Short film, Raw Materials, produced by Jamaican film company Ikon Media has won the Best Diaspora Short at the African Movie Academy Awards, one of the most prestigious film festival within the African Diaspora. The independent film is directed by Sosiessia Nixon and tells a compelling story of a young Jamaican man who faced both emotional and physical abuse within his community. Despite these adversities, he managed to break free from the cycle of abuse and relentlessly pursued his aspirations of becoming a fashion designer.
In an interview with Jamaicans.com, executive producer Horane Henry revealed that his team faced considerable challenges during film production, including significant funding obstacles, and came close to not being made at all.
“The journey to creating the film is an interesting one…We almost didn’t make the film for a multitude of reasons. When the idea first came to Sosiessia, who is the writer and director, we had just finished another short film that she had also written and directed. That film had won awards in international festivals, but we felt that the ‘Raw Materials’ story was so multidimensional that it needed to be told.”
The Power of Collaboration
Horane was quick to credit his team members, Sosiessia Nixon and Wentworth Kelly, for their contribution to the project’s success. “We have a great working relationship, and even when we have disagreements, we are able to share our thoughts openly and have a solid discussion to make the right creative decisions.”
Henry also expressed his deep appreciation for the honor of being acknowledged by AMAA.
“It’s a major milestone for us. This is also another first, no other Jamaican film has won this prestigious award as far as we know and were told. We’ll be looking to further connect with content creators and distributors on the African mainland as this award proves that Jamaican stories are appreciated and have appeal in the diaspora.”
Authenticity and Jamaican Heritage
The Jamaican heritage was integral to the narrative and aesthetic of Raw Materials. “The film is authentically Jamaican, from the colors, the language, the set, the music, and the subject matter. We were very intentional in not shying away from the Patois dialect, and we believe the film would not have had the same impact if we didn’t keep the dialogue in Patois.” Raw Materials have been screened in Jamaica twice with one notable showing at the Skylark Film Festival in Negril.
The Africa Movie Academy Awards, commonly referred to as AMAA or The AMA Awards, is an annual event designed to honor and celebrate outstanding achievements within the African film industry. It extends its recognition not only to African professionals but also to non-African individuals who have made significant contributions to the film industry.
Photo – Ikon Media & Films