Inaugural Cinema Paradise finds success
Gareth Davis Sr, Gleaner Writer
The inaugural Cinema Paradise, recently held at Great Huts Resort in Boston, Portland, was from all indications a success.
Staged over five days at the eco-friendly beachfront property, the festival attracted a number of Jamaican actors, directors and local residents from Boston Bay, many of whom were viewing locally produced movies on big screen for the first time.
"This is so exciting," commented Carlo Less, coordinator of Cinema Paradise 2014. "This film festival is celebrating Jamaican films, along with film-makers and actors, who are not necessarily Jamaican nationals. Jamaican films, which are basically true stories, impact our people."
Less continued, "It is awesome here at Great Huts, especially on this white sand beach where a lot of film-makers are present in celebrating this event. We are using this as a platform to showcase our work and the response from residents has been great."
According to Less, the community of Boston Bay has supported Cinema Paradise and the management at Great Huts, and other local visitors and tourists have enjoyed the Jamaican film experience.
A great event
One of the film directors, Stephanie Black, who did Life and Debt, which deals with the impact of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank and other international lending agencies on Jamaica's economy and production, lauded the film festival.
"This film, Life and Debt, is based on Jamaica's borrowing agreement with the IMF and its impact," commented Black. She added "This is a great event and Portland is an amazing location. I don't think there is a local cinema in Portland and many are viewing these films for the first time on big screen. This is one way of getting the residents familiarised with these films and actors," Black said.
Old films like Smile Orange, Harder They Come, One Love and Better Must Come have been shown to the audience, along with others.
Black, who has been directing films in Jamaica for more than 25 years, explained that life in Jamaica is beautiful, as the island not only has lush vegetation, but also its friendly people and distinctive language (Patois).
Cinema Paradise was held from Wednesday, August 27, to Sunday, August 31. The event was sponsored by Great Huts, and, according to Dr Paul Rhodes, owner and designer, it's always their mission to be a centre of cultural education, where the talents of Jamaicans are unveiled.