Fri | Jan 19, 2018


Published:Friday | March 3, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Film commissioner Renee Robinson
Yasus Afari
Stephen Hill (right), CEO of CINTV, speaks with Kirk Buchanan, deputy CEO at The Creative Production and Training Centre Limited (CPTC), and Chantal Hylton-Tonnes, CEO at CPTC, shortly after the signing of a two-year distribution deal with CINTV, New York, for CPTC's flagship programme, ‘Hill 'n’ Gully Ride’.
Lutan Fyah
Kabaka Pyramid


15 participants in film script workshop


Following a rigorous application process, 15 local film-makers were selected to participate in the British Council's script development workshop for experienced film professionals, held in partnership with JAMPRO and the Jamaica Film and TV Association (JAFTA) from March 1-5, in Kingston.

The five-day workshop is designed to introduce the concept and practice of good script development by focusing on the role of the story editor and how they work with screenwriters and producers. International script development consultant Ludo Smolski, who is also a tutor for the National Film and Television School's postgraduate diploma in script development, is facilitating the sessions. According to the British Council, "The programme will enable participants to gain the skills necessary to enhance their own film-making and that of their peer community and wider industry."

Jamaica's Film commissioner, Renee Robinson, said "JAMPRO, through the Film Commission, is pleased to be partnering with the British Council and JAFTA on the delivery of this workshop. We are always exploring partnerships that will further the development of the industry and this programme is one such. We look forward to the positive outcomes and look anticipate our continued partnership".

JAFTA's president, Gabrielle Blackwood, also noted that JAFTA is proud to share in this partnership with the British Council. "As the organisation tasked with representing and developing the film industry in Jamaica, we look forward to the mentorship and training that will come from this workshop, and anticipate the ultimate production of the feature length scripts", she explained.

Affirming their support of the development of arts in the region, the British Council's Caribbean director and country director for Jamaica, Olayinka Jacobs-Bonnick, stated that the organisation has more projects in the pipeline to support the development of the arts and the creative economy.


Poetry in Motion marks 14 years


The 14th annual staging attracted a full house at the Manchester Golf Club, Mandeville, on Sunday, February 26.

As become customary, things got off to a punctual start at 6 p.m. with a very special interlude of soul-stirring reggae music which was consistent with Black History Month.

Former President of NCU Dr Herbert Thompson read from his books, told stories with a sophisticated sense of humour and wit, spoke to social issues and motivated the audience to ensure that the art is kept alive.

Osheen Wright provided poetry of pain and drama, while Delacia's poetry addressed romantic uncertainties, emotional betrayal and Jamaica's social ills, including violence against women and children. Shamoya Samuels presented poetry of love, passion and sensuality. They were dubbed ' Three the Hard Way'.

John Akpata introduced another international guest, Ruth Nadolny who traversed the intriguing space between comedy and poetry. Annmarie Wilmot tantalised, seduced and provoked with her classy, poetic sensuality, and John Akpata navigated to the intermission.

Vietnamese musician, singer and poet KingKim surprised and excited her audience. Yasus Afari did militant poetry, humour, comedy, storytelling and dub philosophy, addressing social, political and spiritual issues. Akpata did an inspirational set with wit, humour, intellect and flair of hip-hop poetry. Steppa followed with an offstage poem, then entered to an animated reception. Steppa was raw, militant yet humble as he addressed a wide range of current topics and issues, encouraging young people in the audience to "talk up youth".

The iconic Myrna Hague was accompanied by Marjorie Whylie and this combination pleased, delighted and captivated Poetry in Motion.

Poetry in Motion 2017 supported a range of deserving charities, including Church Teachers' College-Porus Primary School Project, Friends in Need and the Gilbert & Georgia Allen Educational Trust. The three cheques were presented on stage.


Hill 'n' Gully Ride gets US screening


Jamaica's longest-running on location, local television show, Hill 'n' Gully Ride returns to CINTV, New York, through a recently inked deal negotiated between CIN's Stephen Hill and CPTC's Chantal Hylton-Tonnes.

Head of CPTC's Content Distribution Unit, Jamvision, Shakera Campbell, noted that the CIN distribution partnership is a strategic one, as "CIN is the number one Caribbean channel in the New York Metro area, with access to over 18 million viewers. Many of the Jamaican community in New York grew up watching Hill 'n' Gully Ride in Jamaica. So, for many, the programme reminds them of 'the good old days'. Each episode is a nostalgic celebration of what's great about Jamaica."

Stephen Hill, CEO of CIN, confirmed his audience's warm reception to the return of Hill 'n' Gully Ride to CINTV, which now airs in New York on Channel 73 and Verizon Fios Channel 26 on Sundays at 5:30 p.m. "Content is king and CPTC is a treasure trove of content. Through CIN's television platform, Jamaica's rich history and culture can be seen by millions of people, contributing to the attractiveness of Jamaica as a destination and affording exporters a strategic platform to market their goods and services. Jamaica's economy will grow if we market to the world," he said,

Hill 'n' Gully Ride is produced by renowned historian, writer and journalist Carey Robinson, alongside a dedicated team from the CPTC. Kirk Buchanan, deputy CEO/director of productions at CPTC, noted that "the production of Hill 'n' Gully Ride has transitioned to the HD format, thereby ensuring that the CPTC will be able to share this iconic national programme for years to come."

The half-hour magazine programme travels throughout the beautiful parishes of Jamaica, inviting people of all ages and levels to share stories of where and how they live, work, worship and play.


Stepping High Ganja Festival this weekend


What started as a gathering of friends projecting the benefits of ganja has evolved into the Stepping High Ganja Festival, Jamaica's oldest event highlighting cannabis. The 14th annual staging takes place tomorrow and Sunday at Cayenne Beach in Negril, Westmoreland.

Toots Hibbert, Kabaka Pyramid, Lutan Fyah and Samory I, artistes who support the decriminalisation of ganja, are some of the performers on Stepping High, which is again produced by Lyndon Connell, who started the event in 2003.

Connell has been an unapologetic advocate for ganja legalisation for nearly 40 years. He first held Stepping High at his home in Negril. In 2015, he took things to another level by taking Stepping High to expansive Cayenne Beach. Reggae legend Lee 'Scratch' Perry was the headliner, along with progressive reggae group No-Maddz.

Connell says Stepping High gives Jamaican ganja planters an opportunity to showcase their products. This year, 20 producers (10 from Westmoreland) will present a diverse batch of cannabis.

The economic spin-offs from ganja will once again be foremost, Connell explained. "Ganja is not just about smoking, that is something people must know. Is a self-reliant energy," he said.

With marijuana legalisation picking up steam in Canada and the United States, there is great potential for the Stepping High Ganja Festival as a tourist attraction.