This Sunday April 25, 2021 the National Gallery of Jamaica’s virtual Last Sundays will feature a one-time screening of the Factory75 short film Proscenium followed by a discussion with the filmmaker Allison Harrison. The screening will take place on our YouTube channel at 1:30 pm and the discussion will be made available for future viewing.
The award winning 2015 short film Proscenium is a Jamaican thriller that follows a young violinist, Melissa, whose boyfriend Greg surprises her for her birthday with a trip to the long abandoned and iconic Ward Theatre in Downtown, Kingston. It was produced by Factory75 and has received the Audience Award for ‘Best Short Film’ at the first Jamaica FilmFestival in 2015, was part of the selection for the 2015 Aruba Film Festival and was featured by the University of Missouri and RagTag Cinema in 2016.
Allison Harrison is a filmmaker and the Chief Creative at the video, motion picture and entertainment company Factory75. She attended Miami International University of Art and Design where she attained a BFA in Film and Digital Production Summa Cum Laude. Harrison was regularly featured on the President’s List and the Dean’s List and was awarded the Outstanding Acheivement Award in Film and Digital Production for 2010-2011.
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At 1:30 pm on November 29, 2020 the National Gallery of Jamaica in association with the Jamaica Film and Television Association (JAFTA) will feature an online screening of the film “Inna De Yard” followed by a discussion with the film’s director Peter Webber for its virtual Last Sundays.
More than 30 years after their golden age, a band of singers gather up for the recording of a new album before embarking on a World Tour. Voices of Reggae like Ken Boothe, Winston McAnuff, Kiddus I, Judy Mowatt, and Cedric Myron, the famous lead of the Congos, are but a few in this film. These artistes have known each other for years and the have contributed greatly to the development of reggae: they’ve sung with the greats and rubbed shoulders with Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Jimmy Cliff. For the project “Inna de Yard”, they’ve reunited to revisit the biggest tracks of their repertoire and record a unique acoustic album, returning to the sources of their music. On this occasion, they’ll share the microphone with younger singers, representatives of the new reggae stage uniting their energy in a collective, powerful vibration.
In this film the director, Peter Webber, takes us along for the recording of the album, which will be the soundtrack, as well as the everyday life of the singers for several weeks. His aim is to get to grips with reggae, and at the same time witness the intimate lives of some of the legendary personalities that helped to create it. Built around a series of portraits, and giving star billing to the reggae music that will permeate it from beginning to end, the film invites us on a visceral and musical voyage to discover reggae and some of the fascinating people who create and perform it every day.
Growing up in West London in the 1970’s, Peter Webber was surrounded by reggae music. There was a large and well-established Jamaican community and the Notting Hill Carnival, the capital’s biggest street party, throbbed to the sounds of it. He was a fan of The Clash, who often promoted reggae music and that impacted him deeply. His record collection was soon filled with reggae albums and he sought out iconic reggae films such as “The Harder They Come” and “Rockers.” Webber eventually visited Jamaica and saw the opportunity for stories to be told through the intersection of the old and new generations of reggae.
To view the film and discussion please click the following link:
This July 26, 2020, the National Gallery of Jamaica will once again be hosting its virtual Last Sundays programme on our YouTube channel. We will be screening Children of Babylon which will be released online at 1:30pm, followed by a live Q&A on YouTube discussion at 3:45pm with production team member Cheryl Ryman.
A Jamaican made film, Children of Babylon is about life, love and tragedy. It explores Jamaica as a metaphorical Babylon that has more to it than the standard global perceptions of the Rastaman, Rum, Reggae and Ganja. The story follows a cast of characters from various racial and socio-economic backgrounds.
“The vortex is Penny, a young university graduate student; Rick – an artist; Luke – a “dreadlocks” farmhand; Dorcas – the housekeeper and Laura – the wealthy American owner of the plantation and greathouse, which silently represents the proverbial “house divided against itself”.
The film was directed by Lennie Little-White, with Franklyn “Chappie” St. Juste as the cinematographer. Among the cast are the recently deceased reggae artist Bob Andy as well as Tobi Phillips, Don Parchment, Leonie Forbes and Elizabeth De Lisser.
Parental Advisory: This film contains explicit themes considered inappropriate for viewers under the age of 17.
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Beginning in March 2020, the National Gallery of Jamaica (NGJ) will be hosting a film series entitled First Saturdays, which will be held on the first Saturdays of March, April, May and June of this year. This film series has been initiated as a part of the public programming associated with the Jamaica Jamaica! exhibition, which opened to the public on February 2, 2020 and is scheduled to close on June 28, 2020.
The NGJ will commence the film series on Saturday March 7, 2020 with the documentary film Hard Road To Travel: The Making of the Harder They Come, by Jamaican film-maker Chris Browne. Hard Road To Travel explores the two-year journey undertaken by Jamaican film-maker Perry Henzell to film and release the iconic 1972 film The Harder They Come, for which Henzell was both director and co- writer alongside Trevor Rhone. The documentary highlights the struggles of Jamaica’s early film industry, while simultaneously providing a lens through which a period of Jamaican music can be explored and interpreted. Chris Browne’s own filmography includes another outstanding Jamaican feature film, Third World Cop (1999), as well as his more recent Ghett’a Life (2011).
The film screening of Hard Road To Travel: The Making of the Harder They Come is scheduled to commence at 1:30pm. Attendance to the event is free of cost and is open to the public. Visitors are also being encouraged to view the Jamaica Jamaica! exhibition prior to the beginning of the film. For further details, contact the National Gallery of Jamaica at (876) 618-0654, (876) 922-1561 or (876) 922-1563.
Flight directed by Kia Moses and Adrian McDonald and produced by Tashera Lee Johnson
As usual Last Sundaysadmission is free though we are inviting donations for the Bahamas Hurricane Relief in light of the severe damage that was done to parts of the archipelago during hurricane Dorian. JAFTA is a non-profit association that represents the interests of the Film & TV industry of Jamaica inclusive of marketing Jamaican productions on the international scene.
We will be screening the following 6 films:
Passage directed and produced by Kareem Mortimer
Code directed by Sarah Manley and produced by Darin Tennent
Origins directed by Kurt Wright and produced by Noelle Kerr
A Broken Appointment directed and produced by Kaleb D’Aguilar
Trust directed by Jason Evans and produced by Renée Cesar
Flight directed by Kia Moses and Adrian McDonald and produced by Tashera Lee Johnson
Doors will open to the public from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. The screening will begin at 1:30 p.m. As is customary on Last Sundays, guided tours are free, but contributions to the Donations Box located in the Coffee Shop are appreciated. These donations help to fund our Last Sundays events. The National Gallery’s Gift Shop and Coffee Shop will also be open for business.
The National Gallery of Jamaica’s Last Sundays programming for the month of May will be the last opportunity to view mark The 25th Art of Reggae Exhibition. It will also feature a screening of the film The Lupus Life and special musical by performances by Evad Campbell and Roshane Wright.
May is Lupus Awareness Month and as part of its observances the National Gallery in partnership with The Music House, will be screening the short documentary film The Lupus Life. Directed by Kevin Jackson the film will offer our audience a glimpse into the daily struggle with the oftentimes invisible disease lupus. Following the film there will also be musical performances by former and current students of The Music House: Evad Campbell and Roshane Wright.
Born and raised in Kingston, Evad Campbell is a keyboardist, musical director, arranger and soundtrack producer. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Music Degree at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA, with a goal to contribute to the further development of Jamaica’s musical industry. Campbell returns to Jamaica regularly during his breaks from his studies to work with local groups such as Ashe and the UWI Panoridim Steel Orchestra.
Former president and advisor for the RD Drummers, Roshane Wright is a professional percussionist, playing for various artists and performing arts groups such as Jamique Ensemble, Apollo Tafari and L’Acadco: A United Caribbean Dance Force. He has received numerous awards for his drumming and arrangements and is preparing to further his studies at the Humber College in Toronto, Canada.
The National Gallery of Jamaica will be open from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm, with the entertainment beginning at 1:30 p.m. As per usual on Last Sundays, admission is free, but contributions to our Donations Box, located in the lobby, are appreciated. These donations help to fund our in house exhibitions and our Last Sundays programming. The National Gallery’s Gift Shop and Coffee Shop will be open for business.