Sun | Mar 24, 2019

Script workshop helps plot Ja's film path

Published:Friday | March 17, 2017 | 12:00 AMKimberley Small
Natalie Thompson
Mezan Ayoka
Chris Browne
Tony Hendricks

The Jamaica Film and Television Association (JAFTA), in partnership with the Jamaica Promotions Company (JAMPRO) and the British Council Caribbean (BCC), hosted the Make Development Work scriptwriting workshop from March 1-5 with international script consultant Ludo Smolski. "The overarching goal of the workshop was to contribute to a healthy cultural ecosystem and make our work as creatives more sustainable," Kevin Jackson, marketing and communications director of JAFTA, told The Gleaner.

"This should reinforce our communities and create opportunity for local film practitioners to come together to be a part of something larger, while professionalising the sectors and shaping collaborations with individuals and entities like JAMPRO and JAFTA," Jackson said. "What [Smolski] has left behind are better equipped writers, script editors and producers, who have now been exposed to industry-level script development, What Smolski provided was not about fixing scripts, but equipping and empowering Jamaican film-makers to take control and shape their our own stories."

The participants (including Jackson) were Letay Williams, Danielle Russell, Tony Hendricks, Chris Browne, Natalie Thompson, Denise Gooden, Tanya Batson Savage, Kaiel Eytle, Ina Sotirova, Janet Morrison, Mezan Ayoka and AndrÈ Wynter. Producers were asked to present a body of work and script editors were asked to submit their analysis of an existing screenplay or film. The final participants were selected by a three-member panel of representatives from JAFTA, JAMPRO and the British Council.




In the workshop, Jackson described the workshop as "non-invasive", where Smolski did not impose his ideas but instead, moulded an experience that was "eye-opening" in revealing the devil in the details of everyone's stories.

Jackson said that the script development workshop will be offered annually and encourages all interested to join JAFTA and apply when the next call comes around. "We will continue to team up to provide opportunities to address the gaps in the industry and ensure a productive film-making industry," he said.