JAMPRO names Jamaica Film Festival team
Shereita Grizzle, Sunday Gleaner Writer
Although the 2015 staging for the Jamaica Film Festival will be in the summer, preparations are already under way, with the festival's organisers announcing the team of advisers to participate in this year's activities.
Emmy-nominated actress Tonya Lee Williams, actor Basil Wallace, and media expert Bernard Stewart have been named for the team, which will also include six international film and media leaders. John Lynch, Brian St Juste, Horace Madison, Paula Madison, Althea Wolfe, and Canadian High Commissioner Robert Ready have been selected for the unit, which will provide logistics and technical and management support for the festival. They will also assist local film-makers with marketing and distributing their films locally and internationally.
According to JAMPRO, the advisory team was selected by the organisation because of persons' "exemplary experience in the film and music industries." Their responsibilities will include distribution of content created for the film festival, marketing of Jamaica, advising on speakers for workshops, and management of the five-day film festival, which commences on July 7.
In addition to creating the advisory team, JAMPRO recently issued a call for submissions to select production-ready projects for the five-day proceedings. Over 50 projects were reviewed at the pitch sessions held at JAMPRO's business auditorium. Professional development workshops are also scheduled to get under way this month to help engage persons in the Jamaican film industry and to prepare them for creating content for widespread distribution.
In a release sent to The Sunday Gleaner, Paula Madison, a retired journalist and film-maker who is the CEO of Madison Media Management, responded to her selection as a member of the advisory body. She described the initiative as a wonderful opportunity and pledged to use her influence to help to make the festival successful.
President of JAMPRO Diane Edwards maintains that the team of advisers will provide the support that the organisation and film-makers need to get their films produced and shown locally and internationally. "Jamaica is a country bursting with creative talent and ideas," she said. "The growth of the international film industry has set the stage for us to move forward as content creators and gives us the opportunity to display our culture all over the globe."
She also said that the Jamaica Film Commission is planning several activities to increase the production of high-quality Jamaican content that could be exported around the world. Edwards said that JAMPRO believes the local film industry could become a viable option for employment and earning power.