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Experience Jamaica Through Film! Celebratin​g 50 Years Of Jamaican Cinematic Heritage

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United Achievers’ Community Services Inc officially launched The Jamaica 50th Film Showcase on Thanksgiving Sunday at TIFF Bell Lightbox. An exuberant crowd was treated to the opening film Akwantu: The Journey.  Jamaican born Hollywood stuntman and director of the film Roy T. Anderson was on hand to answer questions from the packed cinema.  He shared with the audience a sense of gratitude and how he felt honoured to have a film about Jamaica’s first freedom fighters being premiered at the Jamaica 50th Film Showcase, in honour of Jamaica 50th Anniversary of Independence; and sharing in the experience of saluting and celebrating filmmakers in the diaspora. Akwantu is also playing on October 17 at Cineplex Morningside at 7pm.
The Jamaica 50th Film Showcase is featuring the best of a new generation of independent filmmaking. Storm Saulter, the trailblazing Jamaican film director, alongside St. Lucian filmmaker Michelle Serieux have created a groundbreaking film collective called New Caribbean Cinema. The pair has been wowing international audiences with Ring Di Alarm, a compilation of seven short films set in Jamaica, which is an innovation in the film making industry. “We’re so excited to be host the Canadian premiere of Ring Di Alarm. Recently, the collection was premiered in the United Kingdom and at the Trinidad &Tobago International Film Festival, when we heard about the film there was just no question, we had to have it in the showcase,” says Hugh Simmonds, Executive Director of United Achiever’s Community Services.
Charles Officer’s Genie Award winning film Nurse.Fighter.Boy is an urban love story centred on a Jamaican family living in Toronto.  Audiences will also be treated to Officer’s latest film, a short that is fresh from TIFF 2012 called 100 Musicians, a timely reflection on Toronto’s current state of affairs. It will be screened before Nurse.Fighter.Boy on October 14 at Albion Cinemas, 1pm.
Did you know that Dancehall Queen screened at the 1997 Toronto International Film Festival? This Jamaican classic featuring Audrey Reid screened October 9 at Albion Cinemas.
Romantic comedy Love, Sex & Eating the Bones won the 2003 TIFF award for best Canadian feature film. The director, Sudz Sutherland’s latest film Home Again, also debuted at TIFF 2012. It is a drama telling the story of three Jamaican deportees.  Love, Sex & Eating the Bones plays at Cineplex Courtney Park on October 10 at 7pm and at Cineplex Morningside on October 15 at 9pm.
Marley, a documentary delving beyond the music icon, to the life of the man is screening on October 18 at Cineplex Odeon Morningside, 7pm.
What happens when a newly released ex-con returns to his old neighborhood? Find out in Poor Boy’s Game, a film by Clement Virgo. Showing October 11 at Cineplex Courtney Park, 7pm and October 18 at Cineplex Morningside, 9:30pm.
Director Luciano Blotta is a native of Buenos Aires, but holds an honorary Jamaican status. His film, Rise Up received the 2009 AFI/Discovery SilverDocs Award for best music documentary. Rise Up is screening October 13 at Albion Cinemas, 1pm.
Take Me To The Ball, is a cleverly written short film that incorporates the Jamaica 50th anniversary theme starring three of Jamaica’s finest actors; Dahlia Harris, Fabian Thomas and Akeem Mignott. The preparation of an event that lends to the Jamaican idea of Much Ado About Nothing; which screens before Akwantu on  October 17 at Cineplex Morningside, 7pm.
This is the 40th anniversary of the most recognizable Jamaican film now dubbed a cult classic worldwide. Harder They Come featuring reggae star Jimmy Cliff screens October 10 at Albion Cinemas, 7pm, October 11 at Cineplex Courtney Park, 9pm and October 15 at Cineplex Morningside, 9pm.
A man dubbed ‘the village madman’ has a life changing experience when his path collides with a German nymphomaniac. The iconic 90’s film The Lunatic screens October 11 at Albion Cinemas, 7pm.

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Written by Staff Writer