Jamaica Film Festival will help put Jamaica on the map — Hylton

HYLTON... Persons think that ‘boom!’ you get an idea and you’re a millionaire.

THE Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) has pooled a total of $68 million for the staging of the inaugural Jamaica Film Festival which kicked off yesterday.

Over the next five days, a total of 43 films will be screened during the event. Of this number six are from Jamaican film-makers.

Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce Anthony Hylton told the Jamaica Observer in a round-table interview on Monday that he hopes "this film festival will assist in putting Jamaica on the map."

The festival comes on the heels of the Jamaica International Reggae Film Festival held last month. Barbara Blake Hannah, coordinator of that festival, co-founded one of Jamaica's earliest film festivals back in 1974 after the release of The Harder They Come.

The JAMPRO event, held under the theme 'Where art meets business', is aimed at building the capacity of local players in the industry and will include workshops on scriptwriting for film and television, developing content to fit the global market and support for financing film projects.

"I'm pleased to see that it involves the building of capacity and networking with international experts. Stars are not born overnight. Persons think that 'boom!' you get an idea and you're a millionaire... these things take hard work," he said.

The event will assist industry players in the casting, marketing and distribution of films, finding the right music for film production, key aspects of Jamaica's production capabilities, live shows and production and the uniqueness of producing films in the Caribbean.

"It's a forum, a marketplace for network opportunity. What it is not is a party, it's a serious conference pulling a confluence of experts in the industry," Hylton told the Business Observer.

"Whatever they are doing, I'm sure it will aid and assist them because is it bringing a broader focus and reinforcing the Government's interest with JAMPRO to work, develop and build the industry," Hylton said.

"This is an opportunity to capture all the elements of the creative industry, whether fashion, animation documentary or music, and if we want to make a statement about our serious intent in building and developing our creative industry then a Film Festival really pulls together the critical elements of that."

The 2015/16 Budget presentation allocated a little over $2.6 billion to support Jamaica's creative industry, a sector which continues to contribute up to five per cent of the country's GDP.

Published Date: 
Wednesday, July 8, 2015