GATFFEST expands its footprints to present 30 international films | Entertainment


Greater August Town is no longer a community in Jamaica, its name has achieved international fame, thanks to the iconic film festival that was conceived and nurtured in this community.

This year, GATFFEST (Greater August Town Film Festival) has selected 50 films that will be screened at the festival.

“We have around 50 short films that will be screened during the festival,” informed Mellissa Tulloch, project coordinator, UWI Community Film Project (UWICFP), organizer of GATFFEST.

“Of the 50 films,” Tulloch said, “we will screen approximately 30 international films, six of which include submissions from the region, approximately 15 local films and five films produced by UWICFP students.”

The crescendo is building as the festival, now in its third year, reaches its climax. The volume of international admissions has positioned the uniqueness, sustainability and appeal of the festival, and reaffirming that creativity knows no borders or is limited by barriers.

“We have received and accepted applications from the United States, Canada, Japan, United Kingdom, Poland, Spain, India and Brazil,” Tulloch said, adding that films from Aruba, Trinidad and Tobago and Haiti were also on this year’s selection list.

“We have a very exciting lineup of films this year!” she said.

The animation category is also making its debut at GATFFEST 2015, other categories include comedy, documentary, drama, romance, sci-fi and horror.

The 50 shortlisted films are currently judged by a jury. “The public will also vote for their favorite each night,” Tulloch said.

The winners will be announced at the closing night and the awards ceremony on June 28.

The festival opens in Kingston with a red carpet gala and a film exploring the life of Amy Jacques Garvey, wife of national hero Marcus Garvey. Other activities include workshops and the screening of local and international short films as well as an award ceremony ceremony.

Several activities are organized during the week.

GATFFEST opens June 25 with the premiere of the locally produced film Epiphany, which tells the story of a young man who is catapulted into the past and meets Amy Jacques Garvey.

The action moves to Montego Bay on June 26, where a film workshop is held on the UWI Western Jamaica campus and a movie night, which will feature a selection of local and international films.

On Saturday, June 27, a cinema workshop will be held at the Courtleigh Auditorium, which is aimed at community representatives, those interested in cinema and the general public. A selection of films will be screened in the evening.

GATFFEST reaches its climax on June 28, with the screening of films and the announcement of GATFFEST 2015 award winners.

Renowned Barbadian filmmaker Marcia Weekes to host workshops in Kingston and Montego Bay, and her film Vigilant is set to premiere at the Sovereign Center theaters on June 29.

This community film festival, in the span of three years, has grown exponentially, nurturing local talent, telling success stories and opening doors to international collaborations.

Movies, they say, transcend one to the realm of the unknown

“Give them pleasure. The same pleasure they have when they wake up from a nightmare,” said Alfred Hitchcock. GATFFEST continues to exude these emotions.

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Darcy J. Skinner

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