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Jamaican filmmaker breaks ground at Rotterdam Lab


Jamaican producer Nadean Rawlins will be the first person from the island to participate in the Rotterdam Lab training event, which is held to empower the world’s most promising emerging producers.

Rotterdam Lab is managed by the International Film Festival of Rotterdam (IFFR), an international film festival that focuses on independent and experimental filmmaking. Rawlins’ participation will begin on January 25, 2021.

Rawlins will be learning, sharing and connecting with producers from 40 countries at the Lab and at the related Cinemart film market (the international co-production market component of the festival). The Jamaica Film and Television Association (JAFTA) and JAMPRO have partnered to support Rawlins’ participation in the Rotterdam Lab, which will be held virtually because of COVID-19 protocols.

Speaking about the opportunity, Rawlins noted that she was pleased to participate in the event, saying that she has been persistently working in the film industry for many years.

She said, “Even at age 47, after 20 years in the creative industry and numerous rejections, I never gave up and never will. I’m very honoured to make history as the first Jamaican filmmaker to participate in the elite Rotterdam Film Lab. The networking and skills development opportunities are gateways to the world of international filmmaking, so I’m quite thrilled about my career trajectory.”

Film Commissioner, Renee Robinson, said she was also happy about the opportunity.

She explained, “Accessing the right international networks has always been a priority for the Film Commission, especially as we have started seeing more talent emerging who demonstrate that they are ready for these big next steps. The developmental initiatives that we have supported locally are a key path towards established networks such as the Rotterdam Lab - which has springboarded the careers of countless emerging talent. These are the bridges we’ve been missing, and now, with Nadean’s selection and attendance – these bridges are opening. Warm thanks to JAFTA for their ongoing collaboration in advancing opportunities for local talent, and to our inaugural Jamaican producer participant Nadean Rawlins - you are joining the rank of ‘firsts’ in 2021.”

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