The 2013 Jamaica International REGGAE FILM FESTIVAL is set to be the best in the 6-year history of the event, says Festival Director Barbara Blake Hannah. The popular event takes place in Ocho Rios during Independence Week August 1-5 at the Island Village shopping and entertainment mall at the Cruise Ship Pier. With an outdoor stage and lawn surrounded by a variety of shops, restaurants and bars, Island Village is also home of the Cove Cinema and the Reggae Revolution interactive exhibition of reggae music history – a fitting venue at which to screen feature, documentary, animated, short films and music videos devoted to Jamaica’s reggae culture.
The RFF pays tribute to films produced by lovers of reggae music and Jamaican culture, 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.
FEATURE FILMS This year’s feature films include an innovative Black British comedy and Jamaica’s first ‘horror movie’, and an unusual feature from the Rasta counter-culture of Vienna, Austria. The Festival will screen documentaries on Jamaica’s Maroon culture, the architectural roots of Trench Town, and an entertaining new look at Jamaican sprint legend Usain Bolt. 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.
CINE JAMAICA Of special importance is the festival’s CINE JAMAICA category of films by young Jamaican film makers, whose short features and animations have brought attention to a growing group of directors, scriptwriters, animators and producers. London’s Portobello Film Festival will showcase a CINE JAMAICA night of films later this year. The RFF introduces a new category of Awards for Music Videos, the starting point and source of income for many Jamaican film makers. Among the entries is a video from Natural Dub, a Costa Rican reggae band. Public votes will select the winner of Top Ten nominees.
WOMEN IN FILM 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 TV Series “DEAR JESUS”, Mitzie Allen, co-director of HAMA FILMS, Antigua, whose feature ‘THE SKIN‘ will open the Festival, Patrice Johnson, director of the feature HILL & GULLY, Paulette King, director of “FORGIVENESS – LESSONS OF LIFE”, while RHONA FOX, actress and CEO of FoxFuse artist management company will be a member of the festival Jury.
MIDNIGHT MOVIES 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 on Saturday night will present a special screening of the Usain Bolt documentary and a feature film 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.
Sponsors of the RFF are Island Village, Jamaica Tourist Board, Marley Coffee, Mystic Mountain and the Jamaica Film Academy.