GLEANER HONOUR AWARD - 'Destiny': a major boost to Jamaica's film industry
'Lights, camera, action' headlined in 2014 the success story of emerging creative genius, Jeremy Whittaker's Destiny - the enthralling Jamaican-flavoured romantic drama.
It was a glowing moment from the get-go, as the cinematic project was destined to be a successful feature film debut for the producer/director/co-writer.
A production of Grasshopper Productions Limited, Destiny hit the box office last October and continued to dominate into the New Year, enjoying a record run, as moviegoers kept lining up at the theatres to get caught in the saga that highlights issues many individuals struggle with throughout their lifetime. It was, therefore, no surprise that Destiny was listed among Palace Amusement's top 10 movies for 2014, as the almost two-hour flick captivated its audience from start to finish.
Featuring a host of local talent, among the memorable names featured in the movie are Karian Sang, Sabrina Diana Colie, Christopher Martin, Grace 'Spice' Hamilton, Kerstin Whittaker, Munair Zacca, Ian 'Ity' Ellis and Lyndon Forte.
Co-written by Paul O'Beale, the independent film was shot on location in Canada and Jamaica and highlighted the paradise island as an ideal filming location.
The exceptional soundtrack only serves to enhance the fantastic quality of the movie.
Whittaker, co-founder and the creative principal of Grasshopper Productions Ltd, has earned rave reviews for both his outstanding directorial debut as well as the classic production that Destiny turned out to be.
The Gleaner Company is, therefore, pleased to present Grasshopper Productions with The Gleaner Honour Award for its accomplishments in Entertainment in 2014, through the production Destiny.
- Industry players on 'Destiny'
(1) DIANE EDWARDS - President, JAMPRO
JAMPRO's president, Diane Edwards, had high praises for the film, Destiny, and its producer/director Jeremy Whittaker. Describing it as heart-warming, she believes Jamaicans have gravitated to it because of its diverse storyline.
"There is something in it for everyone," she explained. "It's not the usual 'bang, bang' that people are accustomed to and that makes it all the more interesting. It tells a story with universal appeal, with events that are real and true to life and reflective of the holistic Jamaican experience."
Noting that JAMPRO is excited to have been a part of the production, Edwards is confident Destiny has the potential to be a hit within the diaspora and stated that Whittaker should be commended for his brilliant work.
"It is an enjoyable family film, with an excellent music score and Whittaker should be very pleased with its accomplishments thus far," she stated.
(2) CAROLE BECKFORD - film commissioner, JAMPRO
Jeremy Whittaker's debut film, Destiny, has surpassed the expectations of many. With its debut in theatres islandwide back in October, many were not expecting that the film's theatrical run would roll over into the New Year, but it has.
Proud of the production, Carole Beckford, film commissioner and manager of the creative industries at JAMPRO, gives insight into why the independent feature film has lasted as long as it has.
"Destiny, the romantic drama, positions Jamaica not just as a location for filming, but as a destination worthy of producing engaging content," she said.
Beckford believes the movie is doing a lot for Jamaica, as it relates to rebuilding the film industry's image on an international level and noted that Destiny's record run in the theatres is testament to its production quality.
"The run in local theatres is an indication that well-put-together Jamaican content can be worthy of extended runs, so kudos to Jeremy and his team. The film commission is proud to have that in its bank of creative products/services. We are proud of Grasshopper Productions," she declared.
(3) PAUL O'BEALE - Destiny co-writer
Even as co-writer of the film, the experienced Paul O'Beale admits that he was pleasantly surprised that Destiny managed to accomplish all that it has. The veteran director also said (biases aside), having seen the final production, he is proud to have been a part of such an amazing piece of work.
"As a writer, you know that a good story is one that has diversity. It should have all the aspects that provide wholesome entertainment for everyone, and Destiny has that, and that is what has contributed to its record run at the box offices. People have been describing it as a breath of fresh air and I agree with them wholeheartedly," stated O'Beale.
He said he has no regrets about the film and stated that producer/director Jeremy Whittaker deserves every bit of success he is getting.
"As a young man, he has done amazing work for his first time and he must be commended. This can only mean greater things to come from him in the future," he predicted.
- Destiny is one of those must-see films - no violence, no bloodshed, just clean, fun, wholesome entertainment.
- Destiny has gone global, securing a worldwide distribution deal with Jamaica's Tuff Gong International for the film's soundtrack