The culture surrounding reggae music is unique and intriguing — what better way to get a taste of it than through film?
From April 17-21, Jamaica will host the 2012 Reggae Film Festival, sponsored by RBC Royal Bank.
Since it was established in 2008, the festival has presented films, documentaries, animated works and music videos that highlight and memorialize Jamaica's reggae music culture. More than 200 films have been shown at the inception of the event, which is routinely attended by Jamaicans and reggae enthusiasts from North America, Europe, Japan, Africa and the rest of the Caribbean. The documentaries tend to focus on the history of the music and its makers in Jamaica.
As in previous years, the 2012 edition will feature "Make A Film In 24 Hours", a competition where film crews compete to create a five-minute film on a particular topic in one day. There are cash prizes at stake. Fifteen film crews participated last year, and that number — and more — is expected this year. The competition has uncovered a large amount of young filmmaking talent.
The 2012 event will also celebrate 50 years of independence for Jamaica, and will feature several important films of the last five decades, such as The Harder They Come and Life and Debt. The festival will also pay tribute to Christopher Brown, one of the country's top cinematographers.
Later this year the festival will go on an international tour to Canada (May), England (May, August) and Serbia (August). The program for the tour will be, "The Best of the Reggae Film Festival." Lucky Jamaican residents will get a head start on seeing this great material.