The Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) takes another historic step, but this time it is in film, television, and cinema.
Next year, from October 20 to 22, it will host OlympicJamFest as part of the global film festival of the Fédération Internationale Cinéma Télévision Sportifs (FICTS). President of the JOA Christopher Samuda, who is a member of the International Festival Commission of the federation, made the announcement on his return recently from Milan, Italy, where the 39th Milano International FICTS Festival 2021 was staged.
Samuda said, “The COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021 stymied the inaugural staging of OlympicJamFest, but it is our hope that it will abate significantly to allow JOA to launch this historic event that will berth and catalyse a viable local sport film and cinema industry, which is one of the goals of my administration.”
FICTS facilitates several member countries worldwide in staging festivals. Noted cities which have played host to local festivals are Barcelona, Beijing, Buenos Aires, Lisbon, Nairobi, New York, Rome, and Sao Paulo.
“Jamaica’s cities will be numbered among those sport metropoles as we marry sport in films, documentaries, television, and cinema with business entertainment in creating a tourism product of economic and social value,” Samuda said.
Commenting on this pioneering move of the national association, Secretary General/CEO Ryan Foster stated, “Sport is not just on the field of play, it is also on the screen, where we can see and hear ourselves and others and learn important lessons of success and failure as we celebrate inspiring moments and record milestone events.”
With 123 member countries, FICTS encourages knowledge and education of Olympic values in validating human dignity, equality, and integrity and in promoting, as stated in one of its mandates, “the independence and autonomy of sport for development and peace”. President Samuda embraces these goals of FICTS and views them “as central to the character, administration, and experience of sport which must inform and are over and above the business, monetisation and commercialisation of sport”.
This bold initiative of the national sport body will be guided by Secretary General /CEO Foster and will see the JOA collaborating with international stakeholders. “With the JOA building solid partnerships cross-border, we will be able to more than whet the national appetite with a preview of local and international films and documentaries just to give members of the public a taste of the cuisine that will be served hot to them, as well as foreign connoisseurs at OlympicJamFest in October,” he said.
The showing of works at specified locations islandwide will also take place during the festival and will bring the experience of “life and living, passion and dreams in sport into the reality of the lens for a wide cross section of Jamaicans to enjoy”, Samuda remarked.
People make films, documentaries, and movies and, with a reservoir of talent, transition them to block busters. Visualising the future.
President Samuda remarked, “The apex governing body aims to bring Jamaica into the mainstream of the global world of ‘lights on, camera, and action’,where the talents of Jah people will make Jamrock a film factor and a movie mover and shaker.”