Monday, 24 March 2014

NEWS AND NOTES: What's new, what's next, what's trending in local entertainment and culture

BOOKS: A relatively new kid on the block, the BURT Award for Caribbean Literature aims to recognize innovation and creative excellence among today's hardworking West Indian authors. Alongside peers from Antigua & Barbuda (Joanne Hillhouse's Musical Youth), Trinidad & Tobago (Glynnis Guevera's Barrel Gun) and Dominica (Joanne Skerrett's Abraham's Treasure), a trio of Jamaicans are vying for the prize this year, namely Diane Brown (Princess in Brooklyn), Colleen Smith-Dennis (Inner-city Girl) and, pictured above, AdZiko Simba (All Over Again). Valued at CDN$10,000, the award will be presented during the gala event of the OCM Bocas Literary Festival in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, on April 25.
FILM: An official call has been put out requesting submissions for the 2014 Caribbean Tales International Film Festival by May 1st. This year's iteration of the increasingly popular cinema fest launches in July and runs until mid-September at various venues across Toronto, encompassing everything from the Canadian National Exhibition to the Scotiabank Carnival. Send entries and/or make enquiries via

MUSIC: This year's National Children's Gospel Song Competition (put on by the JCDC) has slipped into high gear, with the fourth and final elimination show set for Friday, March 28 at the Rehoboth Gospel Assembly on Constant Spring Road in Kingston. One of the JCDC's signature programmes that aims to annually unearth stunning young singing talents, the competition is open to vocally gifted kids between the ages of six and 15 years. Following the elimination round, the most outstanding entrants will go on to compete in the semi-final round ahead of vying for overall top honours in the grand finale set for May, in celebration of Child Month.

SOUND BYTE: "It's one of the far-reading health policies not only in Jamaica, but in the Caribbean. It has significantly transformed the health landscape. It has done a tremendous job over these 10 years, worthy of international recognition." -- Health minister Dr. Fenton Ferguson addressing the 10th anniversary banquet of the National Health Fund (NHF) at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston, where a number of staff, beneficiaries and other persons were recognized.

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