Jamaican Filmmaker Wins International Award of Recognition

Jamaican Filmmaker Sasha-Gay Lewis

The Impact DOCS Awards Competition has honored Sasha-Gay Lewis, a Jamaican filmmaker, with an Award of Recognition. Documentaries from 30 nations were submitted for the award.

Lewis received the award for the documentary “The Incursion,” which focuses on the Jamaican government’s raid on Tivoli Gardens in 2010. The film tells the story of the raid from the point of view of the Kingston inner-city neighbor’s residents and offers an unfiltered examination of the events on a day that brought the country to a standstill. Jamaica’s Prime Minister resigned as a result of the raid, and the drug lord Christopher “Dudus” Coke was captured and extradited. “The Incursion” presents an emotional and character-driven look at the traumatic personal experiences of Tivoli Gardens residents, as well as the lingering impact of the raid on their current lives.

The film tells the stories of Annette, a mother of two children and a community leader who lost her sister and best friend; Christ, a biker and husband who lost his nephew; and Joan, a grandmother who lost a grandson whose body has never been found. According to Lewis, the decision to make the film was difficult, but continued to pursue the project because of a desire to know the residents’ stories as told in their own words.

Winning the award puts Lewis is good company: many winners of the internationally respected award include the Oscar-winning director Louie Psihoyos, ’Oscar winner Yael Melamede, and Emmy Award winner Gerald Rafshoon.

Rick Prickett, chair of Impact DOCS, described the organization’s mission as setting the standard for craft and creativity in film, as well as to create catalysts for global change. Impact DOCS recognizes videography, television, film, and new media professionals who display uncommon achievement in the field and those who produce entertainment that contributes to social change.

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Stephanie Korney