Rawlins for international film workshop

Rawlins for international film workshop

Sunday, January 24, 2021

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Jamaican actress and film producer Nadean Rawlins is brimming with excitement as she prepares to participates in the Rotterdam Lab, a film producers' training workshop which starts on Monday.

The prestigious event is managed by the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR), an international film festival that focuses on independent and experimental film-making. Due to the current global health crisis this year's event, which attracts some of the world's most promising emerging producers, will be held virtually.

Rawlins is the first participant from Jamaica among the 74 participants who have been drawn from 40 countries.

“This is just amazing... it is the best thing to happen to me right now as an emerging film-maker. It has only been two and a half years since I have immersed myself into this side of the profession and for this to come my way at this, time it is just wonderful,” she told the Jamaica Observer.

“Even at age 47, after 20 years in the creative industry and numerous rejections, I never gave up and never will. I'm very honoured to make history as the first Jamaican film-maker to participate in the elite Rotterdam film lab. The networking and skills development opportunities are gateways to the world of international film-making, so I'm quite thrilled about my career trajectory,” she further noted.

Rawlins' participation in this training workshop comes through the efforts of the Jamaica Film and Television Association (JAFTA) and Jampro.

“There was a call for submissions from JAFTA and my thing is, once I'm eligible I'm applying. So everything that comes up, once I meet the criteria I will go after it. So I responded to this call not knowing how iconic the Rotterdam Lab was. I had since learned how prestigious it is and the fact that everybody in film wants to be a part of this workshop and networking,” she shared.

Rawlins — who is currently working on producing and co-directing the drama series Traytown, which she and her team hopes to submit and be picked up by one of the major streaming services such as Netflix — used this project to get her into the Rotterdam Lab.

“I was required to submit what is I am working on and because Traytown is on my plate right now, I was very prepared. I could send my proof of concept and all the things related to Traytown to the organisers. The lab will focus on sales, marketing and distribution of film, so this is primarily when the script is done; and we are ready to shop it to market and film festivals around the world.”

Rawlins also noted that she hopes her presence there will shine a light on and give a voice to the work being done by Jamaican film-makers, as a means of attracting partnerships and collaborations on projects.

In addition to the lab, Rawlins and the other participants will be exposed to the related cinemart film market, the international co-production market component of the festival.

Film Commissioner Renee Robinson has also expressed delight with the opportunity being afforded to Rawlins.

“Accessing the right international networks has always been a priority for the Film Commission, especially as we have started seeing more talent emerging who demonstrate that they are ready for these big next steps. The developmental initiatives that we have supported locally are a key path towards established networks such as the Rotterdam Lab — which has springboarded the careers of countless emerging talent. These are the bridges we've been missing and now, with Nadean's selection and attendance, these bridges are opening. Warm thanks to JAFTA for their ongoing collaboration in advancing opportunities for local talent, and to our inaugural Jamaican producer/participant Nadean Rawlins — you are joining the rank of firsts in 2021,” Robinson noted.

— Richard Johnson


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