Caribbean Films and Voices in the Film Industry
[SOUTH FLORIDA] – The Hollywood movie machine has taken some tentative steps to increase diversity. Mainly with black actors, stories and cultural representation. However, Afro-Caribbean representation in the film industry has not been a priority. Whether from a public point of view or from an industrial point of view. Much of the media attention has focused on the overwhelming whiteness of the Oscar award ceremonies and the films themselves.
The call to use Jamaicans will play Jamaicans in movies is not something new.
With an ever-increasing emphasis on diversity and appropriate representation of different cultures on screen, it’s important to note that Black does not define a monolithic group. Tokenization is a problem; a film may mistakenly consider itself representative if there are one or two darker-skinned people. Unfortunately, this does not meet the objective of inclusion and representation of reality.
Afro-Caribbean voices in the film industry represent a large group of people who do not see characters who share their backgrounds and culture on the big screen. Even though the United States has the highest percentage of Afro-Caribbean residents outside of the region itself, the largest film center fails to offer representative roles appropriately.
Increase Afro-Caribbean representation in the film industry
Like most burgeoning changes, the push for greater representation of Caribbean heritage in film begins with a small, dedicated group. Sade Claken Joseph, owner of production company Out of Many Media, recently held a short film screening at the Soho House in Los Angeles to screen a short film titled “Belonging.” This not only provided an opportunity to see Afro-Caribbean voices on screen, but it also opened up a dialogue about past experiences and a smart path to more inclusive practices.
Film inspired by Wyclef, The Sweetest Girl, won a few accolades last year. The trend is for greater Caribbean representation in the film industry. An essential step.
Inclusion means little if representation suffers. Not only does the Band-Aid solution of throwing a few darker-skinned characters into a movie fail to represent black culture as a whole, having black characters fails to provide representation for legacies. specific to this group. Afro-Caribbeans have a different history, cultural range, and current circumstances than African-Americans. Accuracy is important when it comes to improving the characters people see on screen. Ky-mani Marley debuted as an actor, writer and director last year.
All the misrepresentations in the popular media turn the minds of the uneducated into truth. Erasing an important culture from all films makes it impossible for people who do not know Afro-Caribbeans personally to recognize and understand them. Representing people from diverse backgrounds and cultures humanizes them with precision and respect. Especially in a way that most people won’t get to experience in the real world.
We’ve come a long way from the best Jamaican films will premiere at the Toronto Film Festival in 2006.
Short films and small independent film production companies like Out of Many Pictures of media and mental telepathy, owned by a Jamaican American by the name of Robert A. Maylor, offers a lot when it comes to encouraging inclusion and authentic representation in films. As more emphasis is placed on diversity, Afro-Caribbean voices in Hollywood will become stronger and more recognizable. This requires authenticity and a focus on the real experiences and cultural identity of the people of the Caribbean islands. It cannot fall back on the superficial solutions of symbolism and monolithic black identities as Hollywood has been guilty of for far too long.