The 2013 Jamaica International Reggae Film Festival scheduled for Independence Week, August 1-5, is set to be the best in the six-year history of the event. Sponsored and endorsed by the Jamaica Tourist Board, the popular event has moved to the beautiful North Coast resort town of Ocho Rios at Island Village, the shopping and entertainment mall at the Cruise Ship Pier.
Island Village is also home of Reggae Explosion, an interactive exhibition of reggae music history, a fitting venue at which to screen films devoted to memorializing Jamaica’s reggae culture. Venue of numerous entertainment events, Island Village will screen the Festival films at its Cove Cinema and on a giant screen before seats on the Island Village lawn in a unique Jamaican setting, surrounded by a variety of shops, restaurants and an iconic statue of Bob Marley.
While paying tribute to the many films produced by lovers of reggae music, including feature films with reggae soundtracks, as well as films recounting the history of the music’s artists, musicians and promoters, the Jamaica International also highlights international documentaries and features of interest to Caribbean audiences, such as Harry Belafonte‘s biographical documentary “Sing Your Song” that opened the 2012 festival.
This year’s feature films include an innovative Black British comedy, Jamaica’s first ‘horror movie’, and an unusual entry from the Rasta counter-culture of Vienna, Austria.The Festival’s first entry from Israel is a documentary on reggae icon Joe ‘Culture’ Hill; the late Nigerian literary giant Chinua Achebe is honoured, while the USA’s entry focuses on New York’s Ground Zero. The Festival will also screen documentaries on Jamaica’s Maroon culture, the architectural roots of music incubator Trench Town, and an entertaining new look at Jamaican sprint legend Usain Bolt.
Of special importance is the festival’s CINE JAMAICA category of films by young Jamaican film makers, whose short features and animated films have brought attention to a growing number of directors, scriptwrites, animators and producers. London’s Portobello Film Festival will showcase a CINE JAMAICA night of films later this year.
The JIRFF introduces a new category of Awards for Music Videos, the starting point and source of income for many Jamaican film makers. Public votes will select the winner of Top Ten nominees.
The 2013 JIRFF pays tribute to Women In Film, honouring the late Jamaican actress Madge Sinclair by showcasing the work of several female film makers. These include Danielle Scott-Haughton , director of the British TV Series “DEAR JESUS”, Mitzie Allen, co-director of HamaFilms Antigua, whose feature ‘THE SKIN’ will open the Festival and Rhona Fox, actress and CEO of FoxFuse, leading US artist management company
Other activities of the 2013 Festival include the annual Make A Film In 24 Hours competition, whose teams will set off at midday Saturday August 2 from Island Village and return on Sunday with their completed 5-minute film. There will be daily seminars on various aspects of films and filming, while Midnight Movies will be a special event on Saturday night at the spectacular Ocho Rios attraction Mystic Mountain.
The JIRFF Awards will be presented Tuesday, August 5, followed by an After Party and Dance on the ISLAND VILLAGE lawn, as Independence Day dawns on Jamaica. Festival sponsors are Jamaica Tourist Board, Island Village, Marley Coffee, EuroChannel, Films & Festivals Magazine, HYPE-TV and Reggae Films UK. Special accommodation packages are available. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.