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Netflix hunts local talent

Published:Sunday | June 10, 2018 | 12:00 AMStephanie Lyew/ Gleaner Writer
Popcaan has landed a role in the Netflix drama — 'The Intent', scheduled to be released this summer.

Over the past year, there has been enormous growth in interest in local talent for the international film industry - as directors of short movies and TV series and casting companies have sought out both seasoned and fresh talent from the island. News of dancehall artiste Popcaan landing a role in the Netflix drama - The Intent, scheduled to be released this summer, followed the announcement that fellow entertainer Shaggy would make an appearance in the movie - Game Over Man which was released on the same video-streaming platform in March. Casting assistant at London-based Des Hamilton Casting Georgia Topley told The Gleaner that Jamaica is becoming a hot spot to find talent - whether actors or entertainers for projects within the film industry - because of the vibrant atmosphere and people. "The people are very charismatic and internationally renowned for being so. As for Des Hamilton Casting, we always aim to find persons within their place of origin where possible for authenticity," said Topley.

Notably, Popcaan had been featured in Drake's, Please Forgive Me short film in 2016 while young female actresses Camille Davis and Kimberly Patterson landed roles in Nick Cannon's King of the Dancehall film in the same year. Des Hamilton Casting is credited for its work with the BBC series Gunpowder and War Machine, a Netflix original film starring Brad Pitt." We are looking for non-actors for our upcoming project; no previous acting experience is necessary," said Topley. The film and TV casting company which is known for discovering new and/or undiscovered talent (non-actors) is currently on the hunt for a Chinese-Jamaican man in his 40s to play one of the major roles in the third series of Top Boy for Netflix, in which international recording artiste, Drake, will act as a producer alongside his manager Adel Nur.

The scenes will also be shot locally starting in September in order to make the 2019 global release date. The individual who is selected will not be required to travel outside of JA."It's worth noting that whoever gets the role will be very well paid so it is a great opportunity for locals," she said.


Impact on the Local Market


As it relates to the production's impact on the local market, she added, "The production will be providing business opportunities while filming and bringing international tourism to the island upon the film's release.

"The casting company's team believes that more than enough competent and appealing personalities will submit applications for a chance to be a part of Top Boy 3, but Topley said that time is of the essence since the initial casting session takes place tomorrow at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel, therefore, anyone interested in applying would need to email quickly with the subject 'Jamaican Casting'. Applicants should include two photos, one headshot, and one full-body photo along with their name, age and a brief biography.