Fri | May 24, 2019

Jamaican film-maker wins int'l award

Published:Monday | August 7, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Jamaican film-maker Sasha-Gay Lewis.

Jamaican film-maker Sasha-Gay Lewis has won an Award of Recognition from The Impact DOCS Awards Competition.

The award was given for Lewis' stirring short documentary, The Incursion, which highlights the 2010 Jamaican Government raid on the inner-city community of Tivoli Gardens in west Kingston.

Told from the residents' point of view, The Incursion provides an unfiltered look into the events of a day that brought Jamaica to a standstill, resulted in a bloodletting, the resignation of a prime minister, and the subsequent capture and extradition of notorious druglord Christopher 'Dudus' Coke.


Character-driven film


An emotional, character-driven film, The Incursion shines a spotlight on the emotional and personal trauma the residents endured, and its lingering effects on their lives today. The film follows the story of Annette, mother of two and community stalwart - who lost her best friend and sister; Chris, biker and devoted husband - who lost a nephew; and Joan, grandmother to a grandson - whose body has never been found.

"The decision to make this film was not an easy one, but the process of discovery was what kept me going, because I really wanted to know the residents' story. Throughout the entire process, I kept asking myself, what if it was me? If that were my family, what would I have done? The residents experienced a traumatic event and were re-traumatised by not being able to share their experiences in their own words. I wanted to change that, I wanted to show their humanity; and I wanted to show their pain in an effort to start a conversation for change, for healing. Winning this award will hopefully start, or in some cases continue the conversation, while exposing the human-rights abuses. To win this award is an honour, but there is more work to be done," said Lewis.

In winning an Impact DOCS award, Lewis joins the ranks of other high-profile winners of this inter-nationally respected prize, including Oscar-winning director Louie Psihoyos for his 2016 Best of Show - Racing Extinction, Oscar winner Yael Melamede for (Dis)Honesty - The Truth About Lies, and Emmy Award winner Gerald Rafshoon for Endless Corridors, narrated by Oscar winner Jeremy Irons, and many more.

Rick Prickett, who chairs Impact DOCS, says Impact DOCS helps set the standard for craft and creativity as well as create powerful catalysts for global change.

"The judges and I were simply blown away by the variety and immensely important documentaries we screened. Impact DOCS is not an easy award to win. Entries are received from around the world - from powerhouse companies to remarkable new talent. The goal of Impact DOCS is to help winners achieve the recognition they deserve for their dedication and work," said Prickett.

Impact DOCS, recognises film, television, videography and new media professionals who demonstrate exceptional achievement in craft and creativity, and those who produce standout entertainment or contribute to profound social change.

Documentaries were received from 30 countries, including veteran award-winning film-makers and new talent. Entries were judged by highly qualified and award-winning professionals in the film and television industry.