the hunter killed the lion”? he asked. “That’s because hunters wrote the books and lions cannot write. What will happen when lions learn to write their own stories? Time now for you to go out there like lions who know how to not just write your stories, but also to make your own movies in 24 hours.”  He then informed them of the Theme: JAMAICA 50: REBIRTH OF A NATION.

24 Hrs START: Judges Dr. Leahcim Semaj and George Tait, Technical Director Makonnen Hanna, RBC Staffers

There were 7 entries in the competition, four of whom set off from the Gardens at 10:00 a.m. to make their films. One entrant was given permission to stay in Portland and work from there. Another from Spanish Town arrived two hours late and delivered two hours after the competition closed on Tuesday, April 17 at 10:00 a.m. The Judges decided to deduct 10 points from that entry’s marks, as a penalty. A competitor who came from Newcastle, also arrived at the start late, yet delivered her entry on time.

On the afternoon of April 17, Phase Three Productions provided the hospitality of their Boardroom for the Judges to view and assess the entries. Judges were: Dr. Leahcim Semaj; Film/TV Producer/Directors Michelle Geister and Tanya Taylor, Canadian film director ‘Jungle George’ Tait, and Producer/Director Herman Green.

Judges George Tait, Michelle Geister

JUDGES REPORT – Chief Judge Dr. Leahcim Semaj

I think the team of judges collaborated well in selecting a suitable theme for this year’s competition. It was good that we were able to use the technology to hold virtual meetings and achieve the objective without meeting physically, which would have interrupted each of our schedules. The theme was suitable and fitting.

The contestants, though fewer than expected, interpreted the theme well and provided a good mix of analyses as we had anticipated. The number of entrants made executing our task less time consuming while being more thorough.

I think the five of us worked pretty well together. Opinion differences were accepted and logical reasoning brought us to our objective quickly. For the most part, we were able to stay focused on the task at hand and complete it professionally.

FIRST PRIZE – $50,000

Take Me To the Ball” by Aston Cooke. Cooke, a playwright well-known in theatre circles, cast stage actors Dhalia Harris, Fabian Thomas and Akeem Mignott in a comedy with a twist the evoked laughter and commendation for concept and execution.

JUDGES COMMENTS: Perfect story-telling. Wonderful story … simply and cleanly presented. Excellent effort that bodes well for the future of Jamaica’s rich roots theatre’s expansion to cinema. Very nicely scripted imagery. I was rolling. LOVE THOSE TWO! Well done!

Camera angles were flat and lacking in creativity. Audio mix off with level of end music. Stage actor’s performance, could have been more nuanced for film. Shots blown out completely. Rookie misstep that shouldn’t have happened.

Second prize – Weekend for 2, Couples Tower Isle

Mrs. Antoinette Reid-Walker (RBC), Kyle Chin, Mezan Ayoka

Grow, Jamaica, Grow’, TEAM: Mezan Ayoka, Director; Kyle Chin, Co-Director. An inspirational and motivational essay told without commentary to inspire Jamaicans to invest in our land and ourselves.

JUDGES COMMENTS: Excellent multi-layered social commentary with emotional notes communicated very effectively without dialogue. Best depiction of the competition theme. Great use of natural light. Brought tears to this judge’s eyes. Excellent submission that shows significant promise for this production team. Very nice imagery, simple poetic and well crafted. Sexy! Beautiful shots – made me fall in love with Jamaica again.

Some resolution pixillation, A few jump cuts that didn’t work. The [font] for GROW JAMAICA, GROW was lazy. Obviously they were acting and not really In the role. Story seemed to drag in final two minutes.

THIRD PRIZE

‘CAH STAY SUH‘ Director: Basil Smith.  On his way home early morning, a man sees a Jamaican flag lying in the dirt. He picks it up, takes it home, washes and cleans it, before finally lying down to rest.

JUDGES COMMENTS: A very good story. The shots and angles moved the story along well. Directing good except for the vital piece that would explain the ending. The only flaw that cost it dearly. Excellent concept effectively told with strong production values. Good blend of social commentary with comedic notes. Vivid photography with interesting angles and tight editing.

Missed a key establishing shot so that the end of the film would have tied together easily. Aside from the end and beginning not being tied together, the middle told a good story. Grade for emotional impact given after exerting tremendous effort to understand the ending.

AUDIENCE AWARD – INDEPENDENT 50” – Director: Craig ‘Amaziyah the Great’ Kirkland. Placing 4th in the Judges scores (with a deduction of 10 points for late entry) this drama showed a working class interpretation of the Jamaica 50 theme.

JUDGES COMMENTS: Solid camera work and authenticity shows promise for this film maker who is encouraged to get more experience with scripting, direction and film visual theory principles. Ambitious attempt with strong photography, but concept and story needed refinement. Great opening montage, Beautiful shots cut together at top. Beautiful camera angles. Loved the harshness of the lighting depicting their environment.

Difficult to understand some dialogue and lack of story direction lost viewer interest. There was no story. Flipped a shot several times. Loved the shots but there was no story. No emotional impact. Communication of theme confusing initially and not successful.

This entry proved a winner with the public. During the Festival screenings of the RBC 24 Hours Competition entries, Audience Response Cards were distributed to give the public a chance to express their opinions. When the Cards were tallied, the public gave this film 3 points less than the competition First Prize winner and, in agreement with First Prize winner, the Audience Award gift was presented to the director of this film.

WINNER – PHASE THREE APPRENTICESHIP

‘JAMAICA ACHIEVED IN 50 AND SO SHOULD I – Director: Jordain Freeman.  After a run-in with the area don, a youth decides to study and make something of his life.

JUDGES COMMENTS: Impressed by the perseverance and courage of this first-time filmmaker and encourage him to study both the theory and technical aspects of film making. An attempt was made to edit. Some of the shots actually look nice. Titling at beginning was nice.

Basic concept good but fell short due to production values. Dramatic presentation too ambitious for resources and time.

Phase Three Productions, Jamaica’s leading film, television and event production company, offered a prize of two weeks apprenticeship for a competitor selected by the event organizers and judges. Jordain Freeman, a 19 year old UWI Science student with his first-ever attempt at film making, was considered the most deserving of this training and experience. Saying he had always wanted to make films, but never having tried, Freeman went online to YouTube in the 24 hours to edit and add sound to his film.

FINAL ENTRY

JAGAJU” – Director Maxine Suki – Genre: ARTISTIC.  This entry was a prose poem to an African ancestor inviting the spirit to see how Jamaica has grown in 50 years. Shot on cellphone, mostly in black-and-white, this entry was unusual.

JUDGES COMMENTS: Interesting concept that fell short of success due to production values. Strong narration. Shots would have looked good at a higher resolution.

Limited by sound and video quality, repetition of images. No creative interpretation. No emotional impact. Would encourage this entrant to learn more about the film production process.

AWARDS PRESENTATION

Awards in the 2012 RBC Make A Film In 24 Hours Competition were presented at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, Sunday April 22, by Mrs. Antoinette Reid-Walker, Area VP, RBC Royal Bank.

JAMAICA REGGAE FILM FESTIVAL – CELEBRATING JAMAICA 50 IN FILM

RBC MAKE A FILM IN 24 HOURS – REPORT

REPORT – RBC MAKE A FILM IN 24 HOURS COMPETITION

The RBC Make a Film In 24 Hours competition had a successful third year of development of the Jamaican film industry, with entries from first-time, upcoming and seasoned creative film makers.

The competition opened at 9 a.m. April 16 in the Gardens of the Jamaica Pegasus, addressed by Chief Judge, motivational speaker and resultant Dr. Leahcim Semaj. “Why does the story end “…and the hunter killed the lion”? he asked. “That’s because hunters wrote the books and lions cannot write. What will happen when lions learn to write their own stories? Time now for you to go out there like lions who know how to not just write your stories, but also to make your own movies in 24 hours.”  He then informed them of the Theme: JAMAICA 50: REBIRTH OF A NATION.

24 Hrs START: Judges Dr. Leahcim Semaj and George Tait, Technical Director Makonnen Hanna, RBC Staffers

There were 7 entries in the competition, four of whom set off from the Gardens at 10:00 a.m. to make their films. One entrant was given permission to stay in Portland and work from there. Another from Spanish Town arrived two hours late and delivered two hours after the competition closed on Tuesday, April 17 at 10:00 a.m. The Judges decided to deduct 10 points from that entry’s marks, as a penalty. A competitor who came from Newcastle, also arrived at the start late, yet delivered her entry on time.

On the afternoon of April 17, Phase Three Productions provided the hospitality of their Boardroom for the Judges to view and assess the entries. Judges were: Dr. Leahcim Semaj; Film/TV Producer/Directors Michelle Geister and Tanya Taylor, Canadian film director ‘Jungle George’ Tait, and Producer/Director Herman Green.

Judges George Tait, Michelle Geister

JUDGES REPORT – Chief Judge Dr. Leahcim Semaj

I think the team of judges collaborated well in selecting a suitable theme for this year’s competition. It was good that we were able to use the technology to hold virtual meetings and achieve the objective without meeting physically, which would have interrupted each of our schedules. The theme was suitable and fitting.

The contestants, though fewer than expected, interpreted the theme well and provided a good mix of analyses as we had anticipated. The number of entrants made executing our task less time consuming while being more thorough.

I think the five of us worked pretty well together. Opinion differences were accepted and logical reasoning brought us to our objective quickly. For the most part, we were able to stay focused on the task at hand and complete it professionally.

FIRST PRIZE – $50,000

Take Me To the Ball” by Aston Cooke. Cooke, a playwright well-known in theatre circles, cast stage actors Dhalia Harris, Fabian Thomas and Akeem Mignott in a comedy with a twist the evoked laughter and commendation for concept and execution.

JUDGES COMMENTS: Perfect story-telling. Wonderful story … simply and cleanly presented. Excellent effort that bodes well for the future of Jamaica’s rich roots theatre’s expansion to cinema. Very nicely scripted imagery. I was rolling. LOVE THOSE TWO! Well done!

Camera angles were flat and lacking in creativity. Audio mix off with level of end music. Stage actor’s performance, could have been more nuanced for film. Shots blown out completely. Rookie misstep that shouldn’t have happened.

Second prize – Weekend for 2, Couples Tower Isle

Mrs. Antoinette Reid-Walker (RBC), Kyle Chin, Mezan Ayoka

Grow, Jamaica, Grow’, TEAM: Mezan Ayoka, Director; Kyle Chin, Co-Director. An inspirational and motivational essay told without commentary to inspire Jamaicans to invest in our land and ourselves.

JUDGES COMMENTS: Excellent multi-layered social commentary with emotional notes communicated very effectively without dialogue. Best depiction of the competition theme. Great use of natural light. Brought tears to this judge’s eyes. Excellent submission that shows significant promise for this production team. Very nice imagery, simple poetic and well crafted. Sexy! Beautiful shots – made me fall in love with Jamaica again.

Some resolution pixillation, A few jump cuts that didn’t work. The [font] for GROW JAMAICA, GROW was lazy. Obviously they were acting and not really In the role. Story seemed to drag in final two minutes.

THIRD PRIZE

‘CAH STAY SUH‘ Director: Basil Smith.  On his way home early morning, a man sees a Jamaican flag lying in the dirt. He picks it up, takes it home, washes and cleans it, before finally lying down to rest.

JUDGES COMMENTS: A very good story. The shots and angles moved the story along well. Directing good except for the vital piece that would explain the ending. The only flaw that cost it dearly. Excellent concept effectively told with strong production values. Good blend of social commentary with comedic notes. Vivid photography with interesting angles and tight editing.

Missed a key establishing shot so that the end of the film would have tied together easily. Aside from the end and beginning not being tied together, the middle told a good story. Grade for emotional impact given after exerting tremendous effort to understand the ending.

AUDIENCE AWARD – INDEPENDENT 50” – Director: Craig ‘Amaziyah the Great’ Kirkland. Placing 4th in the Judges scores (with a deduction of 10 points for late entry) this drama showed a working class interpretation of the Jamaica 50 theme.

JUDGES COMMENTS: Solid camera work and authenticity shows promise for this film maker who is encouraged to get more experience with scripting, direction and film visual theory principles. Ambitious attempt with strong photography, but concept and story needed refinement. Great opening montage, Beautiful shots cut together at top. Beautiful camera angles. Loved the harshness of the lighting depicting their environment.

Difficult to understand some dialogue and lack of story direction lost viewer interest. There was no story. Flipped a shot several times. Loved the shots but there was no story. No emotional impact. Communication of theme confusing initially and not successful.

This entry proved a winner with the public. During the Festival screenings of the RBC 24 Hours Competition entries, Audience Response Cards were distributed to give the public a chance to express their opinions. When the Cards were tallied, the public gave this film 3 points less than the competition First Prize winner and, in agreement with First Prize winner, the Audience Award gift was presented to the director of this film.

WINNER – PHASE THREE APPRENTICESHIP

‘JAMAICA ACHIEVED IN 50 AND SO SHOULD I – Director: Jordain Freeman.  After a run-in with the area don, a youth decides to study and make something of his life.

JUDGES COMMENTS: Impressed by the perseverance and courage of this first-time filmmaker and encourage him to study both the theory and technical aspects of film making. An attempt was made to edit. Some of the shots actually look nice. Titling at beginning was nice.

Basic concept good but fell short due to production values. Dramatic presentation too ambitious for resources and time.

Phase Three Productions, Jamaica’s leading film, television and event production company, offered a prize of two weeks apprenticeship for a competitor selected by the event organizers and judges. Jordain Freeman, a 19 year old UWI Science student with his first-ever attempt at film making, was considered the most deserving of this training and experience. Saying he had always wanted to make films, but never having tried, Freeman went online to YouTube in the 24 hours to edit and add sound to his film.

FINAL ENTRY

JAGAJU” – Director Maxine Suki – Genre: ARTISTIC.  This entry was a prose poem to an African ancestor inviting the spirit to see how Jamaica has grown in 50 years. Shot on cellphone, mostly in black-and-white, this entry was unusual.

JUDGES COMMENTS: Interesting concept that fell short of success due to production values. Strong narration. Shots would have looked good at a higher resolution.

Limited by sound and video quality, repetition of images. No creative interpretation. No emotional impact. Would encourage this entrant to learn more about the film production process.

AWARDS PRESENTATION

Awards in the 2012 RBC Make A Film In 24 Hours Competition were presented at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, Sunday April 22, by Mrs. Antoinette Reid-Walker, Area VP, RBC Royal Bank.

JAMAICA REGGAE FILM FESTIVAL – CELEBRATING JAMAICA 50 IN FILM

  

REGGAE FILM FESTIVAL – THANK YOU!

The 5th JAMAICA REGGAE FILM FESTIVAL could not have taken place without the help of several organizations and individuals. The JAMAICA FILM ACADEMY uses this opportunity and medium to express our THANKS.

A gigantic THANK YOU to our GOLD SPONSORS, RBC Royal Bank, who joined us for a second year to support our groundbreaking competion Make A Film In 24 Hours.  The RBC support from Day One of our plans and preparations enabled most of our hopes to be realized for staging the Festival, because of its belief in the competition as a showcase for upcoming Jamaican film talent.  This year seven individuals or teams presented an interesting variety of interpretations of the theme “Jamaica 50: Rebirth of a Nation” and brought to the fore some new film talent.  We sincerely could NOT have done the Reggae Film Festival without you, RBC. THANKS  is a very small word for our deep gratitude.

To our SILVER SPONSORS, Jamaica Tourist Board and FLOW Communications, we welcome you to the Reggae Film Festival and THANK YOU each for adding your special touch to the event.  The connection with the JTB will continue throughout the Reggae Film Festival 2012 international tour, during which we will proudly promote our island and Jamaica 50. Our connection with FLOW will establish a Reggae Film Festival TV channel where Jamaican films can be viewed and downloaded, creating a new area of distribution and sales for our locally-produced film work.

Our creative designer PROPS & MORE, whose clapper-board screen and giant film reel anchored our decor, created the first Reggae Film Festival Awards, presented in addition to our framed Certificates. Most of all, our thanks go to the rescue of all our decor from the rain-soaked Gardens, repair and move to the Jamaica Pegasus Ballroom and restoration in time for the Awards Ceremony. Again, THANKS is a very small word.

To the FIM MAKERS, Jamaican and international, who considered the Reggae Film Festival a worthy event in which to display their works, we THANK YOU.  The variety of films, and the inclusion of so many Jamaican films, made our event a huge success.

'Jungle George' Tait & Michele Geister

To the members and friends of the Jamaican film industry who lent their time and support to various aspects of the presentation. Film entry judges Colin Leslie (continuing his support as JFA member since 2008); Cordel Green of the Broadcasting Authority who facilitated the viewing sessions for a second year; Kevin Jackson of the Jamaican Film Industry FB group, who also organized the Scriptwriting Seminar.  The judges of the RBC 24 Hrs. film competition Dr. Leahcim Semaj, chair; JFA director ‘Jungle George’ Tait; film/tv producers Michelle Geister and Tanya Taylor, and amateur film maker/businessman Herman Green. THANKS is such an inadequate word for the considerations given to the works submitted and decisions reached. Thanks here also to the donors of competition prizes, Couples Tower Isle, Phase Three Productions and HEART Runaway Bay Hotel.

To our SERVICE SPONSORS, we send our customary grateful THANKS for providing behind-the-scenes work and investment of time, labour and more.  REGGAE FILMS, our dear film curator Peter Gittins who is the heart of our overseas links; TAIT COMPUTER SERVICES, whose CEO ‘Jungle George’ Tait is our key Canada connection; SUGASHAK RECORDS, sponsor of the Best Soundtrack AwardMULTICAST ENTERTAINMENT, home of our digital designer and technical director Makonnen Blake Hanna, and the support of JAMEDIA PRODUCTIONS co-director and Event Manager Eric Dixon.

I cannot end without expressing a very special and heartfelt THANK YOU VERY MUCH to my friends and colleagues in the print, electronic and digital media, who came to the support of the Reggae Film Festival with endless newspaper articles, interviews, TV news stories, on-air mentions.  Despite the RFF not achieving enough cash sponsorship to advertise the event in the media, so many showed both their commitment to the film festival’s success as well as their fraternity as journalists, that the film festival received as much (and perhaps even more!) publicity as received by other more financially-able events. This loving support kept our name ‘out there’ and informed our audiences of what was in store. Some names we have to BIG UP include (in no special order) Cecelia Campbell, Novia McDonald Whyte, Sharon Leach, Andrea Williams, Elise Kelly, Joy Douglas, K’shema Francis, Keisha Gay, Paul-Andre Walker, Tyrone Reid; Michael Anthony Cuffe, Robin Jerry Small , Yasmin Peru, JIS-TV News; TVJ, CVM, Hot 102, Roots FM, BESS-FM, PBCJ.

JFA Chairman Carl Bradshaw and RFF Director BBH

On behalf of the JAMAICA FILM ACADEMY and as chief architect of the REGGAE FILM FESTIVAL, I personally thank you each and every one from the fullness of my heart.  We are already planning the 2013 RFF, recognizing the areas of need as well as plans for expansion.  We look forward to your continued support. A full report on the 2012 Reggae Film Festival will be published shortly.

JAMAICA REGGAE FILM FESTIVAL – PROUDLY CELEBRATING JAMAICA 50 IN FILM

REGGAE FILM FESTIVAL – THANK YOU!

The 5th JAMAICA REGGAE FILM FESTIVAL could not have taken place without the help of several organizations and individuals. The JAMAICA FILM ACADEMY uses this opportunity and medium to express our THANKS.

A gigantic THANK YOU to our GOLD SPONSORS, RBC Royal Bank, who joined us for a second year to support our groundbreaking competion Make A Film In 24 Hours.  The RBC support from Day One of our plans and preparations enabled most of our hopes to be realized for staging the Festival, because of its belief in the competition as a showcase for upcoming Jamaican film talent.  This year seven individuals or teams presented an interesting variety of interpretations of the theme “Jamaica 50: Rebirth of a Nation” and brought to the fore some new film talent.  We sincerely could NOT have done the Reggae Film Festival without you, RBC. THANKS  is a very small word for our deep gratitude.

To our SILVER SPONSORS, Jamaica Tourist Board and FLOW Communications, we welcome you to the Reggae Film Festival and THANK YOU each for adding your special touch to the event.  The connection with the JTB will continue throughout the Reggae Film Festival 2012 international tour, during which we will proudly promote our island and Jamaica 50. Our connection with FLOW will establish a Reggae Film Festival TV channel where Jamaican films can be viewed and downloaded, creating a new area of distribution and sales for our locally-produced film work.

Our creative designer PROPS & MORE, whose clapper-board screen and giant film reel anchored our decor, created the first Reggae Film Festival Awards, presented in addition to our framed Certificates. Most of all, our thanks go to the rescue of all our decor from the rain-soaked Gardens, repair and move to the Jamaica Pegasus Ballroom and restoration in time for the Awards Ceremony. Again, THANKS is a very small word.

To the FIM MAKERS, Jamaican and international, who considered the Reggae Film Festival a worthy event in which to display their works, we THANK YOU.  The variety of films, and the inclusion of so many Jamaican films, made our event a huge success.

‘Jungle George’ Tait & Michele Geister

To the members and friends of the Jamaican film industry who lent their time and support to various aspects of the presentation. Film entry judges Colin Leslie (continuing his support as JFA member since 2008); Cordel Green of the Broadcasting Authority who facilitated the viewing sessions for a second year; Kevin Jackson of the Jamaican Film Industry FB group, who also organized the Scriptwriting Seminar.  The judges of the RBC 24 Hrs. film competition Dr. Leahcim Semaj, chair; JFA director ‘Jungle George’ Tait; film/tv producers Michelle Geister and Tanya Taylor, and amateur film maker/businessman Herman Green. THANKS is such an inadequate word for the considerations given to the works submitted and decisions reached. Thanks here also to the donors of competition prizes, Couples Tower Isle, Phase Three Productions and HEART Runaway Bay Hotel.

To our SERVICE SPONSORS, we send our customary grateful THANKS for providing behind-the-scenes work and investment of time, labour and more.  REGGAE FILMS, our dear film curator Peter Gittins who is the heart of our overseas links; TAIT COMPUTER SERVICES, whose CEO ‘Jungle George’ Tait is our key Canada connection; SUGASHAK RECORDS, sponsor of the Best Soundtrack AwardMULTICAST ENTERTAINMENT, home of our digital designer and technical director Makonnen Blake Hanna, and the support of JAMEDIA PRODUCTIONS co-director and Event Manager Eric Dixon.

I cannot end without expressing a very special and heartfelt THANK YOU VERY MUCH to my friends and colleagues in the print, electronic and digital media, who came to the support of the Reggae Film Festival with endless newspaper articles, interviews, TV news stories, on-air mentions.  Despite the RFF not achieving enough cash sponsorship to advertise the event in the media, so many showed both their commitment to the film festival’s success as well as their fraternity as journalists, that the film festival received as much (and perhaps even more!) publicity as received by other more financially-able events. This loving support kept our name ‘out there’ and informed our audiences of what was in store. Some names we have to BIG UP include (in no special order) Cecelia Campbell, Novia McDonald Whyte, Sharon Leach, Andrea Williams, Elise Kelly, Joy Douglas, K’shema Francis, Keisha Gay, Paul-Andre Walker, Tyrone Reid; Michael Anthony Cuffe, Robin Jerry Small , Yasmin Peru, JIS-TV News; TVJ, CVM, Hot 102, Roots FM, BESS-FM, PBCJ.

JFA Chairman Carl Bradshaw and RFF Director BBH

On behalf of the JAMAICA FILM ACADEMY and as chief architect of the REGGAE FILM FESTIVAL, I personally thank you each and every one from the fullness of my heart.  We are already planning the 2013 RFF, recognizing the areas of need as well as plans for expansion.  We look forward to your continued support. A full report on the 2012 Reggae Film Festival will be published shortly.

JAMAICA REGGAE FILM FESTIVAL – PROUDLY CELEBRATING JAMAICA 50 IN FILM

  

AND NOW, THE AWARDS ….

Awards in the 2012 REGGAE FILM FESTIVAL were announced at a special ceremony on Sunday, April 22 in the Montego Suite of the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel.  The winners were:

BEST DIRECTOR – DOCUMENTARY
NOMINEES: SING  YOUR SONG – Director SUSSANNE ROSTOCK – USA (WINNER)
STUDIO DRUMMIE ONE –                          Director GUY RAGOSTA – USA
WITH FIDEL, NO MATTER WHAT – Goran Rodovanovic – SERBIA
BEST DIRECTOR – FEATURE
NOMINEES:  WE, THE RAGAMUFFIN –                                                         Director –  JULIAN HENRIQUES – UK/JA
MISTAKE – Director KARRET BARCLAY – JA (WINNER)
THE INCREDIBLE BANANA – Director PAULETTE KING – USA/JA
RED, AMBER, GREEN – Christoper Byfield – JA
BLIND SHOTTA – Director DIAVALON FEARON – JA

CINE JAMAICA – BEST SHORT (UNDER 15 MINS)
NOMINEES – I RASTA – Director ADRIAN CURRIE – CANADA/JA
CAMARIAH’S WAY – Director CRAIG ‘AMAZIYAH THE GREAT’ KIRKLAND – JA
SINCE YOU LEFT ME – Director BLiP PRODUCTIONS – JA (WINNER)

FLOW CINE JAMAICA AWARD – BEST LONG FEATURE (UNDER 30 MINS)
NOMINEES:   6:AM – Director WAYNE BENJAMIN – JA
RED, AMBER, GREEN – Director CHRISTOPHER BYFIELD –            JA  (WINNER)

SUGASHAK RECORDS AWARD – BEST SOUNDTRACK
NOMINEES:   FIRE BURN BABYLON – Director SARITA SIEGEL (UK)
WE, THE RAGAMUFFIN – Director JULIAN HENRIQUES –       UK/JA (WINNER)
STUDIO DRUMMIE ONE AND THE HISTORY OF ROCKSTEADY MUSIC –                              Director GUY RAGOSTA – USA

BEST ANIMATION:                                                                                                   NOMINEES: JUICEMAN – Dir ROBERT WALLACE-MORRISON                             DUTTY BWOY (Episode 5) – Director REINARDO ‘MENTAL’ CHUNG

BEST ACTOR/ACTRESS
NOMINEES: MIKEY GENERAL – UK/JA – ‘WE THE RAGAMUFFIN’ – 
BUCKY RANKS – UK/JA – ‘WE, THE RAGAMUFFIN’
RYAN WALKER  – JA – ‘BLIND SHOTTA’ (WINNER)
PETRAL – USA – THE INCREDIBLE BANANA

JAMAICA FILM ACADEMY HONOUR AWARDS

JAMAICA 50 AWARD – Singer, Actor and Social Activist HARRY BELAFONTE

CINE JAMAICA AWARDS: PAULETTE KNIGHT – Director, THE INCREDIBLE BANANA; GUY RAGOSTA, Director “STUDIO DRUMMIE ONE“; DIAVALON FEARON, Director ‘BLIND SHOTTA’, JUNGLE GEORGE TAIT, Director ‘DESTINATION JAMAICA“; WAYNE BENJAMIN, Director “6AM“.

THE JAMAICA REGGAE FILM FESTIVAL – PROUDLY CELEBRATING JAMAICA 50 IN FILM

REGGAE FILM FEST NEWS – CINE JAMAICA Entries

The CINE JAMAICA category of films was established in 2011 to give special attention to films by Jamaican film makers exploring the extent of their creativity. This year’s REGGAE FILM FESTIVAL is full of both short and feature length CINE JAMAICA films. The REGGAE FILM FESTIVAL welcomes these examples that show a thriving a film industry bubbling up in Jamaica, seeking exposure and distribution of their creative talents.Here are some of the short films:

 SURFACE LOVE    3.5 mins * Editor/Screenwriter/ Dir of Photography/Sound: Basil Jones Jr. * Cast: Brian Johnson, Nyaanda Cammock, Andrew Khan

A simple story of dating and superficiality elevated into a memorable tale of prejudice and missed opportunities. An attractive young woman has set up a blind date with a man in the Park. When she realizes that the bushy-hired guy who answers her call a few feet away is not her cup of tea, she quickly fabricates an excuse to cancel the date. While hurrying away, she walks by a tall and handsome brother bearing flowers. As we later learn, thanks to her shallowness, she missed out on a good thing. A clever and humourous bit. “TALLAWAH MAGAZINE.

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CAMARIAH’S WAY – 14 mins. * Director: Craig ‘Amaziyah the Great’ Kirkland * Producer: Craig ‘Amaziyah the Great’ Kirkland, Lesley Ann Harvey

A young girl who was ill-treated by her family, fought for what she believed in until she emerged from the miserable situation. She then turned and gave help to the same parents that dissed her.

Craig Kirkland, better known as ‘Amaziyah The Great‘ came from Spanish Town to enter the first 24 Hours competition in 2010. There was no cash prize, only winner’s honour that he proudly shared with the only other team in the competition headed by professional director Jay Will. Showing his immediate promise as a film maker, Amaziyah returned in 2011 to win the Audience award (and Digicel BB) over 15 entries for his entry ‘Stay Firm’.

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BETRAYAL (Animation) – 28 mins * JA/USA  Director: Robert Wallace-Morrison * *Producer: Robert Wallace-Morrison

‘The Betrayal’ is an animated mini TV series that delves into the lives of three individuals, Diane a broken hearted entertainment TV show host, Mark a struggling artist trying to reignite his music career and Milo a young ruthless entrepreneur with a good and a dark side. As their lives unfold Love, lust, deception, determination, greed and adversaries the deal with in their own way.

Robert Wallace-Morrison was born January 21 1975 in Montego Bay Jamaica after leaving Cornwall College he went to live in the US where became interested in the music business through a close friend who was a reggae dj. He was encouraged that he should try his hand at singing because of his ability to mimic popular acts of the day and he recorded several songs. Not comfortable being out front. he took up producing, attended (IAR) where he learned audio engineering .

After a few years producing and engineering he decided to get into film making and immersed himself into every aspect of the art, which led him down the path of 3d animation and he then enrolled in the Arts Institute to further his knowledge of the craft .To date he has made many animations, shared them on YouTube and received views in the hundreds of thousands. Robert is now producing an animated mini series.

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RED, AMBER GREEN – (18 mins) * Screenwriter:Christopher Byfield * Director of Photography: Simeon Hendge * Sound:Wesley Wilkins Editor:Winston Wilkins * Music: Damarah Danni * Main Cast:Christopher Byfield, Damarah Danni, Adrian Wright

“Red, Amber, Green” depicts the lives of three Jamaican teenage boys struggling to make ends meet on the difficult streets of Kingston, Jamaica. Making a living primarily as vehicle window washers and street vending when cars stop for traffic lights, they hustle to take advantage of every opportunity, including entertainment. These friends, by virtue of the ‘yielding forces’ of traffic lights to provide their ‘bread and butter’, have incorporated these colors into their lives as a quick reminder of how to deal with their daily struggles, including learning and growing from each other, and even finding a way to help those less fortunate.

Christopher Byfield has been an actor and aspiring film maker for about 4 years, who entered the 24 Hours Film competition in 2011 and won Third Prize with his film “What I Was, What I Became, What I Am’.  His short film ‘Red, Amber, Green has recently won a Lignum Vitae Best Film Award.

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6:00 AM – 28 mins * Producer: Fabricated Projex * Director: Wayne Benjamin

An intriguing b&w drama in which Satan offers to change a man’s life by 6:00 a.m the next morning if he will sell his soul by a handshake. Does he accept?

Director Wayne Benjamin first entered the Reggae Film Festival in 2010 with the 15 minute pilot for a ‘ghost mystery’ movie centered around a writer who moves to a mountain home to complete a script, and the strange apparition that provides the mystery.

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SINCE I FELL FOR YOU – BLip Collective – 2.56 mins *

The short film is a re-interpretation of ‘Since i fell for you’ by the late blues singer Nina Simone. Canon 5d MK2 was used along with a glidetrack and swedish chameleon SC3. The film is the 2nd episode to the BLiP online series.

Director Adjani Salmon says BliP is the brain child of three cousins who came together to express their diverse concepts in visual form. We each bring our own unique perspective to the table with a shared vision of creating a new Jamaican visual experience built on high quality cinematography, classic techniques and innovative approaches to media production.

This triad of three cousins informed by three different backgrounds and living three contrasting lifestyles, is a dynamic mix which creates new and exciting concepts captured by the camera’s lens. “Last year we started an online series on Vimeo to get exposed and released a video every week for 15 weeks” says Salmon. “This was one of the films.”

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I-Rasta –  (JA/Canada   * 13.5 mins * Producer/Director: Adrian Currie * Editors: Kenrick Currie & Adrian Currie *

A Canadian-Jamaican gets dumped by his girlfriend so he goes home to Jamaica to spend time with his family.

Adrian Currie was born in Jamaica and moved to Canada with his family when he was six. He studied Economics and History at McGill University before moving to New York to work, and later back to Montereal whee he began strudying ctng, with some co-starring success. On fmily trip to Jamaica, Adrian discovered his Rastafarin roots and now, years later, he has made a film about this remarkable transformation.

JAMAICA REGGAE FILM FESTIVAL – PROUDLY CELEBRATING JAMAICA 50 IN FILM.

REGGAE FILM FESTIVAL NEWS – Scriptwriting Seminar

The REGGAE FILM FESTIVAL will hold a Scriptwriting Seminar on Thursday, April 19, 2012 with guest speakers Amba Chevannes and Tanya Davies.

Amba Chevannes is a graduate of the University of the West Indies and the Tisch School of the arts in New York. She has a MFA in Dramatic writing. She teaches screenplay writing at the Edna Manley College and Media Training Institute. he has written several screen plays and plays. Some of which have gone on to stage and the small screen. Two of her plays received critical acclaim in 2007 and 2008. She is also a partner and producer at MADKOW productions. She will be presenting on the technical aspects of writing a screenplay and breaking into the business.

Tanya Davies is a creative agent who writes, produces, illustrates, designs, teaches and consults in the field of Traditional, Digital and Interactive Media. She has written several locally produced television screenplays and television serials. Ms. Davies has received Honorary Mention in the Organization of Black Screenwriters Screenwriting Competition and Jury of Peers Competition for her feature length script Maroon and was an honorary recipient of the Princess Grace Awards for her undergraduate thesis.

A current lecturer (primarily online) at the Northern Caribbean University in Jamaica, Ms. Davies teaches TV Production, Writing for E-Media and Script writing. Co-Founder of The Writer’s Clinic (since 2009) which offers consultations, analysis, workshops/seminars, and basic legal/contract counsel for aspiring or professional television/radio narrative scriptwriters. Ms. Davies will be presenting on the legal and financial aspects of writing.

Kevin Jackson, the coordinator of the Scriptwriting seminar is also a writer himself and an upcoming film director. He has several published short stories and articles, he has written several short and feature length screenplays, some of which he is focused on releasing this year. He is the founder of the “Jamaican Film Industry” Facebook page, a group enabling Jamaican filmmakers and film enthusiasts to network.

JAMAICA REGGAE FILM FESTIVAL – PROUDLY CELEBRATING JAMAICA 50 IN FILM

RFF DAILY NEWS – New Prizes for RBC 24 Hours Competition

Entries have started to come in for the RBC Make A Film In 24 Hours competition from Jamaican film makers who intend to take up the challenge.  Contestants must attend the Registration on Monday, April 16 at 9 a.m. in the Gardens of the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, where they will log in, hear comments by competition judges Psychologist and Motivational Speaker Leahcim Semaj and Tanya Taylor, Jamaica Film Producers Association Executive in charge of nurturing young talent, before setting off to make their films.

The 24 Hours Film competition was first introduced in the 2010 staging of the Reggae Film Festival.  The two single entries – ‘At the SuperMarket” by Jay Will and Doc Howell and ‘Ghetto Visit‘ by Craig ‘Amaziyah The Great’ Kirkland – shared the ‘win’ honours, but by 2011 the sponsorship of (then) RBC/RBTT Bank encouraged the entry of 15 teams and enabled the first cash award of $50,000 to winner Vanessa Phillips “What If…?”  The tradition continues with RBC Royal Bank‘s continued sponsorship of the competition and, in addition to the honour and attention to be earned from winning the competition, the festival continues the first prize award of JA$50,000.

Couples Tower Isle

NEW PRIZES  Efforts to give cash as second and third prizes have not been successful. Further, though previously announced, the RFF planners have been unable to co-ordinate fully with our Caribbean partners, so the promise of a trip to Trinidad is no longer on offer as part of this year’s first prize.  The competition has, however, gained several alternative prizes for Second and Third place winners that should provide equally attractive incentives, including film training scholarships, luxury North Coast vacations and digital equipment.

We are certain the absence of cash prizes will not deter any potential competitor’s determination to enter and  win the RBC Make A Film In 24 Hours competition. We hope the examples of film makers whose careers began with the competition, will inspire all to take advantage of the opportunity to make their names as film makers. The Reggae Film Festival looks forward to an exciting competition and some excellent films.