November 2003
5TH ANNUAL JAMERICAN FILM & MUSIC FESTIVAL WINNERS

Prepared by Wilson Morales

5TH ANNUAL JAMERICAN FILM & MUSIC FESTIVAL WINNERS

 

Blackfilm.com would like to congratulate the winners of the 5th Annual Jamerican Film & Music Festival, which were decided on Nov.15 at Wyndham Rose Hall Resort & Country Club.

MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica--Grammy-winning legend Patti LaBelle was honored and a
new filmmaker from Brooklyn, NY was the night's big winner at the 5th Annual
Jamerican Film & Music Festival Gala Awards ceremony Saturday night at the
Wyndham Rose Hall Resort & Country Club.

LaBelle, who surprised and thrilled the audience by performing an acapella
version of "The Lord's Prayer," was presented with the Marcus Garvey Lifetime
Achievement Award by the JAFF's creator and director, actress/producer Sheryl
Lee Ralph.

"She is the epitome of a diva and a woman with a gracious heart and spirit,"
Ralph said.

In accepting the award, LaBelle who was wearing a colorful frock designed by
Ralph's mother, Ivy, thanked her longtime friend and then broke out into song.
"She didn't ask me to sing, but honestly I wouldn't feel right if I didn't
sing," LaBelle said.

Kevin Gordon, who was attending the festival for the third time, but the first
time as a filmmaker, won two awards--Best Experimental Short and the
Anheuser-Busch Audience Award--for his short "Red Eye." A humbled Gordon thanked
Ralph for "making this happen," and the audience for "enjoying the film."

In one of the evening's most poignant moments, Al and Jane Nakatani of Hawaii
were presented with a special Honorable Mention Award. The Nakatani's are
featured in "Honor Thy Children," a film about the loss of their three sons to
HIV/AIDS and murder.

In addition to LaBelle's spontaneous performance, Jamaica's own Mackie
Conscience also belted out a couple of reggae tunes while contestants from the
Golden Gospel Talent Search put their collective voices together for the first
time and performed a stirring rendition of "Amazing Grace."

Among the celebrity presenters: screenwriter/producer Tina Andrews ("Why do
Fools Fall in Love," "Sally Hemings: An American Scandal"), Mara Brock Akil
(creator of "Girlfriends"), Salim Akil (executive producer of "Soul Food") and
"Divorce Court" star Mablen Ephriam. "Soul Food" star Rockmond Dunbar
co-hosted the event with Ralph.

Other JAFF winners:

BEST CARIBBEAN-THEMED FILM
Bacchanal Time: The People's Carnival
Calaloo Productions
Directed by Ryan Saunders, Philadelphia, PA

BEST EXPERIMENTAL SHORT
Red Eye
Gordon Films
Directed by Kevin Gordon, Brooklyn, NY

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT
Etu & Nago: The Yoruba Connection
House of Oosaala
Directed by Morenike Olabunmi, Brooklyn, NY

Cold Ground
Silent Films
Directed by Carlington Silburn, Kingston, Jamaica

FINAL DRAFT SCREENWRITERS AWARD
Tracia Daye for Sex and the Green Card
Los Angeles, CA

BEST NARRATIVE SHORT
Sunday Morning Stripper
Black Genie Entertainment
Directed by Sheldon Collins, Los Angeles, CA

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Afro Punk
High Yellow Productions
Directed by James Spooner, Brooklyn, NY

PRESS CONTACT: Miki Turner, 323-936-8951