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Jamaican Novelist graduates New York Film Academy

Published:Tuesday | June 2, 2015 | 12:00 AMShereita Grizzle
Roger Williams
Roger Williams

After his book advocating for animal rights was named as part of the catalogues at several Ivy League Universities worldwide, American-based Jamaican novelist, Roger Williams, is looking to break new ground with his sights set on the film industry. The novellist is determined to pursue screenwriting and may be on the right track if his recent successes are anything to go by.

Williams, who has previous experience in the industry as an actor, was recently awarded the Best Writer in Drama, by the New York Film Academy's Manhattan branch for his course piece titled, The Truth. The short film chronicles the story of a young woman living in Connecticut, who breaks off her relationship with her boyfriend without revealing why. She then has a change of heart and travels to New York to bare her soul and tell her ex-boyfriend the real reason behind her leaving. This revelation brings about some serious drama. Williams, who had to write and direct the piece, told The Gleaner, that he was proud of his achievement, not just for what it meant to him personally, but because he got the opportunity to represent Jamaica.'


proud to represent Jamaica


"I am happy," he said. "I felt proud to represent Jamaica. To be in a programme with so many talented international students from countries like Russia, Argentina, Rome, Spain, India, China, Korea, Jordan, France, Brazil, Cyprus, and Greece and to cop the award, felt amazing."

Williams, who is determined to take his career in film to the next level, is making all the right moves, as just last month, the aspiring screenwriter graduated the New York Film Academy after completing a one-year screenwriting course at the institution. With the knowledge and experience gathered from the institution, Williams hopes to make a meaningful contribution to the country's film industry, which he believes has true potential.

"I want to help out the Jamaican film industry and I believe I can do it via good writing and acting, because I am an actor too," he said. "I believe the Jamaican film industry has good potential. Storm Saulter seems to be a very good director and he did an awesome job with Better Must Come, so it would be a pleasure to have these talented directors bringing my work to life."

Williams is currently working on two screenplays for another course at the Film Academy, pieces he hopes to bring to life outside of the classroom. He also told The Gleaner, that he hopes to be an inspiration to other young Jamaicans. "I want to be an inspiration for Jamaican children who think if they don't pass for a top prestigious high school they can't make it," he explained. "I never attend a traditional high school, but I managed to graduate and I went on to write one of the most recognised books (if not the most recognised) by a Jamaican author and I continue to do good literary work in other mediums."