Sun | Jan 24, 2021

UK debut for 'Kingston Paradise' tomorrow

Published:Tuesday | June 30, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Rocksy (Christopher Daley) at the steering wheel with a passenger in the back in ‘Kingston Paradise’.
Rocksy (Christopher Daley) in an emotionally charged moment in ‘Kingston Paradise’.


Kingston Paradise, a film by Mary Wells which was awarded Best Diaspora Feature at the 2014 African Movie Academy Awards (dubbed by CNN as Africa's Oscars), will premiere in London tomorrow. It will be shown at 9:30 p.m. in the 'Official Selection' of the BFM International Film Festival, being held at the Bernie Grant Arts Centre.

The BFM is one of the longest running and most renowned black film makers' festivals in the UK.

The movie also returns home to screen for the first time to Jamaican audiences at the inaugural Jamaica Film Festival in Kingston next Thursday, July 9, at 7 p.m. in the Courtleigh Auditorium.


Not Another Ghetto Story


"It's an off-beat urban thriller and not another Ghetto Story," says Wells. "It's a powerful, socially layered film that is a kind of call to action for some kind of change in ourselves and in our communities, as we experience its funky characters and their everyday lives."

Kingston Paradise follows Rocksy, a small-time hustler who journeys to steal a car, while his lady friend Rosie dreams for the peace depicted in a painting. A crime of reckless desperation changes their lives forever, as they fight to survive the chaos of their broken dreams and aspirations.

The film stars Christopher 'Johnny' Daley, Munair Zacca, Camille Small, Greggory Nelson and Paul Shoucair, alongside other outstanding local cast members and local and international crew. Kingston Paradise is produced by Frances-Anne Solomon, Mary Wells and Sajoya Alcott, the original music score by acclaimed Canadian composer John Welsman, who was assisted by the late Michael Irvine of Jamaica.

"Having won three international awards, the film now has a reputable US sales agent and distributor out of Los Angeles, California Pictures, along with CaribbeanTales Worldwide Distribution. California Pictures has repped the film at the Cannes Film Market and also the American Film Market and, to date, we have signed distribution deals in parts of Africa, France, Turkey, and more are on the way," Wells said.




"This is unprecedented for such a tiny, no-budget Jamaican film that has had little to no support, as it's very difficult to get this level of distribution. We have no big-name musician backing or music-producer blessing, and we didn't have a million or even half a million US dollars to work with. We virtually had nothing - not kidding! It has risen solely on its own merit as it's a wonderful film, far surpassing anyone's expectations."

The executive producers and co- executive producers are California Pictures, CaribbeanTales and Caribbean Creativity, with principal technical equipment and support services from the Creative Production & Training Centre Ltd.

Mary Wells is an award-winning independent film director, writer and producer from Jamaica with over 25 years' experience in TV and film production. Kingston Paradise is her first feature narrative.