Thursday, December 13, 2012




Based on footage shot in the early seventies and lost for more than thirty years, NAACP IMAGE AWARD winner Esther Anderson takes us on a journey to Jamaica and into 56 HOPE ROAD, Kingston, to see and hear the young BOB MARLEY before he was famous. The film shows us the WAILERS' first rehearsal, when the idea of a Jamaican supergroup like the BEATLES or the STONES was still just a dream. We sit in on the launch of their international career with "GET UP STAND UP", "I SHOT THE SHERIFF", and the "BURNIN'" and "CATCH A FIRE" albums that brought to the world REGGAE music and RASTA consciousness together as one, starting a revolution that would change rock music and contemporary culture.

A Music Documentary by Esther Anderson & Gian Godoy. Jamaica/UK. 96 mins. 2011. Produced by Esther Anderson. With Bob Marley, Esther Anderson, Peter Tosh, Aston 'Familyman' Barrett, Carlton 'Carly' Barrett, Countryman, Mother Macky, Ras Daniel Hartman, Sylvia Richards, HIM Haile Selassie I and Marcus Garvey. Music by Chris Anderson, Aston 'Familyman' Barrett & Aston Barrett Jr, Bingiman, Francis Jocky, Formulla, Akila Barrett, Esther Anderson, Tim Hain, Singer Jah &. Sabo Khani, Irie Jam Productions, Ras McKoy, Jahmo Band and Lioness Fonts.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Upsetter - Lee Perry documentary - Get's UK DVD Release.....

Official UK dvd release date 8th October, 2012
The Upsetter is a captivating, unparalleled exploration charting 70 years in the life of the Godfather of Reggae and the man behind Bob Marley - Lee "Scratch" Perry.

Seven years in the making, the film features musical tracks and iconic archival footage selected from throughout Perry's extensive career.

Directed and produced by celebrated independent filmmakers Ethan Higbee (Red Apples Falling, The Anti-Fascist, Basedworld) and Adam Bhala Lough (Bomb The System, Weapons, The Carter).

We have a dvd copy of The Upsetter to giveaway to one lucky person....
To Enter simply email us the name of the films Academy Award Winning narrator, emails to:
One name will be picked at random and the lucky winner will be announced on 1st October, the competition is also running via our facebook page.


THE LUCKY WINNER WAS "Sven Schneider" FROM BERLIN, dvd in the post to you Sven.
Thanks to all those who entered and don't forget you can reserve your own dvd copy via the link below....


The Upsetter tells the fascinating story of Lee “Scratch” Perry, a visionary musician and artist from poor rural Jamaica who journeyed to the big city in the late 1950’s with dreams of making it in the burgeoning record industry. Lee Perry burst on the scene with a brand new sound, inventing a genre of music that would come to be called Reggae while mentoring a young Bob Marley and gaining international recognition as a record producer and solo artist. Soon he was being called upon by musicians as diverse as The Clash and Paul McCartney to provide his unique sound to their recordings. In the 1970’s, he constructed his own recording studio in his backyard; The Black Ark studio became a hotbed for the production of Reggae and Dub music and made Scratch quite wealthy and famous. At that time in Kingston however, gang warfare driven by warring political factions was causing havoc in the streets. In the chaos that ensued, the gangsters and the police both extorted Scratch for unknown amounts of money, threatening his life on many occasions. Despite the disruption, Scratch and a Rastafarian band named, “The Congos,” managed to complete the album that would be considered by historians his single greatest artistic achievement. Surprisingly, Scratch’s label Island Records refused to release it, deeming it too experimental and overtly spiritual for mainstream tastes. Around the same time, Lee’s relationship with the Rasta community came to an abrupt end and his wife and the mother of his children left him for a studio musician. Shortly thereafter, The Black Ark mysteriously burned to the ground and Scratch fled to Europe. After a decade of alcohol, ganja and inhalant fueled artistic output in Europe, Lee banned all toxic substances from his body and adopted a strict vegetarian diet. With the help of his new Swiss wife, Lee spent the 1990’s putting his life back together piece by piece, reclaiming his position as an international superstar in the process. In 2006 at the age of 70, Scratch triumphantly embarked on a world tour to spread his message of peace and prosperity to his adoring fans in US, UK, Russia, Brazil, Japan and New Zealand.

The Upsetter charts 70 years in the life of Lee “Scratch” Perry in his own words through an exclusive interview given to American filmmakers Ethan Higbee and Adam Bhala Lough in Switzerland in 2006. It is equally a documentation of 30 years of Jamaican music and culture as it is a study of one of the most creative and inspiring human beings of all time.

The DVD will be released on 8th October 2012, Reserve your DVD copy below.....

Thursday, July 26, 2012


by Amaziyah TheGreat on Thursday, July 26, 2012 at 1:29pm ·
Amaziyah The Great is pleased to inform the fans across the world that they should be on the look out for better quality film production for the year 2013 and further on.

This multi-talented entertainer/filmmaker, who's real name is Craig Kirkland, was very elated as he elaborated in recent conversation via phone about making links with Mrs. Marsha Davis and Mr. Robert Carty from the United States.

Later this year Kirkland will be directing a short film titled "RUNNER" written by Mrs. Davis. Shanna-Gaye Wheatley who is the lead actress in Camariah's Way will again play the lead role in this film. "The main location where the project gonna commence is Frazer's Content, Spanish Town, its a joy to know that Mr. Carty will be flying all the way from New York to Jamaica just to make this possible. Give thanks to Marsha for this great link because things can only get greater," he said.

Amaziyah The Great has been in the music business for quite some time now but he is known to many by his short amateur films on the worldwide web, films such as "The Voice" (90,498 views), In year 2010 he received an Honour Award at the Jamaica Reggae Film Festival for "Ghetto Visit" (37,669 views), with courtesy of Digicel, 2011 he was awarded with a BlackBerry Bold 2 for his short film "Stay Firm" which was created within 24hours.

Another film that most people are rapidly talking about is "Camariah's Way" a family drama where Sarge from comedic duo Apache Chief and Sarge plays the role of a perverted man wanting to molest his stepdaughter. "Wow! The interviews are now coming, earlier this year I spoke with Uncle Syd from Base FM in the United Kingdom and he is ready for an interview as me reach a England, previously Rich Davis from Florida (WLRN), Emiel Martens from Netherland, most recent is one is with Dr. Leahcim Semaj, thanks to Barbara Blake Hannah, Peter Gittens and all my fans, I Love you all, it would never be possible without you." Subscribe! 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Best of the Reggae film Festival at the ONE LOVE FESTIVAL 10th-12th August

We're very pleased to announce that Reggae Films UK will be presenting a full program of Reggae films and documentaries in conjunction with the Jamaica Reggae Film Festival from 10th-12th August at The One Love Festival in Kent.

The One Love Festival is the UK's largest Reggae Festival and this year they have a super line up which rivals any of the largest International Reggae festivals, for any roots reggae fans this festival is just essential! as you will see form the line up below.. so don't miss it...

here is a list of just some of the main acts this year:

Lee Perry,
Johnny Clarke,
Cornell Campbell,
Tappa Zukie,
Bunny Lee,
Dawn Penn,
Dennis Alcapone,
Don Letts,
Dub Pistols,
Dub Syndicate,
Eccleton Jarrett,
Frankie Paul,
Freddie McGregor,
Jah Warriors,
Macka B,
Papa Michigan,
Miniman, Earl 16,
Ragga Twins,
Ras Kwame,
Robbo Ranx,
Ska'd 4 Life,
The Dualers,
Tony Tuff,
Troy Ellis(Son of Alton Ellis), Alpha & Omega,

sound systems include:
Aba Shanti,
Channel One,
Conscious Sounds,
Iration Steppas,
Jah Tubby's,
Sir Cosxone,
Mungo's Hi-Fi,
Nick Manasseh,
Overproof Sound System,
Twighlight Circus,
Unity Hi-Fi,
University of Dub,
Youthman Promotion Sound Station,

The list above is just some of the many artists who will be attending this years ONE LOVE.

The Reggae Film Tent will be running throughout playing some of the best films and documentaries on the subject of Reggae, we have at least 9 UK premiers with films about DJ Derek, Kilamanjaro, Soul Syndicate, Congos, Count C, Oku Onuora, Rico Rodriguez, Studio One, Bob Marley, including the much anticipated "Bob Marley: The Making of a Legend" documentary which is Esther Anderson and Gian Godoy's new film about Bob which includes footage from the so so called "lost tapes" which features Bob and the Wailers up close and personal like you have never seen them before, so this is a great chance to get to see this rare film and Esther Anderson will be making a special appearence there with Gian Godoy for a Q+A session after the film so people will have the opportunity to ask questions after the film.

Don't forget to drop into the film tent to show your support if your there! we will have some dvds and other goodies on sale.

More details coming soon...


Be quick as they are selling out fast....

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Long time no post! been very busy.... but hope to revive this blog sometime soon, lots of news.... but just had to post  up this announcement...

The long elusive "Marijuana Affair" 70's Jamaican feature film gets a rare screening at Stages cinema in Kingston on 21st June at 7pm so for all of you in Kingston i'm sure it's well worth a trip over to Stages to check it out, it's not been shown in over 30yrs.... and if you do please post us up a review!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Best of The Reggae Film Festival - Comes to Birmingham, UK - May 18th-20th

The Jamaican Reggae Film Festival will showcase some of their best film festival entries later next week at 'The Drum' in Birmingham for a very special 'Best of' program. One of the highlights of the event will be the much anticipated Bob Marley documentary 'The Making of a Legend' by film maker Gian Godoy and  Esther Anderson, with a wonderful soundtrack featuring some of The Wailers children.

Most of us will of heard about the new 'Marley' film by Kevin MacDonald, but how many of you have heard about "Bob Marley: The Making of a Legend"?

Both of these films have a common theme which is Bob Marley. One of the films was a big budget production which is probably the biggest Marley film production ever, and the other film a much lower budget, yet both films are equally important and relevant and i tend to think that 'Bob Marley: The Making of a Legend' is of greater historical importance than the big budget film, not that this is a competition but i want to highlight the fact that the new film we're showing next week in Birmingham is of great historical importance to all Bob Marley fans for a very good reason.

All Marley fans will be familiar with the black+white footage that we often see clips of in the numerous Marley documentaries that have been made over the years, we usually get a 10-30sec clip of Bob with friends or him and Esther in the Land Rover and thats it. Well the new Making of a Legend film shows all of this old footage which has never been seen before. For the first time ever Marley fans worldwide will be able to get an up close and personal glimpse into Bob's life just as his friends would see him rather than how a tv camera would see him. We've all seen the many public interviews Bob has done in documentaries and news reels but never before has there been footage of Bob with his friends doing day to day things(filmed by his freinds) available for us fans to view. Esther was very close to Bob at the time the film was shot and it gives the viewer a real sense of what Bob was like as a person, more so than any other Marley film and this is why "Bob Marley: The Making of a Legend" is such an important and significant film. It will be interesting to see how the 2 Marley films are reported on in the press with one being the clear winner when it comes to historical importance and the other being the clear winner when it comes to budget! I hope they both do as well as eachother because they both document a very special person who has really made a huge impact on world music and culture and i'm sure that both films will do a good job of highlighting this fact.

I hope that those of you who are able to make the trip down to 'The Drum' in Birmingham for this rare screening of the new 'Making of a Legend' documentary, which takes place Friday 18th May @ 10pm

'Bob Marley: The Making of a Legend' was designed as a very intimate portrait of
Bob Marley & The Wailers, including some of those who inspired a whole freedom movement
in Jamaica in the 70?s. The narrative is artistic in its approach to explore a reconstruction
of the past in post colonial Jamaica through Esther Anderson's lens as the storyteller.

More info on "Bob Marley: The Making of a Legend" below:

Facebook group:

BBC News:

Friday 18th May:

8:00pm – Red, Amber, Green (Dir.Chris Byfield)(Jamaica)(2012)(25mins)EUROPEAN PREMIER
8:45pm – Fire Burn Babylon (Dir.Sarita Siegel)(UK)(2009)(53mins)

10:00pm – Bob Marley: Making of a Legend (Dir.Gian Godoy & Esther Anderson)(90mins)(2012)

Saturday 19th May:

3:00pm – Fire in Babylon (Dir.Stevan Riley)(2011)(95mins)(UK)

4:45pm – Rocksteady (Feature Film)(Dir.Mustapha Khan)(2011)(90mins)(USA)

Sunday 20th May:

3:00pm – We The Raggamuffin (Dir.Julian Henriques)(1992)(25mins)(UK)

4:00pm – Bad Friday (Dir.Deborah Thomas & Junior Wedderburn)(2011)(63mins)(USA)

Festival Pass ONLY £16 or £4 per film


Friday, March 23, 2012

'Drummie' Isaacs marches to own beat - New Documentary.....

Cecelia Campbell-Livingston - Jamaican Observer - Friday, March 23, 2012

ON April 20, the Reggae Film Festival will present the documentary, Studio One Drummie and the History of Rocksteady Music. One of its stars is drummer Joe 'Drummie' Isaacs of the Soul Vendors band.

In it, Isaacs, who played on many classic songs at Studio One during the 1960s, speaks of his days working with legendary musicians including Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer of the Wailers, keyboardist Jackie Mittoo, Alton Ellis, Ken Boothe, Toots and the Maytals, the Heptones, Marcia Griffiths, Burning Spear and American singer Johnny Nash.

Studio One Drummie also sees Isaacs exploring cultures of the Nyabinghi Rastafarians and the Maroons.
Recently, the 63-year-old spoke to Splash about his time at Studio One, from his home in Florida.

"It was all about love, everything was done in love," he said. "No one knew where it (music) was gonna end, but it was a happy feeling to go there (studio) every day to create rhythms."

Joe ‘Drummie’ Isaacs
Isaacs, who hails from Bog Walk in St Catherine, was never formally trained as a drummer. He says he left school at age 15 and went straight into music.

"I had a calling to play drums and was never really academically inclined in school. Many are called but few chosen; I feel I was chosen for this mission," he said.

At Studio One, he played on many hits including I've Got To Go Back Home by Bob Andy and Fatty Fatty by the Heptones.

Isaacs is disappointed with the lack of recognition for him and many of his contemporaries in Jamaica.

"That is the greatest disappointment in my life," he said.

He is also not happy with the state of contemporary Jamaican music.

"The music that is going on today basically is not really good," he said. "The rhythms are good, but the vocals that are put on these rhythms is not all that good — disrespecting ladies, dealing with badness, slackness and murdering," he added. "We are using the most powerful weapon in the world to describe these different things."

He believes a change to more quality content can have a positive impact on Jamaican society.

"I would really say that the music has a lot to do with the violence and everything going on in the whole world," Isaacs said. Educate the youths on how important the music is. When you have good content, that's when you will see change."

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Reverse Missionaries - BBC documentary

Tomorrow night the BBC will air a new 3 part documentary series (BBC2 9pm 16th March, 2012), part one is about a Jamaican Baptist Pastor who travels back to the UK to the home town of his hero.

Jamaican Baptist Pastor Franklin Small is on his way to King's Stanley, a village in the Cotswolds. It is home to the oldest baptist church in Gloucestershire, which is now threatened with closure. It was also home to Thomas Burchell, a missionary at the vanguard of the anti-slavery movement in the Caribbean.

Pastor Franklin tries to bring some of his energetic Jamaican preaching style to the Cotswold community - but in the face of apathy, can he succeed in encouraging locals to embrace faith and take an interest in their church?

Inspired by the life of his hero, Franklin also undertakes a fascinating historical journey, meeting Burchell's great, great, great grandson and paying his respects on the spot that he was baptised over 200 years ago.

Thomas Burchell (1799–1846) was a leading Baptist missionary and slavery abolitionist in Jamaica in the early nineteenth century. It is not uncommon for Jamaican parents to name their children 'Burchell'; indeed it is almost as popular a Christian name as Manley.

Burchell, along with James Phillippo (1798–1879), William Knibb and Samuel Oughton was one of the group of early Baptist missionaries sent from England to respond to requests from pioneer African Baptists who had become free from slavery, for support in establishing chapels and education in Jamaica. They were representatives of the Baptist Missionary Society of London and followed the pioneering preaching of the African George Lisle.

Burchell's time as a Baptist missionary in Jamaica spanned twenty-two years, 1822–46; the most notorious years in the history of slavery abolition in the colony, which included the persecution of Burchell and other Baptists after the Christmas Rebellion or Baptist War of 1831. Burchell narrowly escaped death by fleeing offshore, but persecuted more seriously, was the Deacon in the Montego Baptist Church pastored by Thomas Burchell: Samuel Sharpe. Born in 1801 in Montego Bay of African parentage, Sharpe died for the cause of slavery abolition at the hands of the 'Planters' and their governing militia, being executed on 23 May 1832. Initially buried in the sands of Montego Bay Harbour he was later safely exhumed and given a hero's burial near the pulpit at Burchell Baptist church. He was made a national hero of Jamaica in 1975 and now appears on the Jamaican fifty dollar bill.

Baptist chapels as well as their members, suffered at the hands of the 'Planters'. The Burchell Memorial Church which was established in 1824 by Rev. Thomas Burchell, could however be rebuilt in 1834 after it was burnt down by an angry mob; unlike the loss of life. The Jamaican National Heritage Trust, founded in 1958, now looks after the building at number one King Street and the corner of Market Street, Montego Bay, in the parish of St. James, which was formerly the Manse of the Burchell Baptist Church.

Starting in the 1830s, in anticipation of emancipation, the Jamaican Baptist congregations, deacons and ministers pioneered the Caribbean concept of Free Villages, which was swiftly copied by other denominations. Many plantation owners and others in the landowing class made it clear they would never sell land to freed slaves, but provide only tied accommodation at the rents they chose. The aim was to prevent free labour choice and movement between employers, and keep labour costs low or negligible upon emancipation. To circumvent this, Baptist chapels' approached their Baptist financiers in England, who could instruct land agents in London to buy Jamaican land and hold it for establishment of free villages, not controlled by the planters. Sandy Bay was founded as a Baptist Free Village for emancipated slaves on the initiative of Burchell, and today its playing field is named Burchell Field. Several others, including the very first, were founded through Burchell's Baptist associate, Rev. James Phillippo.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Reggae film festival(Best Of) launched on February 18th, 2012

Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - Article from Jamaican Observer

Selections from last year's award winners were shown including Mustapha Khan's Rocksteady, starring Grammy award winner, David 'Steel Pulse' Hinds. Rocksteady won Best International Feature Film in 2011. It featured BC Cook (Cedric Sanders), the son of Jamaican immigrants, who was left to support his mother in rural New York after the death of his father. In a unique coming of age story, his avid love for car racing provides lessons of patience, success, inner-growth and self-discovery.
‘ANIMATED’ DUO: Winner of the Digicel Animation Award, Reinardo ‘Mental’ Chung (left) and his brother Peter, are seen at the February 18 launch of the Reggae Film Festival at RedBones Blues CafĂ©. The latest episode of Chung’s film Dutty Bwoy was a part of the evening’s programme. The 2012 Reggae Film Festival runs April 17-21. (Photo: Paul G Slowley)
In keeping with the dynamic developments in film technology, Reinardo 'Mental' Chung floored judges with his eight-minute 3D computer animated film Bad Influence, which won the Digicel Animation Award in 2011. Chung's newest episode from his popular series Dutty Bwoy was shown much to the delight of the audience, receiving positive reviews all around.

"This is the next entertainment step for dancehall," noted Chung. "As animation deals with all the issues surrounding this genre in an interesting and entertaining way."

Selections from the RBC Bank sponsored 'Make a Film in 24 Hours' competition, including The Spirit of Life is in the Music by former Miss Jamaica, Regina Beavers, What If by Vanessa Phillips and Stay Firm by 'Amaziyah the Great' were also a part of the night's line-up.

The 2012 festival also promises the guest screening of an international film starring well-known Academy Award-winning actors and actresses. The Best of the Reggae Film Festival 2012 is a good opportunity to see films... that make you proud to be Jamaican" remarks Barbara Blake-Hannah, Reggae Film Festival Director.

For more info visit the official Reggae Film Festival website

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Lee Perry documentary 'The Upsetter' released on DVD

The Upsetter: The Life And Music Of Lee Scratch Perry (2011)
The new Lee 'Scratch' Perry documentary "The Upsetter" has recently been released on DVD and can be purchased via the links below this post.
Directed and produced by celebrated independent filmmakers Ethan Higbee (Red Apples Falling, The Anti-Fascist, Basedworld) and Adam Bhala Lough (Bomb The System, Weapons, The Carter ) and narrated by Academy Award-winning actor Benicio Del Toro, The Upsetter is a captivating, unparalleled exploration charting 70 years in the life of the Godfather of Reggae and the man behind Bob Marley - Lee ""Scratch"" Perry. Seven years in the making, the film features musical tracks and iconic archival footage selected from throughout Perry's extensive career.

     (UK & EUROPE)

Perry, Lee Scratch - The Upsetter: The Life And Music Of Lee Scratch Perry

Saturday, February 11, 2012

New 'Marley' documentary - Premieres 12th+13th Feb.2012 at Berlin's International Film Festival

The long awaited documentary by Kevin MacDonald titled "Marley" is to get it's European premiere in Berlin tomorrow night, all online tickets have now sold out. Director Kevin Macdonald, Rohan Marley and Neville Garrick, will be in Berlin tomorrow night to present the film.

Kevin Macdonald’s Bob Marley documentary is set for a North American and UK theatrical release on April 20th 2012 and has already been acquired by  Magnolia Pictures and VH1 for U.S. rights and its first TV window respectively, has now been picked up by Universal Pictures International Entertainment for the UK and Scandinavia, while Lucky Red has secured the rights for Italy and Avalon Distribution for Spain.

In addition, international sales agent Fortissimo Films completed sales of Marley for South Africa’s Nu Metro, Portugal’s Lusomundo/Film & TV House, Germany and Austria’s Studio Canal Germany, and Poland’s Best Film.

Other sales were secured with France’s Wild Side Films, HBO Latin America, Australia and New Zealand’s Roadshow Films, Benelux’s E1, Middle East’s Front Row and Switzerland’s Elite Film.
The documentary, produced by Shangri-La Entertainment and Tuff Gong Pictures, is set for a North American and UK theatrical release on April 20. Director Kevin Macdonald, Marley’s son Rohan and long-time collaborator, Neville Garrick, will be in Berlin to present the film on February 12.

Marley is being billed as the “definitive” film about the music icon, and marks the first time his family has authorized the use of its private archives.

The Universal Pictures deal was brokered by Fortissimo’s managing director of international sales, Nelleke Driessen.

“Bob Marley is one of a very few true international icons,” Driessen said. “His image, music and messages of love and peace have crossed borders, boundaries and cultures and are as relevant in the world today as ever. We are extremely happy that the team at Universal share our passion for the subject matter and see the potential for this landmark project. There is no better company to bring this film to audiences across the UK and Scandinavia where Bob remains so popular.”

(Above taken from an article by Kelly Anderson of

"The third album I ever bought, aged about 12 or 13, was Uprising," he said.

"I never got to see him live. I was too young. S one of the great things about making the documentary was I got the excuse to be really nosy, be a detective, and find out what who this man was."

Filming has taken MacDonald all over the world - from Marley's home in Jamaica to India, Japan, Uganda, Kenya and Uganda.

"Part of the idea is trying to look at the influence he's had all around the world," MacDonald explained.

"We filmed in Tunisia because Bob Marley was culturally influential in the recent revolution.

"People were chanting 'Get up, stand up' when they were demonstrating in the streets."

"My interest, in a large part, is why he speaks so much to people around the world. Why, unlike any other popular musician, his philosophy, his lyrical message continue to resonate with people."

Listen to more of Kevin MacDonald's BBC Radio 6 interview from May 2011 below.

Friday, February 03, 2012

eMedia Interactive launches online TV in Jamaica

Friday, February 03, 2012 - Jamaican Observer

HAVING raised US$350,000 via a private placement with Pan Caribbean Financial Services to fund its expansion and launch of online TV, eMedia Interactive has announced a stellar six-member board to guide its 25-year-old President and CEO Tyrone Wilson.

A three-and-half-year-old new media company that was able to secure such investment, without collateral, was bound to turn heads; as eMedia did again when it also revealed in Caribbean Business Report that Richard Byles, Sagicor Jamaica CEO and President, and Red Stripe chairman, had joined the company as chairman. He is joined on the board by: Wilson; PSOJ CEO Sandra Glasgow; Sagicor Group VP for Marketing Tanya Miller; NCB General Manager for Marketing, Sheree Martin; and Sagicor Group VP for Information Technology, Karen Vaz.

Donovan Perkins, President and CEO of PanCaribbean Financial Services; Tyrone Wilson, President and CEO of eMedia Interactive Limited; and Richard Byles, President and CEO of Sagicor Life Jamaica and now also Chairman of eMedia Interactive.
While new media has been a hard sell to the private sector in the past, eMedia had assiduously built closer ties since it published its first digital magazine, Your Money eZine, in 2008. Then operating under the name eZines Limited, the company sought not just to pursue blue chip companies as advertising clients but also to produce dedicated eZine titles for them. Those with their own eZines now range from financial institutions (NCB and Scotiabank) to the PSOJ to the Long Mountain Country Club.

"To an extent, when we first launched, it really was if we were speaking a different language; and definitely it was a challenge to prove that our products could be relevant. However, it was extremely helpful to have the mentorship and financial support of corporate executives Chris Williams, then Managing Director of NCB Capital Markets and now President and CEO of Proven Investments, and Sheree Martin — both of whom helped to build the foundation and ensure survival in the early days," said Wilson.

"We have had to work extremely hard with a small, young team but always paying attention to the latest trends in markets that are more developed in terms of their familiarity with the Internet. So while the timing is great to have secured the investment, and to be launching iVu, it hasn't been an overnight process."

The timing he speaks to is the warming of the private sector to online, where once there were bad memories of the dot com boom and bust years, boardroom discussions are increasingly taking place on the pressing need to stay competitive and earn returns by investing in websites, social media and mobile applications. Wilson is also want to point to the survey conducted by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) in 2008 that showed that 55 per cent of Jamaicans are using the Internet.

Journalist Ross Sheil, project manager of when it re-launched and grew into the most trafficked Jamaican-based website, is now also a part of the nine-strong eMedia team based at UTech's Technology Innovation Centre (TIC). The company is now driving aggressively to launch and expand its existing content offerings, including developing TV content for iVu, such as a documentary entitled, '50 Years of Entrepreneurship', a new eZine called 'the wkndr' — a concept similar to overseas leisure guides such as Time Out and

Critical to the future of eMedia and iVu will be its partnership approach to the media business by working with content producers, whom it welcomed to a recent introductory session at JAMPRO. While iVu will develop its own content, it will have to set the "bar high on the quality of content", noted Better Mus Come Director Storm Saulter at the event.

Jamaica's Film Commissioner, Kim-Marie Spence, who hosted the event, said that iVu would augment attempts by JAMPRO and others to market Jamaican-produced content on the world stage.

"This is the era that we're in, a very Internet (and) social media-centric, digital era and it's just the logical next step for us to move to an online TV network," said Spence. "I know that the demand for content in other markets is there."

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Canadian Indie film to be shot in Jamaica

By Kevin Jackson Observer Writer
Sunday, December 04, 2011

Home Again, a Canadian indie film by writer/director David 'Sudz' Sutherland is to be shot in Jamaica next February.

The dramatic feature film details the stories of three adults raised as outsiders from their childhood and are deported from Canada, the US and England to Jamaica, the land of their birth.

SUTHERLAND... want to shoot as close to the root as possible where the stories actually take place

In an interview with the Sunday Observer, Sutherland expressed his enthusiasm about the upcoming project.

"We're just getting ready to assemble the crew and doing casting as well and we're pretty excited about this film. Growing up you hear stories about people being deported," Sutherland explained.

Home Again was co-written and will be co-produced by Jamaican born Jennifer Holness who along with Sutherland, run the Toronto-based indie production company Hungry Eyes Film &Television. Don Carmody who produced Chicago and Resident Evil will also share co-production credits on the project.

Sutherland said his decision to shoot the film in Jamaica and Trinidad was strategic. 'We want to shoot as close to the root as possible where the stories actually take place."

American actress Tatyana Ali who starred as Ashley in the 1990's sitcom the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, and later scored hits on the charts with the gold-selling single Daydreaming has been cast as the lead in the film.

Sutherland hinted that additional casting was in the works and major names will be revealed shortly. Casting in Jamaica and Trinidad will take place once the crew visits the locations.

Pressed on the type of budget he was working with, Sutherland revealed it was a low budget production however, 'we're trying to make the budget stretch'.

Sutherland was born in Toronto to Jamaican parents. He studied at York University in Canada.

"My interest in film really developed around the time that Spike Lee was doing his thing in the late 1980's. I decided I was going to study film and video at University. But before that I wrote some plays and did some short films," said Sutherland.

His first feature film was 2003's Love Sex & Eating the Bones which won an award at the Toronto International Film Festival for Best Canadian First Feature Film Award. That film starred actor Hill Harper. "That film did quite well for us", said Sutherland.

His other film credits include Dooms Town and Guns as well as episodes of Da Kink in My Hair, Degrassi: the Next Generation and Wild Roses. He is also one of the creators of the forthcoming Canadian television sitcom She's the Mayor.

Home Again will be accompanied by a soundtrack album which will feature music from Jamaican and other Caribbean based recording artistes.

Monday, January 23, 2012


Philadelphia/Amsterdam, January 23, 2012 – Oxumgirl Productions proudly presents the official DVD release and European premiere of BAD FRIDAY: RASTAFARI AFTER CORAL GARDENS, a compelling documentary that chronicles the history of violence against Rastafarians in Jamaica.

Produced and directed by John Jackson, Jr. and Deborah Thomas, along with Junior “Gabu” Wedderburn and Junior “Ista J” Manning, BAD FRIDAY focuses on a community of Rastafarians in western Jamaica who annually commemorate the 1963 Coral Gardens incident, a moment just after the island’s independence, when the Jamaican government rounded up, jailed and tortured hundreds of Rastafarians. The feature-length documentary recounts the poignant history of violence in Jamaica through the eyes of its most iconic community and shows how people use their recollections of past traumas to imagine new possibilities for a collective future.

For the film, Jackson, Thomas, Wedderburn and Manning interviewed Rasta elders who experienced the Coral Gardens incident. They convey what happened during and after the violent confrontation – and how they envisioned, and still envision, justice. The 63-minute long documentary, which was shot on DV, mini-DV and HD, also features archival footage and historical photographs, placing the interviews within the context of a longer history of persecution of the Rastafari movement. Junior “Gabu” Wedderburn, former drummer at the Jamaican National Dance Company and master drummer of Broadway’s The Lion King, has crafted the original BAD FRIDAY soundtrack featuring 14 inspirational songs.

BAD FRIDAY experienced its world premiere last year in the Bob Marley Museum in Kingston, Jamaica. Since then the documentary has been shown at various film festivals in the Caribbean and North America, including the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival and Hollywood Black Film Festival. On February 10, the film will receive its European premiere in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The film will be screened at Rootical Vibrations, a popular Rasta-related film and music event hosted by Caribbean Creativity ( that is one-of-its kind in Europe. Two of the filmmakers, Thomas and Wedderburn, will specially visit Amsterdam to participate in this festive premiere.

Besides playing the festival circuit, BAD FRIDAY is out now on DVD. The documentary is distributed by Third World Newsreel and can be purchased by institutions through and by individuals through or the film’s official website, Individuals can buy the DVD for $19,99 and download the film for $14,99. The BAD FRIDAY soundtrack can be purchased through ($12,97 for the CD, $9,99 for the download).

"Amidst the proliferation of films on Rasta, none have managed to fathom the Rastafari experience of their Jamaican Babylon like BAD FRIDAY. Now that Rasta is an increasingly co-opted global culture, this is as close as the untutored will get to understanding the meanings of being ‘Dread’ during the pre-reggae period when adherents were viewed as a ‘cult of outcasts’ and routinely victimized. A powerful and timely historical document that speaks to the ways that remembering-and-forgetting continue to shape Jamaica’s post-colonial identity."

Jake Homiak, Curator of “Discovering Rastafari”, Smithsonian Institution


"Soon to be linked up with an official website" Esther comments.. Yes you it here.. Esther & Gian want to create an official website for the film BOB MARLEY: THE MAKING OF A LEGEND... They have asked me if I want like to create and design the website I said "Yes" I thought it would be a great experience and I would love to help out.. As far as when the official site will be released onto the internet that date is still unknown... upon it's release though you will be hit with great info, photos, video and great fun! Although taking this site seriously will have to take effect. The goal is to attract the younger generation to visit and spend sometime on the site. Esther wanted me to create this site because she knows I am young and I am the perfect one to deliver the messgae to the younger people..