Monday, 5 March 2012

NEWS + NOTES: Mary Wells’ Kingston Paradise + Whither Jamaica Farewell, the movie? + Reggae Film Festival update

As we continue the countdown to the well-anticipated 2012 Reggae Film Festival, the Jamaica Film Academy is sharing new details about this year’s event, slated for April 17-21 at the Red Bones Blues Café in St. Andrew. Topping this year’s bounty is the world premiere of a Hollywood horror flick (starring Ryan O'Neal and Tom Sizemore) that features a reggae soundtrack. Festivalgoers can also look forward to the screening of Gospel Hill (starring Samuel L. Jackson, Angela Bassett and Danny Glover), which is being brought to our shores by Giancarlo Esposito (pictured above).

Also sure to thrill attendees are such features as the Jamaican-produced urban comedy Blind Shotta; We The Ragamuffin, set in London's Jamaican community; the Iranian entry The Invitation; and With Fidel, Whatever Happens, a documentary on Cuba by noted Serbian director Goran Radovanovic, who will accompany the film to Jamaica.

In other film news, anticipation is rife for Kingston Paradise, a gritty new feature from director/producer Mary Wells and starring Chris ‘Johnny’ Daley (left). Originally intended for a summer 2012 release, the film’s debut has been pushed back to a later date. Speaking recently with TALLAWAH, Wells explained “[I’m] not absolutely sure when it will premiere, but it will be this year,” before adding, “I'm still finishing the editing and raising funds to complete the film professionally, so that it can be professionally exhibited in the cinemas, festivals etc.”
Is Jamaica, Farewell (the terrific one-woman show from Debra Ehrhardt) still getting the film treatment? Reports are that the acclaimed stage production was optioned by Rita Wilson (wife of Oscar winner Tom Hanks), but no updates have been forthcoming as to whether the proposed movie version will actually see the light of day.

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