The Jamaica Film and Television Association (JAFTA) and the Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) will be leading the 2017 JAFTA Propella finalists to premiere their five films at the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival (TTFF), to be held in Port of Spain, Trinidad today.
The five selected finalists, Kyle Chin, Angela Magnus, Sarah Manley, Danielle Russell and Nile Saulter, will be premiering their films at the festival as part of a special block showing JAFTA projects, and representing Jamaica’s contribution to Caribbean film.
The filmmakers will also use the opportunity to promote their films and create essential business relationships for the distribution of their projects. Leading the delegation, JAFTA and JAMPRO will be seeking to create useful networks for the promotion of Jamaican content at the festival, which is the largest in the Caribbean.
The 2017 JAFTA Propella premiere in Trinidad and Tobago is the culmination of six months of work by the filmmakers and JAFTA to finalise the films, as well as preparing for promotion on the international market. Capacity building interventions, undertaken by JAMPRO, have also prepared the filmmakers.
The Agency held workshops on script development, directing and producing, and the business of film, to ensure that filmmakers could exploit the opportunities presented at the festival, while protecting their content. Following the premiere in Trinidad, the filmmakers will receive an additional market attendance opportunity from JAMPRO as they will also participate at the Clermont Ferrand International Short Film Festival in France in February 2018.
JAFTA President Gabrielle Blackwood noted that the response to JAFTA Propella this year was overwhelming, both in the number of entries as well as the enthusiasm and contribution of the rest of the local film community, who also provided labour and technical support. She said, “What is particularly exciting about this year’s JAFTA Propella is the dynamism of the local stories and anecdotes showcased, all very culturally apt and ingrained in our Jamaican roots and heritage.
JAFTA is also happy to have the CHASE Fund on board once again and JAFTA intends to continue and expand on the JAFTA Propella initiative, as well as continue to seek, foster and develop film opportunities for our growing local film industry.”
JAMPRO’s Film Commissioner Renee Robinson explained that JAMPRO was pleased with the outcome of the programme and its growth in comparison to last year’s showing. Robinson said, “We received almost double the number of entries in this year’s call for applications, and I am certain that in Year 3, we will enjoy even more growth and exposure to the local film industry. This type of talent discovery programme is very much in line with international strategic interventions, which hone and propel the careers of a specific annual cohort. In many cases the short film is seen as a calling card, a proof of concept, of what the filmmaker can achieve. Through this mechanism, we additionally populate a national catalogue of short films that we can then utilize for promotion of the capabilities of the film industry in Jamaica as a whole.”
JAFTA, with support from JAMPRO and CHASE Fund, continues to foster a spirit of togetherness, community and advancement for our local film and television industry.