Screenwriters move to the next level with film workshop hosted by British Council, JAMPRO and JAFTA

The British Council, JAMPRO and JAFTA take screenwriters to the next level in “Making Development Work II”.   This capacity building film workshop was launched in March of this year and is delivered by international film consultant Ludo Smolski.  15 selected film professionals will be participating in 3 days of activities, from September 28-30, 2017 to encourage the development of successful Jamaican film projects.

Ludo Smolski, who is also a tutor for the UK’s National Film and Television School’s Postgraduate Diploma in Script Development, will be focusing on the role of story editors, and how they collaborate with screenwriters and producers. He will be working with the filmmakers to review scripts, and improve pitching and marketing of scripts and finished projects. The goal of the British Council, JAMPRO and JAFTA partnership, is to develop a long-term programme with local filmmakers to strengthen their skills in film production.

Supporting the program’s emphasis on script development, Jamaica’s Film Commissioner, Renee Robinson, said that JAMPRO was focusing on empowering local filmmakers to envision, execute and promote a film project.Ms. Robinson said, “One of the most crucial components of the way this intensive was designed, is to bring together the writer, the editor, and the producer to better understand their individual roles within the development process. By including all three at this stage, the script is stronger and therefore generates a greater production and commercial potential. A key skills gap that we experience in Jamaica is with script editing, and if we are to produce our own intellectual property to be at a globally competitive standard – then this is an important building block that the industry must pursue. This intensive program has outputted five trained local script editors this year, and we hope to continue this program annually with our partners at the British Council and JAFTA.”

The Jamaica Film and Television Association (JAFTA)’s President Gabrielle Blackwood said, “JAFTA is once again happy to be a part of the British Council’s Making Development Work, script development workshop. We would like to say special thanks to JAMPRO and the British Council for continuing with Part II of the workshop and bringing back beloved instructor Ludo Smolski. Feature script development and screenwriting has often been overlooked and lacking in our industry and an area crucial to the development of more local full-length narratives. It’s a great opportunity for all the participants involved, who are eager to follow up on the work they accomplished in March. The workshop has also come at an opportune time, just off the heels of a recently concluded screenwriters residency at Jakes in St. Elizabeth. JAFTA looks forward to the work produced from the series and will continue to support and encourage script development in Jamaica.”


Annalee Davis, Caribbean Arts Manager at the British Council, explained that the workshops were part of the organisation’s plans to have sustained efforts to build the Jamaican film industry, rather than engaging in short-term interventions.  She said, “After conducting a film scoping mission in late 2016, the British Council saw an opportunity to work with local partners and to contribute to the growth of the local film sector through investment in local talent.  Given that short-term workshops do not deliver enough impact, the organisation felt it could add value by responding to the need for screenwriters and script editors training through a three-part capacity-building workshop and mentoring programme led by a film development consultant, Ludo Smolski, who is based in London.  We are delighted to continue our partnership with JAMPRO and JAFTA and we are heartened by the impact of this training over the past seven months.  The key players in the film and television industry have responded very positively to the extended programme.”


The Jamaica Film Commission’s purpose is to build global relationships and realize business opportunities for the Jamaican film industry through facilitation of activities that increase investment, export and employment. JAMPRO is an Agency of the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation.  

About The British Council:


The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and other countries. Using the UK’s cultural resources we make a positive contribution to the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust.

Published Date: 
Wednesday, September 27, 2017
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