Portie film fest

Portie film fest

BY RICHARD JOHNSON Observer senior reporter johnsonr@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

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THE tranquil climes of Portland in eastern Jamaica will play host to Cinema Paradise — Jamaica's newest film festival — from August 27 to 31.

Nine feature-length films and documentaries, as well as a number of shorts, will be showcased during the five-day event to be held at the Great Huts resort in Boston Bay.

According to a member of the organising team, Carlo Less, the event was conceptualised by the owner of Great Huts, Dr Paul Rhodes, who, he says, is a lover of all aspects of Jamaican culture and thought a film festival would be a good cultural event and a way of showcasing some of the country's talent on the big screen.

"Film festivals are very important to filmmakers. And for us in Jamaica it is even more important, in order to get our products seen. We are not on TV and don't have ready access to getting to the Hollywood set, so this is our way of getting seen by a captive audience," Less said.

He explained that one of the good things about the local film industry is the ability for Jamaicans to tell their own stories, which will be highlighted at the festival.

The opening night of the festival will see Smile Orange and One People being shown. Night two will feature One Love and The Harder They Come. On the third night, Stephanie Black's thought-provoking documentary Life and Debt will take to the screen, as well as Sankofa, a film starring dub poet Mutabaruka, which is being screened in Jamaica for the first time.

Storm Saulter's Better Mus' Come, Chris Browne's Ghett'a Life, and Bruce Hart's Ching Pow form the roster for night four.

The final night's fare is a slate of short films from a number of established and local directors.

This list of shorts comprises Ring di Alarm, Hazardous Darling, Cleaning House, Red Amber Green, Rasta Man Wheel Out and Golden Trumpet.

Less noted that the festival will also see a number of the directors and industry personnel being guests during the event to facilitate dialogue and discussion.

He added that the vision for Cinema Paradise is to have it grow to become a major attraction in Portland for locals and visitors alike, and in time have it staged in the beautiful natural amphiteatre setting of Boston Bay in Portland.

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