I am among many persons concerned about or at least curious about the lack of a thriving film industry. We want so much to have the tangible evidence of the creativity and richness of our storytelling tradition in that most glamorous and cool of cultural industries. We are proud of the handful of critically acclaimed films but we still wonder what can be done to jumpstart the way. Many in the authority roles in the country have tried form starting film festivals, holding forums and conferences, sponsoring proportionately big budget productions, funding training camps. inviting the many film industry professionals from the US and UK, who are often expected to breathe life into our feeble infant of an industry by waving a magical stick. I thought maybe Jamaica's film industry cannot start as an industry, maybe we shouldn't yearn for a type of Jamaican version of Hollywood. Our Jollywood maybe found perhaps in the cheap tools and technologies that many have around us and take for granted. Maybe we shouldn't look to others for that million dollar budget, maybe we could start in our own back yard, in small rooms, in our spare time, just go for it. Be it bad or rude or crude it perhaps should just start from anyone interested. Our Jollywood will most certainly start from the underbelly, the unschooled or schooled but definitely the passionate. Who says that we need to know and use a particular way, lets build our own way or work on using the mainstream way in our own way. I recently watched 'Be Kind Rewind' and felt how great that would be for us to inspire any kind of attempt at social change, recording personal histories,engaging our culture and imagination through something like grass roots films, animations etc. If we don't know how to or what to do first or even have already tried I invite you to use this blog and our Google group forum as the place to network and share ideas and air what you have, call for participants etc. Ask a question and hopefully you can find an answer.
One group of students from Northern Caribbean University students have already released a few films online and have been building a following on YouTube. I present The 'Revenge of Hurricane Tongue'
YOUR IDEAS, WORDS AND IMAGES: Your comments, writing, ideas are wanted. If you wish to share about a project, show, event, review, writing etc or have other queries please send it to weareartjamaica[at]gmail.com