Friday, June 24, 2011

Ghett’a Life at Cannes

The Jamaican film Ghett'a Life has raised the bar for achievement in the local film industry, recently winning the "Best Pitch" Award at the most prestigious film event in the world, the Cannes Film Festival in France which is held annually in the southern region of France. Ghett’a Life gained substantial exposure at the festival, which consistently attracts the world’s highest grossing A-list actors and film professionals, as well as distributors seeking to ink deals with potentially lucrative films

Co-Producer, Justine Henzell, presented the film for judging at the festival, which was held in May. The film, which was entirely locally produced, was represented at Cannes by the Jinga sales agency, which organized a screening that was attended by several media and buyers.

From as far back as 2006, there were signs that Ghett’a Life would receive international praise. The script won the Hartley Merrill International Screenplay Award that year at the same Cannes Film festival, a fitting announcement that this was no ordinary Jamaican movie. The buzz surrounding the film has been generating tremendous attention and interest in its high production values, its heart-warming script and its compelling storyline and images. This year’s Cannes “Best Pitch” award for Ghett’a Life effectively pushes it into a small category of films that are poised to shape the character of the Jamaican film industry, and reinforce the brand as a worldwide force to reckon with.

Ghett’a Life is written, directed and produced by the acclaimed Chris Browne, who also directed Jamaica’s highest grossing film to date, Third World Cop.  Browne’s impressive resume also includes the award winning short films Entry Denied and Crossfire. It was Line  produced by Natalie Thompson  who has high praise for the dedication of our local crew without whom the film could not have been completed on schedule and on budget.

It is set against the backdrop of Kingston’s inner-city, and explores one boy’s attempt to achieve boxing glory, despite the political divide that threatens to tear his community and country apart. His journey takes him on a path that will force him to defy his family and his community and the result will either destroy him or bring his community together.

With these ripples of recognition rolling into the Jamaican film landscape, the stage is set for the Jamaican public to receive the grand public showing of the film on Wednesday July 27.

Ghett’a Life combines both new and experienced talent among its all Jamaican cast and crew. All Jamaican local investors through a fund set up by Pan Caribbean Financial Services funded the film.  The impressive cast includes Carl Davis (Dancehall Queen, Almost Heaven, and Royal Palm Estate), Teddy Price (Small Island, Glory to Gloriana, and Royal Palm Estate), Winston ‘Bello’ Bell (Third World Cop, Royal Palm Estate), Karen  Robinson (Liars and a Real Girl, Soul Food, Bad As I Wanna Be: The Dennis Rodman Story).  The film welcomes lead actor and newcomer Kevoy Burton and female lead, Lisa Williams.  Also, actor Boy Awardee Christopher McFarlane turns his years of experience on the stage to sliver screen. 

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