The 4th annual Jamaica Reggae Film Festival is fast approaching and film buffs from all over are anticipating its arrival. Set for May 23-27 at Studio 38, Trafalgar Road, New Kingston. Held each year by the Jamaica Film Academy the Reggae Film Festival attracts productions from all over the world that are part of a growing genre of films depicting aspects of Jamaican culture, music and history and the ways in which this music culture has impacted the world. The event includes premieres, seminars, competitions, new digital media work, live music performances and star-studded gala events.
A main focus of interest at the festival this year is the Make A Film In 24 Hours competition, in which teams will use any media to make a 5-minute film in 24 hours and compete for prizes including cash, Jamaican vacations and entry in international film festivals. Entries in the 2011 Reggae Film Festival have come from the USA, UK, Antigua, Poland, Brazil and Catalonia, with the largest number of entries from Jamaica whose 11 entries include animation, short and long features and documentaries. This year’s festival includes five films by female directors, including the short features Dinner by Tameka Jarvis-George of Antigua, and Reckoning by Jamaican film student Jovel Johnson.
Films include Rocksteady – The Movie, a feature film starring Cedric Sanders, and David Hinds, lead singer of reggae band Steel Pulse, which provided the film’s soundtrack; Reggae Britannia the February 2011 BBC documentary tribute to Jamaica’s reggae and its influence on Britain, Intensified, a look at the British band that revived interest in Ska in the 80s; Bob Marley – Making Of A Legend – Rare footage by Jamaican actress Esther Anderson of Marley and musicians in the early years before the Catch A Fire album and Room For Rent, based on Ginger Knight’s popular roots play, starring Volier Johnson and Deon Silvera.
Entries from Jamaica include animated films Bad Influence by Reinardo ‘Menta l’ Chung and Cabbie Chronicles by Alison Tabois Latchman. Among the unusual entries are David Is Dying, — a Black British feature by director Stephen Lloyd Jackson and Bubblin, a feature by new Jamaican director Denisse Campbell in which a country girl turns go-go dancer to make ends meet. Both films will be shown in the Midnight Movies programme to be screened after midnight.