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The Incursion Wins Best Documentary Award

Director Sasha-Gay Lewis filming her documentary The Incursion
Written by Staff Writer

The Incursion, a film by Jamaican director and producer Sasha-Gay Lewis, has won best documentary short at the Los Angeles Film and Script Festival.

The Incursion, which also won a honorable mention award at the Los Angeles Documentary Film Festival (DOC LA) over the weekend was directed, produced, written and edited by Sasha-Gay Lewis.

“For the past year or so I have given my all to getting this film done and done well. There were many challenges but I kept at it, confident that this is a story worth telling. These awards are confirmation of that truth.”

The Incursion is a character driven documentary that highlights the 2010 government raid on the inner-city community of Tivoli Gardens in Jamaica that left over 150 people dead. The film provides an affecting account of what happened on May 23, 2010 and the lingering effects of what could be considered one of Jamaica’s deadliest security operation on the lives of those who survived.

The film, which is still doing its festival tour, has also been awarded an Impact Doc award and is an official selection of the Pembroke Taparelli Arts & Film Festival.

Sasha-Gay Lewis, whose career in production started as a television producer and writer, says she is honored and humbled by the response to her film. She says through her films she tries to facilitate communication, connection and change, and that is what she hopes will happen for the residents of Tivoli.

“As a documentary filmmaker my most important job is to find stories worth telling, causes worth highlighting, in an effort to bring about change. In 2010, as I watched the Incursion unfold, I felt then and now that a great injustice took place. I knew then that this was the story I was to tell. Though riddled with poverty and shackled by politics, crime, and violence; the inner-city communities of Jamaica are also saturated with talent, hope, promise, and potential. Incidences such as the Incursion oftentimes rob us of the latter without addressing or fixing the former. Irrespective of class, locale, politics and education level, people must be treated with dignity and the residents of West Kingston are no exception to this universal principle. As a filmmaker, I could not look the other way because what happened to the people of Tivoli is too powerful and important a story to be forgotten.”

Born in Jamaica, Sasha has been writing and producing content for television and radio for over ten years. As a filmmaker, she has written, produced and directed several short documentaries in Jamaica, Belize, and the United States.

Sasha holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Media and Communications from the University of the West Indies, Mona and a Masters of Fine Arts in Documentary Filmmaking from the New York Film Academy. She currently resides in Los Angeles, California where she works as a documentary filmmaker and producer.

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