Monday, 14 August 2017

NEWS & NOTES: Grace Jones biopic for TIFF premiere + First J’ca Pride Conference launched + FSC gets new Exec Director

PREMIERE: Grace Jones has had quite a life, so fans and film buffs are in for a captivating cinematic experience when they take in Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami, the hotly anticipated biopic that gets it debut at next month’s Toronto International Film Festival in Canada. Directed by Sophie Fiennes, the film (which has a running time of 115 minutes) offers an unconventional, up-close-and-personal snapshot of Jones’ life, work and evolution, tracing her Jamaican roots (she was born in Spanish Town), personal trials and triumphs and the career highlights spanning the classic albums (including 1985’s Slave to the Rhythm) and big-screen roles (such as playing a Bond girl in A View to Kill). Speaking with the UK’s The Independent, the filmmaker noted that the project got off the ground because the famously private Jones was finally willing to let the world in. The biopic took five years to complete. “Grace had fiercely controlled her public image but made the bold decision to unmask,” Fiennes said in her interview. “The film is a deliberately present-tense experience.” The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is scheduled for September 7 to 17. Visit for details. 

CONFERENCE: Times they are a-changing. According to reports, the inaugural Pride Jamaica Conference was launched on Emancipation Day (August 1) at UWI Mona’s Faculty of Law, with presentations being made by stakeholders in the local LGBT community, including directors of the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG). The conference, being planned for sometime later this year, has been dubbed a celebration of LGBT life, culture and issues in Jamaica, the Caribbean and the Diaspora. Andrew Campbell, one of the advocates championing the cause, says the conference represents a significant stepping-stone for the local gay community. Says Campbell, “[The conference is aimed at] creating a forum for LGBT persons, advocates and allies to come together to engage in meaningful dialogue.” 

APPOINTMENT: With his two-decades-plus experience in developing and leading successful economic and regulatory policy initiatives in the public sector, Everton McFarlane seems ideally cast in the role of the Financial Services Commission’s (FSC) new Executive Director. The appointment took effect August 2. As ED, McFarlane will lead the team’s mandate to deliver a balanced, consistent and effective regulatory programme “that will inspire confidence in Jamaica’s financial system.” A former Financial Secretary at the Ministry of Finance, McFarlane (above with finance minister Audley Shaw) has played key roles in driving the development of comprehensive frameworks on tax policy reform and financial services regulation. A UWI Mona graduate, he holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Economics.

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