Let’s do it for Garvey!


Brian Bonitto (Jamaica Observer) writes about Donovan Watkis, who firmly believes that Jamaica’s fledgling industry should train its cameras on National Hero Marcus Garvey and not wait for Hollywood to tell the story.

“Marcus Garvey is the most important black leader. We have to tell that story. We don’t have to wait on American filmmakers to do it for us,” Watkis told the Sunday Observer.

The 30-year-old said Garvey’s influence is global and everyone can relate to it. “The stories are told of people Garvey influenced … Carter G Woodson, W E B DuBois, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King Jr. His philosophy is one of self-reliance, black consciousness, black power, and self-development, and we need that right now. Showcasing Marcus Garvey in a romantic, powerful, charming way in a nice scripted story, through film, will be way more powerful than a deejay sing about Garvey,” he said.

Watkis said the St Ann-born Garvey was ahead of his time.

“Garvey created his own banking system, where at its zenith was the Black Star Liner, UNIA (Universal Negro Improvement Association) and other movements; he was ‘inputting’ and ‘outputting’ over US$5 million. He was ahead of his time. He had millions of followers before social media. He was the original social media man.”

Watkis, a former drama teacher at Merl Grove High School, said understanding of self is not embedded in the schools’ curriculum. [. . .] Watkis, whose acting credits include Better Mus’ Come, recently premiered his short animation film Cakle at last month’s Jamaica Film Festival.

Earlier this year, his 15-minute production, Junior, racked up awards at the Lignum Vitae Film Festival held at the Northern Caribbean University in Manchester. It won Best Cinematography, Best Overall Short Film, Best Post-Production, and he won the Best Overall Actor trophy. He hopes to convert it to a feature film. [. . .]

For full article, see http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Let-s-do-it-for-Garvey-_19221816

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