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Growth & Jobs | JAMPRO, CBU promote export of local film content

Published:Tuesday | August 28, 2018 | 12:00 AM
From left: Film Commissioner Renee Robinson speaks to Chris Brownie, director; Justine Henzell, producer, and Mykal Cushnie, director, during a networking session held at Local Scenes.

The Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), the Caribbean Broadcasting Union (CBU), and the Public Media Alliance, hosted a screening of Jamaican content to promote international distribution opportunities for Jamaican screen-based material. The event, Local Scenes: A Showcase of Jamaica Film and TV Content to the Caribbean, was held in Kingston on August 12.

The event was part of a week of activities led by the CBU as part of the 49th Annual General Assembly. Local Scenes featured a diverse selection of screen-based content - including web series, a talk show and short films. The line-up included JAFTA Propella finalist Nile Saulter's Fever Dream; web series Losing Patience by Toni Blackford, which had its local broadcast premiere on Jamaican television station TVJ; Adjani Salmon's Dreaming whilst Black; local broadcast episodic Dr's Appointment, hosted by Dr Sara Lawrence; and the short film Prosce-nium, directed by Allison Harrison.

The event showed Jamaican material to regional delegates with the hope of securing distribution and other deals for content produced in Jamaica. It included a networking session with local film-makers and broadcast executives from across the Caribbean, as well as a presentation from keynote speaker Louis Hillelson, vice-president of sales for Reed MIDEM. MIDEM organises MIPCOM and MIP TV, two of the largest global marketplaces for media content, held annually in France. Renee Robinson, Jamaica's film commissioner, and Kayleaser Deveaux-Isaacs, general manager of the Broadcasting Corporation of the Bahamas, also gave remarks.

Robinson said that the initiative was part of JAMPRO's drive to create more international partnerships to support dealmaking for Jamaican content.

She said, "It is of paramount importance to the film commission that investment-ready commercially viable local content gets seen. We've generated a catalogue of this local content and are committed to expanding the slate that is ready to be put in front of financiers and distributors. The reality is that there are limited screening opportunities here at home, so we must put mechanisms in place for our best work to have pipelines towards other visibility opportunities. Jamaica hosting the CBU this year provided a crucial opportunity to present a showcase for regional and international broadcast executives and decision-makers. I expect some deal-making will arise from this initiative."