A report by Shereita Grizzle for Jamaica’s Gleaner.
Following its International Film Business workshop series, The Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) will be starting a month of activities to promote Jamaica’s film industry by leading a Jamaican delegation to the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).
The team left the island on Friday.
According to JAMPRO, in addition to actively promoting and enabling business for Jamaican filmmakers, the team at the TIFF will focus on building global business relationships, helping to gain exposure in the international market.
JAMPRO’s film commissioner, RenÈe Robinson, noted that following a successful trip to the TIFF last year, the agency was pleased to lead another Jamaican delegation to the 2017 edition of the festival.
“We’re thrilled to be leading the national delegation again this year to the Toronto International Film Festival, which is known among the top-five film festivals in the world. It is crucial that our content creators get exposure to the international business behind the film industry and become more experienced in the global marketplace,” she said, pointing out the importance of marketing and understanding the international film industry.
“TIFF is an annual meeting ground for more than 5,000 industry delegates – buyers, sales agents, distributors, financiers, and producing partners. Attendance at TIFF is about more than just screening the latest film. It is an opportunity to build fluidity with international best practises and foster stronger future partnerships.”
In a show of regional collaboration, Robinson revealed that the film commissioner from Trinidad and Tobago, Nneka Luke, would be joining the Jamaican delegation. Robinson is hoping that the collaboration will be the beginning of many regional partnerships.
JAMPRO President Diane Edwards explained that the mission to TIFF was part of the agency’s execution of the National Export Strategy, which identifies the creative industries as a key area for development for export.
“We have identified film, animation and other content markets to promote Jamaican content and creative industries practitioners. Our participation in TIFF, and the PROPELLA missions to Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival this month and the Clermont Ferrand International Short Film Festival in France next year with JAFTA, will give filmmakers the platform necessary to promote themselves and their work for distribution. During the next few months, we will also be hosting more sessions helping local filmmakers to be more prepared for the business of film. It is important to JAMPRO that this sector receives as much support as possible, as we create more business opportunities for the Jamaican film industry,” said Edwards.
The trip to the TIFF will also include attendance to the Caribbean Tales Film Festival and Caribbean Tales Incubator programme. The Incubator is expected to culminate in a live pitch to win US$30,000 grant to develop a new TV series with telecommunications network, FLOW.
The Jamaica Film Commission’s purpose is to create business opportunities for the Jamaican film industry through activities that increase investment, export and employment. JAMPRO is Jamaica’s trade and investment promotions agency, and is an agency of the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation.