Describe why you selected to review this sector.
A film is seen as story or event recorded by a camera as a set of moving images and shown in a cinema or on television. The Film Industry is made up of Actors, Directors, Movie Producers and a host of many other people and entities. This multi-billion dollar that sector that provides a host of opportunities for those who are interested in this field. The reason why we chose to review this sector is because we realized that the Film Industry in Jamaica is not as popular as other sectors such as Music and Tourism. The onus is on us to identify some of the reason why the film industry is underperforming followed by the challenges that are adversely affecting our film industry. Having done that, we will have a better understanding of the film industry in Jamaica and to develop solutions or alternatives that will improve this sector.
Trace the historical development of your chosen sector, highlighting key stages during its evolution.
Jamaica’s film industry was started in 1900’s, as Jamaica was seen as the premier choice and the fairest island for film making. Jamaica’s film; the harder they come was made in 1972, as a Jimmy Cliff biography and life story. The harder they come was an enormous film which was both recognize international and in the Caribbean. This film entails a reggae soundtrack which was done by Jimmy Cliff himself in the interim of filming and has some contribution of taking reggae to the world. Jamaica’s film commission was established in 1984 and has partner with JAMPRO or Jamaica Trade and Invest to promote Jamaica as the destination for film making. These entities create a promotion to attract film makers all over the world. This has a very big impact on Jamaica film industry, locals and Jamaica as a tourism destination on a whole, as some of United Sates Hollywood film movies were filmed on the island. Although Jamaica film commission strives to promote Jamaica as a film destination, it also fosters employment for locals and creates foreign exchange that creates multiplier effect across the island. In 1976 and 1978, two authentic Jamaica films were released; Smile orange and the Rockers which have capitalized the culture as well as the day to day life style of Jamaicans in that era. The Rockers also entails the roots of reggae and feature some of Jamaica well known reggae artists; Gregory Isaacs and Burning Spear and other Rastafarian actors. In 1979 The Treasure Seekers, a British-American was brought to Jamaica and was filmed in the ocean floor of Jamaica in search for treasure of gold. In addition, this movie is also a written book and has been edited by different authors over the years. In 1982 another Jamaican film solely called the Countryman was released, this film tells the story of a Jamaica fisherman and also contain music from Bob Marley and the Wailers. Once more, Jamaica culture is recognize, as this film was released in Portugal and has influence the Jamaica filming industry positively, which attracts more international film makers. In the 1900’s Jamaica film industry was feed in a positive way, as a vast of movie starring American actors and actress was filmed on the magnificent island of Jamaica. These films include; Wide Sargasso Sea and How Stella Got Her Groove Back. These movies has promoted brand Jamaica after its release, because not only was the movie How Stella Got Her Groove Back contain American actress and actors, but also cemented the Jamaican creole in their speech. In 1997 and 1999, two of Jamaica’s biggest films was released; Dancehall Queen and Third World Cop which contain Jamaica reggae and dancehall artists. These films has capture the life of Jamaican’s at that time and has also influence more youth into that genre of music. In 2000’s both Jamaican and America movies were release in a small amount. Although Jamaica has a legacy for film making, the film industry has remained small over the years. In our opinion to attract large amount of film makers, Jamaica film industry need to focus more on development than growth, because there cannot be a substantial growth if there is no proper foundation to build on. In 2008, the Jamaica Film Academy (JFA) host its first reggae film festival which include an immaculate idea “make a film in 24 hours” competition. This competition include both locals and international film makers that will register online, make a DVD copy of their film and send it to the Jamaica Film Academy so that their film can be shown on the day of the festival. In 2004, there were also a film festival called the Flashpoint Film Festivals which was disrupted when hurricane Ivan struck the island of Jamaica but manage to regain its strength from sponsorship after the disaster. This festival was promoted as a Caribbean Festival to attract more international film makers and to reflect on Jamaica’s cultural legacy.
Identify at least two individuals who have contributed significantly to the growth of film.
Barbara ‘Makeda’ Blake Hannah Contribution to the Film Industry.
Barbara Makeda Blake Hannnah is a Jamaican author, music journalist, film maker and public speaker. In 1968 she made history as the first Black TV journalist on British television at the start-up of Thames TV and later worked with BBC-TV and Channel 4.Returning to Jamaica in 1972, and her real love of writing, she wrote newspaper articles, one of which led to her writing and publishing Rastafari ‘The New Creation’ in 1981, the first book on the Rastafari religion written by a member of the faith, now in its 5th edition. In 1992 she self-published Joseph a Rasta Reggae Fable, a novel about a reggae superstar based loosely on the life of Bob Marley whom she knew but mainly to give an insight into what life was like in the 70s when reggae and Rasta started going international. It has now been re-published by MacMillan Caribbean in 2006.
Barbara Makeda has lectured at the University of the West Indies, the University of Vienna, Austria; New York University; Florida International University; the University of Guyana; the University of the Virgin Islands, and the World Archaeological Congress Pre-Conference in Curacao. She was a delegate to the UN World Conference against Racism in 2001. She is producer/director of 6 documentary and 2 TV feature films, organised Black film festivals in Jamaica and represented Jamaica at film festivals in the USA, Cuba, West and the former East Germany and Iraq she also met with Saddam Husssein whom she found genuine. Barbara has had major accomplishments during her life. Appointed an Independent Senator in the Jamaican Parliament of 1984-87, she was presented with the Ethiopian Crown Council’s Adowa Centenary Gold Medal in 1997 and the United Nations Peace Medal in 1974. She had a son name Makonnen who she home-schooled, he was appointed Youth Technology Consultant to the Jamaican government in 1998 at the age of 13 years.
Barbara contribution to film is pronounced because she has aid in the growth and development of the film industry. She contributed to the industry by organizing a big event the Jamaica International Reggae Film Festival which is a unique annual event which takes place each year in Kingston, Jamaica, first held in 2008 and held each year since then. Hannah whose a, former Special Tasks Consultant to the Minister of Culture in collaboration with Peter Gittins of Reggae Films UK to give Jamaicans the opportunity to view some of the best of the hundreds of films made about and because of the world famous music of Jamaica, that not only reflect the wide interest in Jamaican music, but also bring tourists on vacation and income to members of the entertainment fraternity, as well as the nation. Barbara partnership with Peter Gittins has worked in the long run because their contribution has mentioned before played major role in the film industry. The festival shows films relating to reggae which are made each year all over the globe, it is a place for Reggae fans to come together each year to watch the latest reggae related films and a place for members of the film industry to link up with each other. International films on non-reggae topics are welcomed and shown annually.
Portfolio of Barbara Blake Hannah
Special Tasks Consultant
Ministry of Information, Culture, Youth & Sports
Jamaica Media Productions Ltd.
2001 – 2008 (7 years)
Publishing, film making, technology
Tec School Jamaica
1998 – 2001 (3 years)
Innovative online technology school for young Jamaicans, linking with students around the world. Organiser of summer technology workshops in Jamaica, Guyana, Boston (USA)
First black news anchor in the UK and a Book “Growing out”
Education: Wolmers high school for girls
Books and Novels
Joseph – A Rasta Reggae Fable
Rastafari, the New Creation
The Moon Has Its Secrets
Honors & Awards
? United Nations Peace Medal.
? Ethiopian Crown Council Gold Adowa Centenary Medal
Perry Henzell Contribution to the Film Industry
Born in 1936 in Port Maria, Jamaica, Perry Henzell was raised on Caymanas Estate and attended Jamaica College until he was sent to school in England at fourteen. He entered McGill University in Montreal at the age of seventeen and began working in the drama department of the BBC television studios in London at the age of twenty. He returned to Jamaica at the age of twenty-three and founded Vista Productions. During the 1960s he made over 200 commercials and established a studio in Kingston. Mr Henzell is the director, producer and co-writer of Jamaica’s first feature film, The Harder They Come, which was released in 1972. During the 1980s, he worked on numerous screenplays for other people and directed a full scale musical on the life of Marcus Garvey. Power Game, his first novel was the political thriller Power Game, which was published in 1982. This second novel, Cane, a historical drama, was published in 2003. He is currently working on a sequel to The Harder They Come and a Broadway musical based on the movie.
In 1965 he married Sally Densham. Henzell also shot some footage for what was planned as his next film, No Place like Home, in Harder’s aftermath, but he went broke before he could finish the film. Fed up by this, and the lack of finance for further production, he went on to become a writer, publishing his first novel, Power Game, in 1982. Both were meant to complete a planned trilogy of films centring on Ivanhoe Martin. The footage for No Place like Home was lost. Years later, he came across editing tapes in a lab in New York. Just to have a sense of completion, he worked on the project. When he showed it to a few friends, their response was enthusiastic. He eventually was able to retrieve the original footage. No Place like Home was screened for the public at the 31st annual Toronto International Film Festival in September 2006 at the Cumberland Theatre; it was sold out. Film leads Carl Bradshaw “The Harder They Come, Smile Orange, and Countryman” and Susan O’Meara attended and answered audience questions with Henzell after the screening. The film was scheduled to be screened at the Flashpoint Film Festival at the beginning of December 2006 in Negril.
Jamaican film industry is not as well known or well develop and is not stressed enough of the potential of this sector. Within the industry, Perry hazel contributed to the brand Jamaica in film, both locally and internationally, as a film maker the person behind the work of cool running’s and royal palm estate. The most memorable movie he had direct is the harder they come with jimmy cliff. Perry hazel has contributed to the brand Jamaica because he speaks about Jamaica through is movie, it is also selling the brand Jamaica international. Before hazel there was not much if any movies coming from Jamaica, but he has come and create his own brand while giving Jamaica its own brand, some of the actor he uses get opportunities from his film bringing them to the forefront of mainstream in the USA. One actor in particular is Paul Campbell; his latest minor roll came from the movie last Sunday where he played the Jamaican. Perry hazel has open the door through his passion for film n film making for a lot of home grown actors, actors with talent but did not have the medium to show case it. One of his hit TV series was royal palm estate. It gives Jamaicans locally and abroad the sense of pride and how to be proud of their own production. These movies expose the scenery of the island; it allows other film makers to come to Jamaica n shoot small pieces of their movie. In conclusion, Perry hazel legacy helps and push ambitious Jamaicans to push forward with their vision, becomes great author and actors because there is a career right here in Jamaica for it. The latest result of that is: Marlon James, he has won one of the most prestigious man booker literary prizes. He is the first Jamaican to win the prize and set the path for other Jamaicans to thrive for more n beyond. So I would say Mr hazel work has create the brand Jamaica in the film industry and because of his quality of work, people has grown to accept not just his work but Jamaicans on a hold. The path that he has created has helped the industry in Jamaica and the people within the industry, directly or indirectly.
Born: March 7, 1936, Annotto Bay
Died: November 30, 2006, Treasure Beach
Spouse: Sally Densham (m. 1965–2006
Education: McGill University
Movies: The Harder They Come, Man Free
Books: Power Game, Yes Rasta, Get Up ,Stand Up
Books and films
A Caribbean Island is up for grabs, and there are five who plan to grab it. Mark Berhard controls the army; Winston Bernard controls the banks; Michelle controls the media; Zack controls the streets; and Eddie controls the cash in the ganja trade. Each believes that when the crucial moment comes, what they have will give them complete control.
With bold black-and-white portraits and landscapes, Cariou indelibly captured the strict, separatist, jungle-dwelling, fruit of the land lifestyle popularized by reggae legends Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, and Burning Spear–in images never before seen, until now. In “Yes Rasta”the phrase spoken by true Rastafari when greeting each other Cariou’s direct, classical photographs reveal men whose style and attitude are as distinctive as their dreadlocks. Men who have left the modern world of Babylon in pursuit of their own independence. Men whose lives are intertwined with the tropical landscape, and whose rituals, symbols, philosophies, religion, medicine, agriculture, family structure, and remarkable strength make the definitive statement of self-reliance.
The Harder They Come
1972 ? Crime film/Drama film ? 2 hours
Storm Saulter Contribution to the Film Industry.
Storm Saulter is a writer, director, cinematographer, and visual artist. Born in Negril, Jamaica, he received formal film training at The Los Angeles Film School, graduating in 2001 with a focus in Cinematography and Editing. He served as writer, director, and cinematographer for his multi award winning first feature film, “Better Mus’ Come” which opened in US Theatre’s in March 2013, and had its UK television debut on BBC TWO in May 2014. The film was hailed by critics as one that heralds a new movement of independent filmmaking throughout the Caribbean. Saulter is the co-founder of the New Caribbean Cinema film collective; A pioneering effort to showcase the next generation of Caribbean filmmakers through the creation of uncompromising narrative films and documentaries. The collective’s first feature film project “Ring Di Alarm!” for which Storm served as Executive Producer made its debut at the British Film Institute in London in 2012 and is currently touring the international film festival circuit.
Saulter’s experimental films have been shown at The Brooklyn Museum, The Museum of Contemporary Art Miami, The British Museum, Paris Photo, The Caribbean Biennial, The National Biennial of Jamaica, and Berlin Art Fair, among numerous other exhibits. He received the 2011 Jamaica Gleaner Honours Award for his work in developing Jamaica’s Film Industry. The Jamaica Observer has named him one of his country’s most influential people, and 2012 he was identified as one of the 50 under 50 business leaders shaping Jamaica’s future. A quote by la times Glenn whipp stated that “Saulter, who serves as his own director of photography, has a poet’s eye for detail, capturing the beauty of his native country, even in its most extreme poverty. The movie’s title, a message of hope for the future, could easily apply to the filmmaker as well”.
Because of the lack of recognition of Jamaica’s film industry and the people who helped to develop in the growth of the industry Storm who is one of the contributor is not known by many Jamaicans because he is not spoken wildly about like actors on centre stage such as Glenn Campbell, dahlia Harris and Oliver Samuels and film makers such as Peter Gittens and Barbara Blake Hannah just to name a few. But he has contributed to the development of the film industry like most of the actors, directors and producers do. In his film better mus come was shot in a community in Jamaica in which saulter involved the community members so they can be a part of the movement of the new generation film making, get to experience it and see insight work and at the same time bringing revenue for the community. In recent published paper the Jamaica Observer on October 27, 2016 stated that Storm Saulter resides at the University of the West Indies Kingston, Jamaica which was run from January to May of the 2014/15 academic year. “During his tenure, Saulter will be responsible for the delivery of the course, Creative Writing: Screen/Stage. He will also be available to interact with students and offer guidance to those who are interested in the world of filmmaking”. The versatility of Saulter and the wealth of knowledge and experience he possesses goes beyond measures. In his award winning film “Better Mus come”, is a sensitive and haunting account of Jamaica in the 70s, told from the perspective of a young man caught up in the violence of intense interparty rivalry. Saulter was the director, screenwriter and director of photography for the film.
To conclude on these three individuals are that each one had the same objective which is to make film making and film important in Jamaica as music is because of the resource and potential of the people in Jamaica. Filming could be a pull factor for developing the economy industry but the tax incentives are very reluctant. Even for outside productions coming in, Jamaica’s lost quite a few big potential productions to other islands because of the lack of incentives. This reflects the government poor planning and investment in the industry and it seems that this industry is seen as unimportant to invest in.
Because of the new generation of film makers and he is just establishing his self in this field of work not much is covered yet about his life and accomplishment but what we do know he was born in Negril and produced two movies Better ‘Mus’ Come and Morphine and is currently working on a new Jamaican film sprinter based on Jamaica’s athletes.
2011 ? Drama/Action
? Award: He received the 2011 Jamaica Gleaner Honour Award for his work in developing Jamaica’s Film Industry.
Challenges in the Film Industry.
? Poor financing .Within the entertainment industry, entertainment is an umbrella that covers several entities/sectors. The leading sector is music but one of the sectors that have been declining since the 2000’s is film. Lack of financing is one of the main challenges this sector has faced over the past decade or two. This sector does not have the proper structure to thrive within Jamaica. Public or private sector and not enough seniors within the industry have not invested heavily to sustain or maintain the industry. There have been signs of froth within this sector but there are also signs of decrease, the NES has shown that there has been an 11.6 percent increase to 346 million dollars from the period 2004 to the end of 2005. It also shown that there has been a project increased. But that figure compares to 2003 $1.23 billion is a clear cut evident of a dramatic decline. So proper financing and investment back into the industry would be better for that sector. That would also raise the GDP level and the creativity of this industry have the potential of becoming a major economic sector.
? Improper governing body of the film industry. The industry have a governing body called JAMPRO but this body has shown that they have been failing the sector, the drastic declines of revenue and also the lack of proper infrastructure. This body should be doing more for the industry, taking away the stigma about you have to be in the United States of America to be recognized in film industry . This lacklustre behaviour of both the governing body and the actor/actress within the industry is the cost of that. They are not promoting and showing that there are different avenues to take. Most of the film market shares are within the United States so there should be a linkage to the US, the governing body and not the individuals themselves branching off on their own. With that being said the united states are responsible for approximately 40% of shares in the industry fellow by Japan, U.K., Germany, France and Canada respectively. So there should be a direct link to the Main Stream from Jamaica to these major contributors.
? Copy rights. Jamaica has fallen to the bigger competitors within many sectors; it’s like a predator and prey situation. What has happen over the past decade has shown another reactive behaviour instead of a proactive behaviour. This has led to the decrease in financing within the sector. The actors/governing body had not stick its head out as is Jamaican would say and stand up for what is ours. We do not patent or license our brand properly, as long as money involve we say ok and take it and not maximizing on our brand, and our brand potential. In a lot of movies you will find that other nations trying to sound like Jamaicans within the movie, not sounding authentic nor real, but just by using the word “mon” they using places or scenery from other location and saying it’s Jamaica. Sometime painting Jamaicans in a bad light and bringing the real Jamaica wrong, and by they doing that the government body in Jamaica just laugh brush it off , collect a small percentage if any just to sell another sector which is tourism, while hurting the actual film sector. That sound could be a Jamaican from the Jamaican industry doing or playing that roll in the movie, draft up contracts that would be beneficial to them , also the scenery could be in Jamaica , painting a positive picture , and that way the proper documents could be implemented and the right rewards could be received .
? Imbalance in the industry. This industry provides a lot of opportunity which are neglected. Young actors are not getting the opportunities to play the roles in plays and films. Instead these roles are given to more experience and well-known actors and actress. This means that imbalance is within this sectors and it also pushes away young talents whether it is to direct, produce or to act these young talents will see this as unfairness and being neglected not only by government and private sector but the people within the industry not getting the chance to branch off.
? Inadequate government investment in infrastructure and education. The industry has not received much governmental attention despite the potential surrounding its contributions to the nation’s economic, cultural and human stocks of capital. Even with the notable success of local films, the Jamaican industry is struggling to become competitive with its regional and international counterpart. Reason for this is that the government focus on what Jamaica is mainly known for or talked about the most is its music and the resources which are used for tourism. But these pull factors are being used excessively over the year especially tourism and will be of no more use as major income and revenue for the country because of poor management and unsustainable practices. As for film it can be tied with music and then be prioritizing as a major income outlet where persons locally and internationally can watch films made in Jamaica about our culture along with our music, sport, dance and art forms.
? No prior industry experience or training. To be a successful person in life one most acquires training and experience. The challenge faced in the film industry is that it has little or none especially talent. Reason for this turning out this way the industry is not properly managed so recruiting is not done professionally or legit at all times. Most of the persons who are working in the film industry started work in their because of legacy and linkages with the person in bigger powers.
Solutions to Address Identified Challenges
• The Film industry has faced a challenge of poor financing but there can be a solution to adjust its instability. Jamaica’s Film industry need proper marketing and good tailored stakeholders who want to see Jamaica’s Film industry thrives. It is the improper marketing of the film industry which results in poor financing, because potential foreign investors fail to know what Jamaica has to offer. When marketing, the film industry need to place emphasis on brand Jamaica; language, dress and the environment which some of these movies are filmed. This will attract some foreign investor to regain the industry stability. In addition, stakeholders need to have a strong background as well as good financial stability.
• Jamaica Film Academy has partner with JAMPRO, the problem with this type of governing body is the lack of togetherness to produce better management or to grow the industry on a wider scale. Therefore, this industry need better partnership to help with its development. Development plays a major role when an industry have good management to reach for activities, such as; live shows and forums which will attract both local and international personnel that can contribute to the film industry.
• Copy right infringement is very evident in the film industry. However, I do believe that the film industry needs to put measures in place to better protect themselves from potential infringers or brand Jamaica dilution. In our society today copy right laws are being broken by infringers who take it as a constant habit to dismantle the authentic version of a film. However, Jamaica’s film industry need to enforce better protection both locally and international to mitigate booth leg films. Furthermore, there need to be more ownership towards international film maker who came to Jamaica, filmed movies here but published it in their own country and used Jamaican creole as a recorded voice.
• With regards to an imbalance in Jamaica’s film industry, the way forward to improve this issue is to give the young and upcoming Actors and Directors a chance to exercise their talents so that they can work on their craft. If this is being executed they will be more seasoned and experienced and will be able to produce quality work. Therefore, eliminating the ever growing need to rely on older Actors and Directors within the industry.
• Inadequate government investment of infrastructure and education. This has been a significant problem in the film industry for quite some time now and in order for this problem to be alleviated or controlled the government needs to be more involved. What the government can do regarding the film industry in Jamaica is to invest in infrastructure that promotes training and educating young prospective Actors and Directors. This can be done by reaching out to film investor’s, doing proper financing in this sector and by creating a film fund. The Film Fund would be similar to that of TEF. The Film Fund should be able to help out the film sector tremendously. As this should promote growth and development in the film industry while encouraging better management of how the sector is being operated.
• No prior industry experience or training. This issue can be managed by introducing Film and Directing in Secondary Institutions that’s if it is not already being done. As this would give students the opportunity to practice and further their interest in this field. Naturally, Drama would be the only subject that as any co-relation to film and acting in schools. With that said, we must place greater emphasis on the support for specialized training both within the formal school system as well as other programmes that are aimed at developing the competence, talent, and desire of interested young people. Furthermore, more private investors, the government and other interested parties can put in place the infrastructure and resources that will allow Actors and Directors to exercise and develop their skills.
Strategies to Improve Socio-Economic and Cultural Impact of the Film Sector in Jamaica.
The film industry in Jamaica has produced a number of movies but the issue with films is that often times they promote violence and criminal activities followed by only focusing on the inner city and the least appealing areas in Jamaica. We do have movies that promote Jamaica in a good light however these movies are rather limited.
When potential visitors outside our country watch these films and see that we are promoting crime and violence then that in itself drive visitors from coming into our country because they will assume that this is what Jamaica has to offer. Furthermore, this will have an impact on our Youths because some of these films will encourage them to practice criminal activities.
In order to solve or monitor these socio-economic problems, we have to change the contents of what is being produced in our Jamaican films. In order to do this, we can focus on our natural resources. This can be easily promoted in our movies, take for instance the 1962 James Bond movie where Dunn’s Rive was used as the backdrop for a particular scene in the film. So if foreigners can advertise our natural resources why can’t we in our films.
We should also promote uplifting messages within our films that will inspire and motivate our youth. We should also be cognizant of the fact that our audience is not subjected to the Jamaican public as such we have to monitor what is being produced.