Jamaican documentary selected for Paris Lift-Off Film FestivalSunday, October 17, 2021
A documentary which shines the spotlight on the disabled community has been selected for two international film festivals.
Towards a More Inclusive Jamaica a 23-minute documentary that tells the story of the everyday challenges of people with disabilities in Jamaica has been selected for the Paris Lift Off Film Festival, and The Lift-Off Sessions at Pinewood Studios in the UK, both of which help new film-makers get a foot in the door of the industry.
The documentary by Jamaican social activist and film-maker Marion Myrie was born after she noticed the plight of the disabled and the need for greater advocacy on their behalf.
“The idea came as I was completing the research for my master's degree, titled Media and Disability Culture in Jamaica,” she said. “When the interview times were lengthened by the stories that were being told during my interaction with disabled persons, I knew their stories needed to be told on a public platform.”
Myrie established a non-governmental (NGO) and sought the support of the Diaspora to get the documentary completed.
Lorraine Smith, CEO of Solutions For U, a New Jersey-based company which provides support services to individuals with disabilities, and Andrew Sharpe, chairman of Authentic Caribbean Foundation based in Boston, came on board with financial assistance to produce the documentary.
“I knew I had to extend support to Marion to get this project done because the plight of disabled persons is close to my heart. I have been working with persons with disabilities for many years and as a Jamaican businesswoman and mental health professional in the Diaspora, I wanted to extend my support to these issues facing disabled persons at home,” Smith said.
Other members of the Diaspora reached out to assist and the documentary is now among the line-up of films selected for the Paris Lift-Off Film Festival and the Lift Off Sessions in the UK. Winners will be selected through a judging panel and online voting.
Online voting is currently underway for the Paris Lift Off Film Festival and Myrie is hoping to attract the voting support of Jamaicans at home and within the Diaspora, as well as other people who have an interest in helping the disabled.
“I would love to have my fellow Jamaicans, wherever they are located, support this documentary because it will give persons with disabilities a well-needed voice and bring social change. Please vote if you can and share the documentary with others,” Myrie implored.
The Lift-Off Sessions at Pinewood Studios starts October 18 and ends November 1.