THE life of late cultural icon Professor Rex Nettleford is to be captured in a one-hour documentary entitled Rex — The Renaissance Man.
The film, being done by local filmmaker Lennie Little-White, is scheduled to be completed by year-end. Funding for the film was secured through the Rex Nettleford Foundation.
Little-White said years before Nettleford's passing in February 2010, they were in discussion to develop a film chronicling his life from "a country boy who rose to become the king of the dance and academic excellence.
"Our problem is that the film is one-hour and to put in all aspects of his life is a challenge. We don't want it to be an academic piece. We want the little boy watching to see that with hard work what can be accomplish," Little-White told Jamaica Observer.
Little-White, who is executive producer of the popular television series Royal Palm Estate and The Blackburns of Royal Palm Estate, said the film would be a motivational tool for young Jamaicans.
"We always say that we black people don't celebrate ourselves," he said.
The project came back to the forefront after Sir Shridath Ramphal, chairman of the Rex Nettleford Foundation contacted him.
"I had years of extensive documented footage of NDTC, they felt that he was the quintessential man and his influence was across all the campuses," he said.
Among those consulted on the project are: Mia Mottley, Barbados Member of Parliament; Edward Seaga and PJ Patterson, former Prime Ministers of Jamaica; and Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott. Global archival material will also be examined.
According to the Creative Production and Training Centre Ltd (CPTC), Television Jamaica (TVJ), and Jamaica Information Service (JIS) are participants in project.
Nettleford left a rich legacy which included his stellar achievements in the arts and academia. He also co-founded the National Dance Theatre of Jamaica, which this year is celebrating 50 years.