JAFTA to advance J’can cinema with IEFTA partnership

JAFTA President, Saeed Thomas

The Jamaica Film and Television Association [JAFTA] remains steadfast on its mission to advance Jamaica on the world stage of filmmaking with its recent partnership with the International Emerging Film Talent Association [IEFTA]. 

Notably, JAFTA has selected two Jamaican filmmakers to attend DOK Leipzig in Germany.

The event is one of the largest festivals of its kind in the world. 

Set to begin on Monday, October 25, the festival will present filmmakers with the opportunity to connect with professionals from across the world. 

“This initiative is one of many we have in the pipeline in our partnership with IEFTA,” said JAFTA President, Saeed Thomas. “By the end of this month, the selected filmmakers will be able to attend DOK Leipzig. While attending the market, they will be able to discuss their work with producers and other professionals in Germany. It’s a great opportunity to see how their work might resonate with an international audience,” he added. 

Vice President Tashara-Lee Johnson

Nyasha Laing, project lead, and one of two filmmakers selected for this opportunity is excited to be a part of this IEFTA-sponsored initiative. 

She said: “Film, like other industries, has faced its share of challenges during the pandemic and it will be a great boost to be able to receive feedback in a different market despite the difficulties of travelling.”

Oneika Russell, also a part of the project, is looking forward to the opportunity. “I think it’s such a great initiative by JAFTA to support filmmakers and content creators in such a tangible and beneficial way. This kind of opportunity can really [open doors] for local creators,” she told Buzz Caribbean. 

In July, JAFTA selected its new board, led by President Saeed Thomas and Vice President Tashara-Lee Johnson. This IEFTA-sponsored initiative is one of many plans the board has in store for its two-year tenure.