Screenwriting Workshop with Storm
The Department of Literatures in English, University of the West Indies, Mona, will host a screenwriting workshop to be conducted by its film-maker in residence, director of the award-winning film Better Mus' Come, Storm Saulter.
Scheduled for four consecutive Wednesdays, May 27, June 10, 17 and 24 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. each day, the workshop will focus on accepting short films and web series in development. It will provide an opportunity for those interested in writing for film to take advantage of Storm Saulter's expertise in the field.
As film-maker in residence, Saulter taught the course Creative Writing: Screen, mentored aspiring film-makers, and was the main feature of the department's March is Movie Month at Mona discussion series.
A graduate of the Los Angeles Film School, Jamaica-born Saulter is a rising star in Jamaican film. His full-length film Better Mus' Come was released to enthusiastic reception here and abroad. It was the winner of the Best Director award from the Pan African Film Festival (USA), the Best Feature Film (Audience) award from the Bahamas International Film Festival, and the Best Feature Film (Viewer's Choice) award from the Trinidad & Tobago Film Festival.
The lead actor, Sheldon Shepherd (of No-Maddz), was awarded Best Actor at the American Black Film Festival (USA). In addition, Saulter has a solid reputation as a short-film creator. His short film Watching Him Kissing Her has been screened in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Trinidad and Tobago and the USA.
Persons interested in participating in the workshop should contact the department at 927-2217 or e-mail email@example.com in order to register.
Music of Poetry at Nanook tomorrow
Tomorrow's Outspoken: The Music of Poetry will be the sixth staging of the monthly open mic, poetry and music event held at Nanook, 20 Burlington Avenue, St Andrew.
There will be feature performances by two poets, Gervanna 'Gravity' Stephens and Jamel Hall, as well as musicians Dexta Malawi and the duo Dre and KJ.
The atmosphere will include a bonfire; complimentary pastry treats, and a variety of craft and vegan food booths.
Outspoken is held in collaboration with Electro-Rock Events and Nanook Enterprise, which is a social enterprise - a model for change geared towards helping people make a living from their culture and creativity.
The event starts at 8 p.m. and general admission is $300.
75th anniversary for Junior Centres
The Programmes Coordination (Junior Centres), a division of the Institute of Jamaica (IOJ), celebrates its 75th anniversary this year. Established in 1940 with the support of Sir Philip Sherlock, the East Street and Greater Portmore Junior Centres function under the mandate, "to provide the facilities for young people to acquire knowledge, develop skills in the various art forms so as to foster their intellectual, aesthetic and cultural growth".
Each Junior Centre has been able to provide after-school, Saturday and summer-enrichment programmes as well as library resources designed to promote the creative and cultural development of Jamaican youths ages six to 18 years old. These programmes include drumming, dance and music classes; storytelling, art and craft; Kitchen Fixin' (a cooking practical), and many others.
Through the honing of creative talents, the Junior Centre has gained significant recognition in the cultural community. It boasts several dance, drumming and music awards for outstanding achievement from the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission; the National Child Month Committee; the International Art Exhibition, and many others.
The Junior Centre boasts participants who have gone on to be successful in various fields such as the arts, law and government. Among them are The Honourable Barbara Gloudon, Paula Llewellyn, Astley 'Grub' Cooper, and Oneil Peart from No-Maddz.
There will be a meet-and-greet mixer on May 31 at the IOJ, 10-16 East Street, downtown Kingston. Past Junior Centre members will have the chance to reunite with childhood friends and reflect on their experiences.
Film festival gets $5m from CHASE
The Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) has received a $5 million grant from the CHASE Fund in support of the Jamaica Film Festival. The festival, which will be held from July 7 to 11 in Kingston, is aimed at creating an opportunity for independent filmmakers from Jamaica and the Caribbean to showcase their films, meet with local film-makers and industry personnel and promote Jamaica as a destination for filming.
It is the focus of the business of film that has attracted the attention of the CHASE Fund, and it is expected that the grant will go towards project coordination, workshops and seminars. "CHASE has been supporting the development of film in Jamaica under its arts and culture mandate, and we think the festival will be the perfect platform to advance the discussion on the business of the art," said the fund's head, William 'Billy' Heaven.
In addition to 13 local films to be screened over the five-day period, JAMPRO has received entries from 45 countries, significantly broadening the scope and agenda of the festival. JAMPRO Film Commissioner Carole Beckford is encouraged by the international response.
"JAMPRO is pleased that the international film community and the diaspora have had a very positive response to the festival, and we have partnership opportunities from the Bahamas and Trinidad and Tobago film festivals for participation at their respective film festivals," she said.
"The addition of the international films will help to raise the profile of the Jamaican Film Festival and will give it more of an international appeal and create opportunities for local film-makers to interact with their peers worldwide," she added.