Doctor Bird Awards fly again

Associate Editor
Auto & Entertainment

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

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AFTER a 13-year hiatus, the Doctor Bird Awards returns to the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston on Tuesday, December 11. Howard Mitchell, president of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica, is slated to be guest speaker.

According to event conceptualiser, cinematographer Lennie Little-White, the event has been tweaked to be more “all-inclusive of the creative industry”.

“We have expanded it not just to focus on film and television, but to draw attention to every aspect of the creative industry. So we have included categories like the fine arts, theatre, and publishing to make it more comprehensive,” Little-White told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.

The film producer said he discontinued the event due to high costs to stage it.

“The last award in 2004 was held at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel (in New Kingston); that cost $5 million,” he said.

Little-White said he was encouraged to restart the show because industry players kept asking for its return. He received a further boost as “a few friends” provided sponsorship.

Nine people will receive awards. They are: Music – Gussie Clarke; Dance – L'Antoinette Stines; Fine Arts – Norma Rodney Harrack; Written Word – Mutabaruka; Architecture – Evan Williams; Theatre – Basil Dawkins; Film and Television – Natalie Thompson; Fashion – Bill Edwards; and Pan Media (Publishing) – Ian Randle.

“These are people who are making their mark and they deserve recognition. Unlike previous years, we're recognising people who are practising in Jamaica,” Little-White said. “I'm hoping that this event will be the catalyst for the awards to take off again… perhaps becoming a national event.”

Recognised with an Order of Distinction by the Jamaican government in 2006 for his contribution to communication and film, Little-White is executive producer of the television series Royal Palm Estate and director of the films Children of Babylon and Glory To Gloriana.

He first held the Doctor Bird Awards in 1998. Recipients include Chris Blackwell, Jimmy Cliff and Carl Bradshaw.

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