By Cecelia Campbell-Livingston Observer staff reporter email@example.com
Songs of Redemption, a documentary on life inside the General Penitentiary in central Kingston, has been nominated for an award at the Pan African Film Festival which takes place February 7-18 in Los Angeles, California.
Produced by Kingston-based Nice Time Productions Ltd, it has been nominated in the Best Documentary Feature Length category. The 90-minute project will be screened on February 11, 16, and 18 at the 12-day festival.
Spanish national Fernando Garcia-Guereta is owner of Nice Time Productions Ltd, a company which produced the well-received 2009 documentary Why Do Jamaicans Run So Fast? He is upbeat about the response to date for Songs of Redemption.
"I feel extremely excited about it, so far the response has been very positive and I hope its just a starting point for many more exciting things to come," he told the Jamaica Observer.
Directed by Amanda Sans and Miquel Galofre, Songs of Redemption focuses on the rehabilitation programme for inmates at the General Penitentiary, one of three maximum security facilities in Jamaica. It contains interviews with prison officials and inmates as well as a reggae soundtrack.
Through the efforts of head of the Tower Street Correctional Centre in Kingston, Superintendent Leroy Fairweather and social activist Carla Gullotta, a former spokesperson for Amnesty International in Jamaica, inmates are encouraged to pursue a series of empowerment courses as part of their rehabilitation. These include music production, computer technology and welding.
Songs of Redemption was produced with the support of Jamaica's Commissioner of Corrections, Garfield Prendergast.
It has not been officially released but had a showing at the General Penetentiary.
Jamaicans will get the opportunity to see the documentary courtesy of the European Union in Kingston, which are sponsors of February 20-22 screenings as part of Reggae Month activities.
A Songs Of Redemption CD, featuring original music from the soundtrack, will also be released soon.