Sport & Entertainment
JAM | Jun 4, 2023

GATFFEST 2023: Caribbean’s largest community film festival set to impress with record-breaking lineup

Shemar-Leslie Louisy

Shemar-Leslie Louisy / Our Today

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GATFFEST, the largest community film festival in the Caribbean, is gearing up for its 11th edition, promising an extraordinary showcase of talent and creativity in filmmaking. From June 19 to July 2, GATFFEST will captivate audiences with a record-breaking 16 days of activities and an impressive lineup of films.

Under the leadership of Festival Director Savannah Peridot, GATFFEST has established itself as a platform for emerging filmmakers to shine. The festival serves as an opportunity for directors, producers, casts, and crews to gain exposure and present their unique stories through a mix of short films and documentaries.

Peridot shared with Our Today, her expectations for this year’s staging of the film festival, “We expect to show a lot of local and international films as well as help develop the local film industry with an exchange of culture. That’s why we partner with all these embassies every year, we want the public to come out and to get to see Jamaican films.”

This year’s festival will screen a total of 51 films, featuring a diverse selection of local and international productions. Among them are eight feature-length films, 43 short films, 32 local films, and 19 international films. Movie enthusiasts can catch these cinematic gems at the Palace Cineplex, located in the Sovereign Centre.

Savannah Peridot, director for GATFFEST Film Festival (Photo: Our_Today/ Shemar-Leslie Louisy)

The excitement surrounding GATFFEST extends beyond its film screenings. The festival will kick off with two premiere events, starting with the Opening Night Gala on Monday (June 19), held at the Mona Inn and Conference Centre, formerly the Mona Visitor’s Lodge. The highly anticipated premiere of The Untold Legacy of the UWI Mona Principals will take place during this glamorous occasion.

On Tuesday (June 20), the GATFFEST Film Pitch Premiere, hosted by the French Embassy, will showcase two films from the winners of the 2nd GATFFEST Film Pitch Competition held in December 2022. The deserving winners, Joshua Paul and Jhanielle Powell, will each receive a grant of $850,000 to fund the production of their films for GATFFEST 2023 thanks to the financial support from the Bob Marley Foundation and the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), who jointly contributed $1.7 million.

Collaboration lies at the heart of GATFFEST’s success; this year is no exception. The festival has partnered with the Embassies and Consulates of Canada, Spain, Japan, Colombia, Germany, France, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and CARIMAC for the film screening nights. This collaboration ensures a vibrant and diverse lineup of films, highlighting the rich cultural tapestry of the Caribbean and beyond. International and Jamaica nights and a Community Film Night will further enhance the festival experience.


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