A Rasta Reggae Fable To Be Told Through Film

On Thursday May 17th, Writer / Filmmaker Barbara Makeda Blake Hannah announced that her acclaimed novel Joseph: A Rasta Reggae Fable is to be made into a feature film. The novel, Joseph, now published in paperback, was also re-displayed alongside Blake-Hannah’s newest book: Rastafari: The New Creation (December 2006).
Both her books have been published by her own media company, Jamaica Media Productions, but more significantly, Blake Hannah secured a publishing deal with Macmillan Caribbean, one of the premier book publishers in the world, through Novelty Trading. The film Joseph is to be produced by Jamaica Media Productions with Grange as executive producer. “It is a great accomplishment for a Jamaican author to be published and to have an international publisher like Macmillan back up your book.” she stated to a round of applause. “When the book was first published in 1991, the publisher said ‘This book is a movie'”

Joseph is set to feature some major stars of Jamaican entertainment. “The story is told by a woman, the lead role, Ashanti. And the lady to play Ashanti will be Etana,” said Blake Hannah. The reggae singer expressed her pleasure at being offered the role, adding that at the time she received the call, she was just saying to her management that she would like to venture into acting. “I was shocked. I’m still shocked. Thank you for this opportunity.” Etana said.

Blake Hannah said that deejay Sizzla will make a cameo appearance, while reggae historian Roger Steffens will play Sam. “Roger is [one of] the premier reggae archivists and journalists on reggae culture,” said Blake Hannah. Lutan Fyah will play the character Mikey, and also making a cameo appearance is Tarrus Riley. In endorsing the project, Riley said, “We [are] endorsing the thing. It’s a. joy to contribute.”

Blake Hannah is keen to keep the name of the principal actor playing Joseph a secret. He will be revealed, she said, closer to filming time. Blake Hannah introduced Ms Babsy Grange as the executive producer. “We’re blessed to have someone with a great deal of experience, who has created three Grammy winners and several movie and television productions – Ms Babsy Grange,” said Blake Hannah. Grange told the audience of her involvement. “I’m not here tonight as a politician, but as a lover of the culture and I am a Rasta at heart,” she said. “This was a labour of love, and Barbara Blake Hannah is a tower of strength.”
The film is already in pre-production and Barbara hopes to have scenes ready for The Flashpoint Film Festival in December.