Thursday 2 July, 2020

Jamaican delegation promoting their content at European Film Market

JAMPRO Film Commissioner Renee Robinson.

JAMPRO Film Commissioner Renee Robinson.

Three of the five finalists in JAMPRO, British Council, and Jamaica Film and Television Association (JAFTA)’s film development programme ‘Film Lab’ are meeting industry players and promoting their content at the European Film Market (EFM) in Berlin from February 8 to 13, 2019.

The finalists will meet with Voice over Demand (VOD) platforms, financiers, and potential producing partners at the event.

The delegation will be based at the Africa Hub, a pavilion at EFM that focuses on trade and promotion of Afrocentric content and film resources. Attendance is part of Film Lab’s second-year activities, which includes in-market visits to build business relationships between the Jamaican and European film industries.  Around 10,000 representatives of the international film and media industries will be doing business at EFM.

The Film Lab takes a holistic approach to develop Jamaica’s burgeoning film industry, beginning with capacity-building initiatives that will impact at least 30 participants - including writers, script editors, and producers. The final stage of the programme is the production of selected feature-length films, and increased knowledge exchange through mentoring by local and international experts.

The Film Lab partners explained that they were thrilled about the opportunities that would result from the market visit.

JAMPRO Film Commissioner Renee Robinson said “We are proud to represent Jamaica as a national delegation to the Berlinale / European Film Market. There is a real opportunity for Jamaica to be recognized as a regional knowledge leader through this type of market attendance, and I look forward to the growth and opportunities that will be available to the Film Lab finalists through this venture.

The development of a local content ecosystem has been a real priority under this tenure, and a program like the Film Lab is truly indicative of that full process - with a specific focus on the business components. We intend to return with lots of business leads to follow up on, as it is after participating in EFM that the real work begins!”  

British Council Jamaica’s Country Director Olayinka Jacobs-Bonnick said, “We are very happy to be supporting the participation of a Jamaican delegation at Berlinale, which is considered one of the greatest global cultural events and one of the most important dates in the international film industry calendar.

The European Film Market is the B2B aspect of the Berlinale Film Festival, and it is where the film world looks for business. Through Film Lab JA, the British Council is committed to learning and sharing knowledge and expertise that will contribute to enhancing Jamaica’s reputation for creative excellence. We wish the delegates every success in Berlin.”

Analisa Chapman, President of JAFTA also noted that her organisation was anticipating success from the visit, saying, “One of JAFTA’s mandates has always been to support or facilitate any developmental and training initiatives where it can, especially those that can aid in improving the quality of our cinematic stories, because we have so many amazing and necessary tales to tell through that medium.“

The British Council/JAMPRO/JAFTA initiative highlights the collaborative aspect of the script development process and the varied and focused roles when it comes to filmmaking. With this inaugural attendance at one of the top film markets, the selected representatives will have the opportunity to pitch and promote their projects in an international sphere, put into practice some of the tools learned through the workshop and hopefully garner funding support for their respective projects, before returning for the final pitching session of the programme.”

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