FLIGHT keeps soaring

FLIGHT keeps soaring

Local short film wins more accolades

BY RICHARD JOHNSON
Observer senior reporter
johnsonr@jamaicabserver.com

Sunday, December 08, 2019

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Flight, the short film by local directors Kia Moses and Adrian McDonald,continues to rake in awards on the international film festival circuit.

Following wins at the Black Women Film Network in Atlanta, Nouveaux Regards Film Festival in Guadeloupe, International Du Film Pan African de Cannes in France, and the American Black Film Festival in Miami, Flight most recently took the prize for Best Short Film at the Belize International Film Festival, and second place in the live action category at the Chicago International Children's Film Festival. The film was also on show at Sole DXB — an annual footwear, music, art, and lifestyle festival that takes place in the Dubai Design District in Dubai.

“It's definitely surreal and unexpected to have won all these awards. As we all know, Flight was my first time ever writing a screenplay or directing, so I was really focused on doing a great first short film and hoped that it would move people across the world... that was my prayer over the film. So it's just amazing to see that it has literally done that from the US to France to other parts of Europe and all the way to Dubai, where it just premièred this weekend. It's been a surreal experience and I'm just so grateful for how well the film has been received and the fact that it has been so awarded,” Moses told the Jamaica Observer.

Despite the accolades, Moses admits that she never felt her film had that special element to be copping all these awards. However, her whole outlook changed once Flight won its first set of hardware at the Black Women Film Network. The film then went on to win at the next festival in which it was entered; this time in Guadeloupe in the French Caribbean. It was this back-to-back win that convinced Moses and her team that there was something even more special about their 'little' film.

Flight tells the story of a boy who wants to become an astronaut and travel to space to be closer to his mother who died. His father did not support those aspirations in the beginning but after realising why his son dreamt of space travel, not only supported him, but became co-pilot. The film stars Jermaine “Zbek” Nelson, as well as child actors Roheim Phillips, Craig Robinson and Akalia Golding.

Although each festival has its own set of criteria, Moses believes it is the humanity in the story that has captured the hearts of juries across the globe.

“I definitely know that part of it is the humanity in the story. The way that the characters were developed to connect with people in a short amount of time, the way Jamaica was showcased, and the way the scenes were shot and really captured a slice of Jamaica and the father-and-son dynamic, especially as a black father and son being portrayed in a unique way, and combine that with the imaginative aspect. So, for me it's one big mixture of elements, but to be fully sure you would definitely have to ask the judges,”

For Moses the takeaway for other film-makers from her experience is that it is never too late.

“I'm about to be 35; I never went to film school, my background is in advertising and, rather than feeling like I just missed that boat, I just decided to go for it. So I just say that you really can go after any dream you have at any age. Don't over think it. I really had to battle my perfectionism and dive in and swim, learn as you go along because the best way to learn is to just do it,” she shared.


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