We recently caught up with Jamaican filmmaker Kurt Wright as he was getting ready for the Fort Lauderdale Film Festival. A graduate of The New York Institute of Technology in 2004, Kurt worked over the next decade to become one of Jamaica’s most sought after Assistant Directors and . After working on five feature length films with directors ranging from Ras Kassa to Nick Cannon, as well as numerous commercial projects and music videos, Kurt eventually moved to directing – on season two of the popular Jamaican comedy series: Men Mi Kru. Subsequently he has directed multiple music videos such as the gritty Shotta by NoMaddz and Let Her Go by Christopher Martin, which currently has over 5 million views on Youtube. Kurt’s resume also includes a growing list of commercial projects. His work has been presented at the UN in New York, Canada and as far away as England and Africa. Here is our conversation with Jamaican Filmmaker, Kurt Wright.
Tell us about the film “Origins”?
“Origins” is a passion project for me that was brought about through the efforts of JAFTA, The Propella Project and The CHASE Fund. It is a unique but still very Jamaican story with many of our historical/mythological characters at its center.
Is this a Jamaican movie or a movie with Jamaicans?
It is a Jamaican film with an all-Jamaican cast and crew.
Is the movie based on a true story?
Origins, at its core, is based on many stories in Jamaica’s rich history. Some are true, some fictionalized, to create a brand new tale for modern audiences.
Has the film been screened by an audience yet?
The film was first shown at The Trinidad & Tobago Film Festival (TTFF) where it received an awesome response. It was also shown in a private screening for the Propella cast and crew in Jamaica which was an amazing experience as well.
Is the movie entered in any festivals?
Not for competition, no.
How will the movie be distributed? Are you currently working on getting it in theaters?
The short film was always meant to be a part of a bigger picture. There are some gears turning behind the scenes right now, but you’ll all have to wait and see. 😉
Tell us about some of the talented actors in the film? You mentioned the entire cast are Jamaicans…right?
Lol, yes the entire cast is Jamaican. We were very lucky to have assembled a wonderful group of talented individuals, from seasoned veterans like Tony Hendriks, Christopher Daley and Leonie Forbes, to up and coming actors Kevoy Burton, Shanique Brown, Julene Robinson and Isobel Whittaker. Every one of them gave 100% to the project and it was a pleasure working alongside them.
What is your next project?
Financial recovery…lol. Kidding aside, we have another short that we wanted to finish off with a small reshoot of the final scene. We’re also very focused on growing “Origins” into a larger idea so that the bigger story can be told. There are quite a few shoots on the corporate side of things on the horizon for us as well. We’re pretty good at juggling and balancing.
What advice do you have for young filmmakers?
Work on your art first without assuming that it’s all about your gear. Gear helps, but if you don’t learn how to craft a good story then what’s the point of telling it at all?
Your favorite Jamaican food is…?
Seven day, six night, all expense paid, my vacation destination is…
Only because my job has taken me all over the island, including to many out of the way places, I’d probably have to say somewhere outside of Jamaica that I’ve never been to before. Europe for six days and seven nights sounds pretty cool to me.
Thanks for the interview any closing thoughts for visitors to Jamaicans.com
Thank you for continuing to support a great website that’s helping to keep our culture alive and relevant.
When can we see your film?
At FLIFF on Saturday the 12th of November at Cinema Paradiso in Hollywood, Florida at 8:30pm.