KINGSTON, November 26 – In what could be considered a master stroke, JAMPRO, Jamaica’s trade and investment agency signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Bob Marley Foundation on Wednesday to signal both groups’ intention to partner for the Jamaica Film Festival 2015.
Marie Bruce, General Manager, Bob Marley Group of Companies who spoke on behalf of the Foundation, signaled the team’s intention to push the Jamaican message to every corner of the globe. Coming off a recent successful partnership – the Tuff Gong International acquired the global distribution rights for the soundtrack of Jamaica’s recent romantic drama, Destiny.
The company is the region’s exclusive licensee for international recording companies Warner Music Group, Disney Music Group, and Universal Music Group. This means that the movie’s official soundtrack will be released internationally on the Tuff Gong label, as part of the deal with Caroline Music, a division of Universal Music Group. The move, Bruce said, was a perfect fit and the Film Festival is just another way the country’s image can be enhanced.
Also speaking at the briefing attended by a variety of public and private sector representatives, including financial institutions, was JAMPRO’s President, Diane Edwards, who indicated her agency’s mandate to create an environment where “Art meets Business”.
The President added that “JAMPRO’s attempt to consolidate efforts of the creative industries is bearing fruit and the hosting of a film festival in Kingston next July – falls in line with the development and subsequent monetizing of the sector – we deem as important. Jamaica’s reputation in the film industry is largely known as a location for filming, but a film festival is evidence of the industry legitimizing itself and building on the existing reputation of films professionals.”
The Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. G. Anthony Hylton in his keynote says “this marks a truly remarkable partnership in building Jamaica’s cultural and creative industries, and to a larger extent, the economy. Having access to one of the biggest and most renowned Brand in the world is a massive achievement.” The Minister pointed out that having held the reputation of being the cultural and creative powerhouse of the Caribbean, being positioned as the major producer of creative products, through an event like the Film Festival, will help to attract a wide variety of attention and offer us a competitive edge to earn from the film industry.
The Minister has committed his efforts to “make” the location more attractive and competitive by maintaining, upgrading and adding facilities of the highest standards.
Joining via Skype was Paula Madision, CEO and President of Madison Media Management who has offered to sit on the Festival’s Advisory Team. She has extended the reach of her rolodex to bring the relevant persons to Jamaica who she says has a myriad of interests in the business of film making.
JAMPRO’s Chairman, Milton Samuda in his closing remarks pointed towards the shift of JAMPRO in ensuring that the value chain for the industry is recognised and the right eco-system is required to make the sector flourish.
The festival is scheduled for Kingston, July 7 – 11, 2015 and there is a call for films out for Jamaican filmmakers to submit scripts/treatments by December 2 to be considered for selection. Interested persons can go to http://www.filmjamaica.com
Also in attendance were representatives from the Jamaica Tourist Board, University of the West Indies, EXIM Bank, Broadcasting Commission, Ministry of Youth and Culture, Jamaica Intellectual Property Organisation, Toronto International Film Festival, British High Commission, The Hynes Group and the Development Bank of Jamaica