Caribbean filmmaker Summer Eldemire has released Bougie Banton, the first episode of her satirical webseries Highly Favored, through New Wave, a local online platform.
The series is written, directed and starring Summer Eldemire, a Jamaican artist hailing from Montego
Bay, St James, whose work has appeared in the Fader, the Daily Beast, The Face, Sole DxB, the BBC, Al Jazeera and the Jamaica Observer.
It was made by a team of Caribbean creatives and features music from familiar Jamaican acts: Shanique Marie, Equiknoxx Music, Runkus, and Jesse Royal.
Edited by the creator of Losing Patience, Bougie Banton and the episodes to follow serve as a rich example of the power of collaboration among Jamaican and Caribbean creatives.
Highly Favored follows Winter, a Jamaican creative navigating the everyday highs and lows of life as an
artist, both internationally and at home.
Inspired by Issa Rae’s Awkward Black Girl turned HBO’s Insecure, in the first episode, Bougie Banton, a job interview takes an unexpected turn when Winter’s potential employer turns out to be obsessed with Jamaica.
The episode’s name plays off of reggae icon Buju Banton and the bougie-ness of the interviewer’s neighbourhood, using humour to explore the stereotypes the world has about Jamaicans.
One of the latest contributions to the contemporary Jamaican film canon, Highly Favored is an example of Jamaicans telling their own stories while harnessing the global appeal of islanders.
This is an arguably pivotal moment for Caribbean film as Eldemire has used all available open-source media tools to launch her web series, showcasing her diverse talents as well as those of other Caribbean artists.