Tue | Oct 16, 2018

Yardie Sequel in the making?

Published:Saturday | September 1, 2018 | 12:00 AMAkeem Masters/Gleaner Writer
Director of Yardie Idris Elba, and partner Sabrina Dhowre pose for photographers on arrival at the premiere of the film 'Yardie', in London on Tuesday August 21.
Jamaican Actress Shantol Jackson.
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'Yardie', a crime drama set in Jamaica and London, has barely hit screens, and already, there are talks of a sequel.

Speaking on Talk Radio in the United Kingdom, the film's director, Idris Elba, said that he wanted to make a Jamaican Godfather trilogy out of the movie, which premiered this month, meaning that Jamaica and Jamaican talent could stand to gain further benefits from the film.

In discussing the possibility of the movie receiving a sequel, Elba, who is making his directorial debut with, said that he would be on board for at least two more instalments of the story, which is an adaptation of the 1992 novel by Jamaica-born British writer Victor Headley.

"Originally, I thought this could be, you know, sort of a Jamaican Godfather trilogy. There is definitely a lot of story behind it. Jamaican culture is rich and far-reaching in the world, so I definitely feel like there could be more material, " he said.

Meanwhile, Film Commissioner at (JAMPRO) RenÈe Robinson noted that the Jamaican film industry has gained tremendous exposure and promotion since the filming of Yardie.

With the movie contributing to the over 2,700 jobs and J$1.2 Billion that the Film Commission recorded in the 2017-18 fiscal year, she pointed out that often, the value of the production sector is underestimated.

In hailing the production of the movie in Jamaica, Robinson said that Yardie had propelled the career trajectory of local stars Shantol Jackson, Sheldon Shepherd, Everaldo Creary and others significantly.

"It was indeed a pleasure to have his (Idris Elba) team here, and I know he bonded very warmly with the local cast and crew," she added.

With Elba praising Jamaica for having a rich culture, Robinson believes local screen that based professionals could benefit greatly through employment and apprenticeship opportunities by welcoming guest productions to Jamaica's shores.

"Our crews are some of the most experienced in the region due to a long history of guest productions here, and, in fact, many of our professionals travel and are hired to work on international productions throughout the year," Robinson said.

But she notes that Jamaica's global competitiveness is realistically constrained due to the lack of sector-based incentives and limited, established structures for local investors to participate in at the financing and development stage of the project.

However, Robinson says that the work of the Film Commission is aimed at advancing the Film Funds, and investor sanitisation is intended to balance that constraint.

Yardie premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January and is making its rounds on the international festival circuit. It has its local premiere today.