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Keeping you up to date with the latest Jamaica Society Leeds news, blogs and guest writers.

Jamaican Film Season announced as part of Leeds International Film Festival

The Jamaica Society Leeds is thrilled to announce a Jamaican Film Season in the city following an exciting partnership with JAFTA (Jamaica Film and Television Association) and Leeds International Film Festival (LIFF).

The partnership will see both classic, highly-regarded Jamaican films shown alongside a series of short films from new and emerging Jamaican directors and producers at LIFF.

These include Perry Henzell’s seminal The Harder They Come, this year celebrating its 50th anniversary, Babylon, Franco Rosso’s 1980 classic exploration of the trials and tribulations of the young Black London community and Rockers starring a whole host of reggae stars including Leroy “Horsemouth” Wallace, Burning Spear, Gregory Isaacs, Big Youth, Dillinger, Robbie Shakespeare, and Jacob Miller.

Out of Many Festival Director Susan Pitter said: “We are delighted with this exciting partnership bringing classic Jamaican film to Leeds as well as those from up-and-coming directors and producers, as part of the prestigious and highly-regarded Leeds International Film Festival. 

“Jamaican films have played a big part in showcasing and celebrating the culture, heritage and impact of the island and is very much in line with the aims of the Out of Many Festival, organised by the Jamaica Society Leeds, which seeks to do the same.” 

LIFF runs from 3-17th November in various locations including the Howard Assembly Room and the city’s oldest cinema, Cottage Road.

Chris Fell, LIFF Director said: “We’re delighted to partner with Jamaica Society Leeds and JAFTA on presenting a selection of films for Out of Many Festival during the 36th Leeds International Film Festival. In this special anniversary year, it’s a great opportunity to celebrate Jamaican culture in film as part of LIFF 2022.” 

LIFF-goers will see some short films from emerging producers and directors who are members of JAFTA, and these will be shown before the main features. 

Of The Harder They Come, celebrating 50 years since its release, actor and musician Jimmy Cliff said in an interview with the Guardian:

“The director was the one who convinced me (to play the role of Ivanhoe Martin)! “Because I was doing good in Europe. I had hits – Wonderful World, Beautiful People, Vietnam.  

“But Perry said to me: “Jimmy, I think you’re a better actor than a singer.” That shocked me, because I always felt the same way. “Wow, this guy can read minds.” He read a few scenes with me and said: “Yes, this is the man I’ve been looking for to play my movie all these years.”

For dates and further information: www.leedsfilm.com/film-festivals/leeds-international-film-festival-2022/

An Out of Many Festival partner event delivered by Leeds International Film Festival.

The Out of Many Festival runs until February 2023; it has been made possible thanks to National Lottery players, the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Arts Council England.