The Jamaica International REGGAE FILM FESTIVAL taking place August 1-5 at Island Village, Ocho Rios will present a five-night programme of films that celebrate Jamaica’s music culture. Films by Jamaican-based film makers include the first Jamaican horror film ‘THE CROFT’ by director Wayne Benjamin, and the gospel feature ‘JUST ANOTHER FRDAY’ by author/director Judith Faloon-Reid, films in the new animation genre including ‘THE LOGO DESIGNER’ by Stephen ‘Bigbomb” Williamson and a special showcase documentary about dancehall ‘LOSING PARADISE & MUSIC’ by Claudja Barry of the internationally famous group BoneyM.
This year films by Jamaicans abroad dominate the programme, beginning with the new feature ‘HILL & GULLY’, written directed and acted by US-based Patrice Johnson, whose love story is set in the New York Jamaican community of Brooklyn. Roy Anderson, Hollywood stunt man, goes in search of his Maroon roots in the documentary ‘AKWANTUU’, while 24-year-old Danielle Scott-Haughton presents ‘DEAR JESUS’, a Black-British TV comedy series set in her Jamaican family’s London neighbourhood. All three directors will be coming to Jamaica to present their films. Jamaican-born director Sharon LaCruise’s documentary on ‘DAISY BATES: FIRST LADY OF LITTLE ROCK’ who led the historic integration of Arkansas schools, is also among the feature documentaries, in a year when the Reggae Film Festival honours Jamaican Women in Film.
UK-based Reggae singer J.C. Lodge and husband Errol O’Meally have arranged for the RFF to screen an episode of the new British teenage TV series ‘WHICH IS WITCH?’ shot in 3D and 2d which co-stars their daughter Gia. ‘ONE LIFE’ the first film from Austria, is a short feature that gives a look at Vienna’s Rasta reggae music culture, while the first film from Israel – the reggae documentary ‘KEEPER OF ZION GATE’ about a visit to Israel by Joe ‘Culture’ Hill — is one of several reggae documentaries including the World Premiere of “TRUE BORN AFRICAN – The Story of Winston ‘Flames’ Jarrett” by US director Nic Nakis, BORN IN TRENCHTOWN – the film that looks at that crucible of Jamaican music from its architectural foundations, and THE LAND OF LOOK BEHIND a famous early documentary on Jamaica and reggae whose excellence has been endorsed by noted German film maker Werner Herzog. Other international films include a new documentary from France on Usain Bolt, THE FASTEST MAN IN THE WORLD.
A surprise short feature from the USA is ‘THE COTTON HOUSE‘, that turns racism on its head, while the feature ‘STRANDED IN DANGRIGA’ from Belize tells a funny story about what happens when a man tries to impress a visiting DJ and nearly loses his wfe. Mildly X-rated, this film is scheduled for the Midnight Movies programme on Saturday, August 3.
Sure to please young fans is ‘RISE ABOVE PROFANITY‘ the documentary on accoustic group Nomaddz, while reggae historians will enjoy ‘LIVE WIRE’ – a TV film on the early dancehall scene of 1992 that praises and presents Super Cat,Ninja Man and Shabba Ranks, with some very enlightened comments by Cindy Breakspeare. Other aspects of this year’s Reggae Film Festival include Seminars on Acting, Animation and Marketing; the launch of the JIRFF 2014 Script-Writing Competition, a Sunday book fair and the Awards Night August 5.
The Jamaica International Reggae Film Festival is endorsed by EUROCHANNEL, IRIE-FM, Marley Coffee, ISLAND COFFEES and the Jamaica Tourist Board.
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