The JAMAICA INTERNATIONAL REGGAE FILM FESTIVAL opens on August 1 at the start of Jamaica’s Independence celebrations and runs for 5 days at Island Village in the beautiful resort town of Ocho Rios. More than 20 international film directors are flying in from Los Angeles, Washington DC, Toronto, Atlanta and London. They include Director Patrice Johnson and the cast of her feature film “Hill & Gully‘, British teen Gia O’Meally, star of the TV series “Which is Witch”, Monica Haim, director of the documentary ‘Awake Zion‘ that explores the relationship between Zionism and Rastafarianism and director Roy Anderson who explores his Maroon roots in ‘Akwantu’. Jamaican film makers are travelling from Kingston and Montego Bay to join them in the annual celebration of Jamaican culture in film with films that include the island’s first horror film – Wayne Benjamin’s ‘The Croft’ and first gospel film ‘Just Another Friday’ by director Judith Faloon-Reid.
With a preponderance of films by female directors, the 2013 festival honours Women In Film with a special tribute to the late actress Madge Sinclair, star of ‘Conrak‘, TV series ‘Trapper John MD‘ and her iconic role as Eddie Murphy’s royal mother in “Coming To America’. Other Jamaican women in film include Grace Jones, Bond girls Martine Beswick and Marguerite LeWars, as well as Sheryl Lee Ralph and Leonie Forbes, Jamaica’s leading stage and film actress. The 2013 Festival highlights Jamaican Women In Film, directors Judith Faloon-Reid, Sharon LaCruise, Patrice Johnson and Danielle Scott-Haughton.
Daytime activities include a Pop-Up Book Fair all day Sunday, August 3, and afternoon seminars on Acting – led by TV actor Justin Hadeed Awn; Scriptwriting, at which Donna-Marie Dowe will announce the 2014 Scriptwriting competition, and Animation led by Sam Stewart. Throughout the Festival, Village shops Island Coffees and Jose’s Bar will be open to provide food and drink for patrons, with special beach-side service on Sunday.
The Opening Night Red Carpet reception will be hosted by Jamaica Film Academy Chairman Carl Bradshaw, with St. Ann Mayor and MP Shahine Robinson as special VIP guests. Invited guests include dignitaries from civic, tourism and business sectors of St. Ann, who have welcomed the Reggae Film Festival to the Parish. They will be joined by celebrities from Jamaica’s film and music industries in the 5 day festival, which ends with presentation of Awards in several categories and screening of Award-winning films.
The Jamaica International Reggae Film Festival is sponsored by Island Village, Jamaica Tourist Board, IRIE-FM, Island Coffees, Barivision Productions and Reggae Films UK.