Tuff Gong in film

By Richard Johnson Observer senior reporter johnsonr@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

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The Bob Marley Group of Companies is launching another arm, Tuff Gong Pictures, as part of activities to commemorate the 71st anniversary of the reggae icon’s birth.

The announcement was made Tuesday during the launch of Marley’s birthday celebrations, which are scheduled for February 7 and 8 at the Bob Marley Museum.


According to Marie Bruce, general manager of the conglomerate, the film and television production unit has been operating unofficially since the 1990s. However, a decision was taken last year to make the company official. She explained that this new element to the group will be rolled out over the next three years.


"Phase one of Tuff Gong Pictures is the specialised equipment that we have invested in for foreign productions. We have a small niche and there are no local competitors in the market because of how specialised our equipment options are, and it is primarily for productions coming into Jamaica from overseas," said Bruce. Phase Three, she noted, is expected to start in 2018.


Meanwhile, plans were also rolled out for the official birthday celebrations. On February 6, Marley’s birthday, activities will commence at 6:30 am with Nyabinghi drumming, the release of doves, and sounding of the Abeng at the museum.


The celebrations continue throughout the day with the symposiums Rastafari Today, Sustainable Agro and Jamaica’s Reggae Music. This will give way to a live show featuring emerging acts, to be followed by performances from Kelissa, Iba Mahr and Jesse Royal — who have all been named ambassadors for the celebrations — and members of Marley: The Next Generation.


Telecommunications company Digicel is also partnering with the Marley family to celebrate Marley’s birthday with a concert at Sabina Park in Kingston.


Other activities to mark the milestone include the two-day One Love Music Festival in Montego Bay on February 4-5, and the One Love Football Match, featuring masters and celebrities, at the Arnett Gardens Football Club on February 10.


Red Stripe will also launch a commemorative Red Stripe bottle for February as part of the celebrations. Other ambassadors assisting with the promotion of the events are 2016 Rhodes Scholar and Reggae Girl Sherona Forrester, Asafa Powell, and Miss Jamaica World Sanneta Myrie.

   


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