BEFFTA comes to Jamaica - British awards show to be held in July

Howard Campbell

Monday, February 11, 2013

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BRITAIN'S Black Entertainment Fashion Film Television and Arts (BEFFTA) awards will have a Jamaican leg as part of its fifth- anniversary celebrations.

Verona White, international manager for BEFFTA, says the Jamaican ceremony is planned for July 28, at a yet-to-be decided venue.

The main ceremony takes place in London on October 26, during Black History Month in Britain.

White told the Jamaica Observer that it is the second occasion that the BEFFTA will stage a smaller event outside of London. The first was held in Atlanta, Georgia in 2011.

"It's going to have a similar format to the one in the United Kingdom but there's a bit of tweaking to suit the country it's held in," she said. "For example, we'd have a Best Soca category because it's been held in the Caribbean."

The Stone Love sound system, which observed its 40th anniversary last year, will receive the Best Entertainment Award.

Singer Freddie McGregor, who celebrated his 50th year in the music business in 2012, is being recognised with the Excellence Award.

Conceived by Kenya-born Pauline Long, the BEFFTAs were first held in 2009 at the Hilton Hotel in London. It awards and honours persons of colour who excelled in the previous year or contributed significantly in their field.

Winners of the various categories are selected by online voting while a committee chooses the honorees who have included Trinidad-born broadcaster Sir Trevor McDonald.

White, born in the British Midlands to Jamaican parents, says the BEFFTAs have grown since its inaugural show which attracted 800 persons.

Over 4,000 attended the 2012 event at the Hippodrome in London.

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