Songs Of Redemption, a documentary, is creating interest after screenings in Jamaica and the United States.
The film, produced by Spanish national Nando Guereta of Nice Time Productions Limited, is the third documentary to be produced by the film company.
On February 18, the film received a significant award for Best Feature Film at the Pan African Film Festival (PAFF) held in Los Angeles, California.
In addition, the film received rave reviews as a result of several screenings at the PAFF. In the same week, the European Union Delegation to Jamaica sponsored and presented five full-house screenings at the Courtleigh Auditorium. The St Andrew screenings were attended by government officials, members of the diplomatic corps, inmates of the General Penitentiary, high school students, and invited members of the public, including family and friends of inmates featured in the film.
Songs Of Redemption captures the moving story of redemption and rehabilitation of inmates in the General Penitentiary in Jamaica.
The film features riveting interviews and powerful reggae music, created, performed, and produced in a unique partnership by inmates and wardens.
The movie exemplifies the unique transformation of an extremely violent environment into a new state of creative and healing collaborations.
Through the compassionate vision of former Superintendent Fairweather, prison staff are guided to view inmates as human beings whose lives could be renewed and positive outcomes unveiled through the use of creative outlets and skills.
Supporting continued education
Combined with the efforts of social activist, Carla Gullotta, programmes were initiated to support continuing education, in the areas of music production, computer technology, welding, and other skill-based opportunities.
According to Nice Time's attorney Lloyd Stanbury, who also acts as music supervisor for the film's soundtrack, "calls for screenings at international film festivals, and requests to acquire DVDs of the film and for additional local screenings, are coming in at an alarming rate."
In response to these requests, the Nice Time Productions team has been very busy organising several additional screening sessions in Jamaica, and have also completed and submitted applications to participate in a number of upcoming major international film festivals.
A very special film screening event is now being planned for the Mona Visitors' Lodge at the University of the West Indies on March 21. This event will be attended by invited members of the local music and entertainment fraternity, media representatives, and UWI staff.