FILM NEWS: ‘HIT ME WITH MUSIC’, Macka Diamond, Mary Wells

In This Week’s SPOTLIGHT:
‘HIT ME WITH MUSIC’ – New Dancehall Documentary

Nice Time Productions, whose directors Nando Garcia-Guereta and Migual Galofre brought us the excellent documentary Why Do Jamaicans Run So Fast, have produced a trailer of their new documentary about contemporary dancehall HIT ME WITH MUSIC, an exploration of how Jamaicans enjoy music and dances, with: Mavado, Vybz Kartel, Daseca, Bugle, Bogle, Mr. Wacky, Beenie Man, Bounty Killer, Yellow Man, Elephant Man, Bunny Lee, Black Scorpio, Jammys, Tony Rebel, Queen Ifrica, Bongo Herman, Mighty Crown, Sample 6, Keiva the diva, Tripple XXX, Sickinhead “50”, Jelly Brain, M.O.B, Famous, John Hype, Expressions, SNOB JAPAN and more…
Here’s the trailer:


Dancehall diva Macka Diamond stars in a new Caribbean movie due to be premiered shortly. According to a Press release issued by the producers, this is a high impact action drama directed by Noel ‘Doc’ Howell that will hit the big screens this summer and promises to be an exciting thriller.

‘Redemption Of Paradise’ is a movie about vigilante justice set in the beautiful island of Paradise. What was once a safe and pleasurable island has now become plagued with violence, drugs, and gangs. Tired of the corruption that has infested her hometown, one citizen decides to take a stand. Millie (played by dancehall star Macka Diamond) forms a community watch group, which amongst other things encourages the local businessmen to stop paying protection money and to deter the corrupt efforts of Paradise’s drug kingpin. The subplot to the movie involves a much younger Millie and a horrible twist to the story begins to unravel.

The Antiguan film, produced by Dr. Howell’s film company Colour Bars Film Production, was filmed mainly in Antigua featuring stars from across the Caribbean. Flying in an international crew to orchestrate stunts, from car chases and explosions, to cinematography as well, the team is now getting ready to premier the movie in Jamaica next month, and Dr. Howell is extremely proud of his latest production, confident that movie goers will love every minute of it.

‘Redemption Of Paradise’ will definitely keep everyone on the edge of their seats,” said Howell. “It’s full of action, has a great story line and the acting is superb, not to mention the directing. It’s a fantastic movie, if I may say so myself.” Dr. Howell notes that Antigua will be proud of the footage, as the international crew was equally impressed with the country’s natural beauty – some stating they’d return for vacation, to shoot marine scenes, and one exploring the possibility of migrating.

Awaiting its Jamaican premier, Dr. Howell is confident that the movie will be a hit throughout the region, and especially in Antigua and Barbuda. ‘Redemption Of Paradise’ cast includes – lead Macka Diamond as Millie, Respect as Rogger, Mark as himself, Kevroy Graham as Andrew, Eldon Matrin as Wicket and Junior Hart as Officer.
The crew comprises – Director: Noel ‘The Doc’ Howell M.D., Assistant Director: Jason Williams, Producer: Courtney Boyd, Producer: Cliff Williams, Production Manager: Bert Kirchner, Location Manager: Dr. Alvin Edwards, Script Supervisor: Chantelle Tomilson, DP: Boaz Freund, Camera Assistant: Alex, Camera Assist: Andrew Anderson, Gaffer: Danny Belinke, Grip: Mark Mctavish, Make-up Artist: Melissa, and Stunt Coordinators: Steve Gums, Jeff Gums and Eric Miranda.

Jamaican film maker Mary Wells has been busy shooting her new film Kingston Paradise in Downtown Kingston recently. CPTC and CHASE Fund are partners in the film, as is UWI Professor Emiel Martins new entertainment company. It’s Mary’s first feature and we congratulate her and look forward to seeing the finished film.
Have a wonderful week!


Get Ready for Sumfest 2009

Music lovers all over Jamaica, and indeed the world, are looking forward to this year’s staging of Reggae Sumfest. Organisers Johnny Gourzong and Robert Russell announced this week that Reggae Sumfest 2009 will be dedicated to the memory of Michael Jackson, though how the King of Pop will be memorialized has not yet been outlined. The July 19th – 25th event will feature some of the Who`s Who of reggae and dancehall, including Damian `Jr. Gong` Marley, the doctor, Beenie Man, Bounty Killer, Vybz Kartel, Mavado, Tarrus Riley, Etana, Da`ville, Queen Ifrica, Elephant Man, Morgan Heritage, Lady Saw, Busy Signal, Spice, Kip Rich, D`Angel, Flippa Mafia, Jah Cure and Coco T.

The world’s best-known showcase of reggae music will take place from July 19-25 in Montego Bay, Jamaica. The July 19 beach party and the ensuing three days of epic live performances starting with Dancehall Night on Thursday, July 23, that make up the annual event, will captivate the thousands of tourists and Jamaicans alike who make the trek each year to the Second City for the Mecca of reggae music festivals and Summerfest Productions is looking to make this year’s event another ‘one to remember’.

American singers Toni Braxton, Neyo as well as Nas and R&B star Jazmine Sullivan are the top international performers added to Reggae Sumfest, Braxton has won six Grammy Awards and has sold over forty million records worldwide. Her number-one single, `Un-break My Heart,’ is the second biggest selling single by a female singer in Billboard history. Ne-Yo has had five top ten songs on the Billboard Hot 100 as a lead artist and two number-one albums on the Billboard 200. He has also amassed a catalog of chart-topping songs written for other artists. In 2006 he released his debut album, In My Own Word, which contained the US number one hit `So Sick.`

This year’s feast of reggae music will take place from July 19-25 in Montego Bay, Jamaica. The July 19 beach party and the ensuing three days of epic live performances starting with Dancehall Night on Thursday, July 23 will captivate the thousands of tourists and Jamaicans alike who make the trek each year to this, the Mecca of reggae music festivals. Summerfest Productions is looking to make this years’ Reggae Sumfest, another ‘one to remember’. Sponsors for the 2009 event include Digicel, Air Jamaica, Jamrock Magazine, Ocean Spray and the Jamaica Tourist Board among others.


If you haven’t booked your Sumfest hotel room yet, my two recommendations are:
ALTAMONT WEST, which dubs itself as ‘the epitome of style and service’ is located right on the main beach-level road through the Hip Strip and in front of the old Hospital beach, this small boutique hotel is perfect for the stylish crew who need a home from home with all the trimmings at an affordable price. Breakfast is included in the US$90 per person rate, and there is the opportunity to dine at the fabulous in-house gourmet restaurant Wine With Me.

HOLIDAY INN SUNSPREE: 500+ rooms operated by owners of Kingston’s Courtleigh and Knutsford Court hotels, popular with Black Americans and Jamaican families. All inclusive Jamaican rates of US$85 per night with children under 12 staying and eating free. Excellent buffet meals, burger-and-fries grill and bars till 2 am, good beach, spa and first class service.

Roger Guenveur Smith, film actor, director and writer, star of the recent blockbusters “American Gangster” and “Fighting” and who plays a lead role in the new Jamaican film ‘Betta Mus Come’, was a featured performer at this year’s Smithsonian Folklife Festival’s event: “Giving Voice: The Power of Words in African American Culture.” Running from June 24 through July 5, the Festival is held outdoors annually on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., between the Smithsonian museums.

Roger at Flashpoint Film Festival 2007
Sponsored by the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the program featured poetry, storytelling, radio, humor and theater, examining and celebrating the role that African American oral tradition has played in shaping American culture.

Roger’s performance of his critically acclaimed one-man presentation of Frederick Douglas NOW, readings from the sayings of the noted Black American icon, was podcast live on Sunday July 5 and watched by fans around the world. Roger Guenveur Smith’s credits include roles in several Spike Lee films including Do The Right Thing, and especially the film adaptation of his own award-winning play A Huey P. Newton Story. You can watch an excerpt of Frederick Douglas NOW here:

In an effort to further formalize and organize the activities of the Jamaican film and television industries, all film and television professionals are invited to attend the inaugural meeting of a professional association, the Jamaica Audio Visual Association on July 18th 2009 at 10 a.m. at Jamaica Trade and Invest, on Trafalgar Road in Kingston.

The new Audio Visual Association seeks to bring together integrated industry sectors to be represented by an inclusive organization that embraces a wide cross section of industry professionals. At this first general meeting of the association, film and television professionals will have the opportunity to develop a mandate for the association, create its bylaws, and elect a board that will represent the industry and seek to increase productivity and maximize economic viability.

Since the beginning of 2009 several film and television professionals have been participating in the process of developing recommendations to the Government of Jamaica to create a comprehensive film policy to guide the development of the industry, its practices and processes. Resulting from this effort, in May 2009, a Film Policy Committee has been convened by The Cabinet to which the recommendations from the industry were presented for consideration.

The association will seek to bear influence and represent the interest of its members in the process of government policy development and the drafting of enabling legislation, to ensure that the policy is representative of its members concerns and needs and serves as blueprint for industry development. The stated objectives of the proposed policy, is to create an environment that will stimulate growth, provide jobs, increase wealth creation and prepare the industry for global participation and competitiveness.

See you there!