New body to represent Jamaican Film Practitioners
A team of Jamaican Film and TV professionals have collaborated to officially launch the Jamaica Film and TV Association - JAFTA, a national association established to represent and help advance the interests of individual practitioners in the Jamaica film and television industry.
The association, which started in May of this year, has a membership of up and coming talents as well as seasoned practitioners like Jamaican filmmakers Chris Browne, director of Ghett'a Life and Third World Cop, and Storm Saulter, award-winning director for, Better Mus Come.
JAFTA was formed with support from the Jamaica Film Producers Association (an association of production companies). The newly formed body is also an inclusive organisation that covers all practitioners that make up film and television production teams, such as directors, producers, freelance actors and all technical crew.
Since its inception, over 100 industry players have attended monthly meetings at various locations. An interim board has also been elected and has facilitated the registration of the association as a company, and is now working towards building membership, and staging training and development events. The interim board members are Basil Jones Jr, (president), Heather Munro, Yvette Rowe, Kenia Mattis (vice-presidents) and Darin Tennent (treasurer).
"We want to grow the industry, and we can't do so until we are one body, one force, going in one direction," said JAFTA President Basil Jones Jr. "If you are a film and/or television practitioner, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for information about becoming a member," he added.
The association has already identified many areas of concern, including: incentives, funding and investment, training workshops and internships, rates and fees for crew, having a talent database, tools and equipment regulations, standardised policies and procedures for contracts, marketing distribution and promotion, health and pension benefits, accreditation and certification, communication, networking and organisation, access to filming locations, awards and film festivals.
With interests in the development of each practitioner and the industry, JAFTA will be working closely with the Jamaica Trade and Invest Corporation, the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, the Ministry of Finance and Planning, the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, the Ministry of Youth and Culture, and other agencies and associations.