The Jamaica Reggae Film Festival 2012

On February 18, 2012, the RedBones Blues Café in New Kingston celebrated the launch of the Jamaica Reggae Film Festival 2012. The event feted last year’s award winners with “The Best of the Reggae Film Festival 2011.” Carl Bradshaw, chairman of the Jamaica Film Academy, was on hand to herald this year’s event, scheduled for April 17-21. The Gleaner’s Garfene Grandison reports:

The selections from last year’s winners were screened in the Movie Garden of RedBones Blues Café. These selections included: Mustapha Khan’s Rocksteady, which won last year’s Best International Film award; and Steven Riley’s Fire in Babylon, a brilliant documentary which snagged the Best Documentary and Outstanding Film awards at last year’s show. Man Free, 2010’s Best Documentary winner, directed by Kinsey Beck with comments by Perry Henzell, was also among the films shown that night. Attendees also viewed selections from the ‘Make a Film in 24 Hours’ competition.

Part of the night’s screenings was the latest episode from Reinardo ‘Mental’ Chung’s popular series, Dutty Bwoy. Chung wowed judges last year with Bad Influence – an eight-minute 3D computer-animated film which took home the Digicel Animation Award. Animation has always been a field of interest for Chung, especially 3D animation. It was this interest that prompted him to learn the art of animation and also gave him the zeal to practise and hone his craft.

His series, Dutty Bwoy, has become an online sensation. It focuses on dancehall culture and also features animated versions of dancehall celebrities. The series is about three “street youths” who always seem to find themselves in some humorous situations with different dancehall artistes. [. . .] He believes that the Jamaican film industry has the potential to become an international phenomenon, much like our music.

Gaining a bit of viewership in January on Flow’s channel 100 which led to a small following was the miniseries, Red, Amber, Green, written, directed and produced by young actor, model and dancer Christopher Byfield. [. . .] Byfield entered the Reggae Film Festival’s ‘Make a Film in 24 hours’ competition last year with a film titled What I Am … What I Became … What I Remain, which placed third. Red, Amber, Green is Byfield’s debut film from his company Christopher Byfield Films. He, too, believes that the Reggae Film Festival has increased awareness of films and filmmakers in Jamaica. He believes it is a great avenue for filmmakers to premiere their work and believes it plays an integral part in the development of the Jamaican film industry.

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Image (Khan’s Rocksteady) from

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