Sadeke Brooks, Staff Reporter
In a bid to continue the spread of Jamaican culture worldwide, the Creative Production and Training Centre (CPTC) has launched its Commemorative DVD Gift Pack.
The collection that includes productions such as 'Jamaica Beat', 'This Week In 1962', 'Hill An' Gully Ride', 'Ring Ding Again' and 'Dis Long Time Gal', was launched at the Ministry of Youth and Culture, Trafalgar Road, on Friday morning.
Speaking at the event, Chantal Hylton-Tonnes, CEO of CPTC, said she thought it would be wonderful to put together a set of programmes that celebrate Jamaica.
In a short interview with The Sunday Gleaner, Hylton-Tonnes explained that CPTC was established in 1984 for the "recording, promoting and archiving expressions of Jamaica's culture."
"What's the sense in recording this material if you are not going to repurpose it?," she asked. "The thing with culture content is that the older it gets, the more valuable it is because then people can always be looking back."
She added that older content like 'Hill An' Gully Ride' that was started in 1988 can get lost on some persons who weren't around during those early days. Therefore, she said the CPTC is "trying to ensure that viewership of Jamaican content is no longer restricted to free-to-air television."
"Products that have already been seen on free-to-air or on cable, we are now moving them to a wider viewership base by ensuring that persons visiting Jamaica can go into a gift shop and buy this and as we said, it will be available online so persons abroad can purchase and watch at their leisure," Hylton-Tonnes told The Sunday Gleaner.
Minister of Youth and Culture, Lisa Hanna, who was also at the launch, noted that the commemorative DVD collection is one of the tangible initiatives that came on board after the official Jamaica 50 celebratory period from August 1 to 6.
"This is another initiative in the Jamaica 50: Nation on a Mission component. When we sat to look at Jamaica 50 and to put it together, it was clear that one of the policy initiatives going forward is to leverage culture and to commercialise our cultural content and take it to the world," Hanna said.
In an effort to get the product into the hands of Jamaicans, Hylton-Tonnes said the DVDs will be available at several retail outlets and by next week it will be available on the CPTC website.
"Prior to this we have been selling DVDs very quietly without much marketing, just generally sending it out to seven or eight partners. In an average year we may sell 100 to 200 DVDs. But, with this campaign, we are looking to get aggressively into DVD sales," she said.
"We want to tap into that available audience and ensure that our culture content is seen by hundreds and thousands of people. We hope that within the next 16 to 18 months, these programmes will be purchased and seen by millions of people."