Articles: ‘Kingston Paradise’ wins a Pan African Film Festival Award




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Samantha Ofole-Prince

Mary Wells’ feature film about a couple trying to escape the violent ghettos of Kingston earned the Festival Program Award for best Narrative at the annual Pan African Film Festival. 

Mary Wells

Written and directed by Wells, an independent director, writer and producer based in Jamaica, this carefully crafted film follows Rocksy (Christopher “Johnny” Daley), a small-time hustler and his girlfriend Rosie (Camille Small) who mastermind a scheme to steal a sports car. With the loot earned from selling the car, Rocksy and Rosie plan to start a new life in paradise.

A fast paced, enjoyable flick, stylishly filmed and filled with actors that don’t disappoint, this is a second award for Wells who last year received the Audience Award for Best Feature at the 2013 Caribbean Tales Film Festival in Toronto.

“The fact that I was nominated was wonderful as the competition was stiff. To get the programmers award for best narrative is wonderful. Caribbean Tales have been very instrumental in helping me do the post production in Toronto and that is why it has a lovely professional finish. Now we will continue the journey of getting it into other festival and if we are lucky win other awards,” Wells told Blackflix.

The annual film festival handed out jury, audience and special prizes during an awards brunch on Presidents Day at the PAFF Filmmakers Lounge, located in the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza, CA.

Festival Winners

The widely anticipated film “Of Good Report” which marked the festival’s opener received two nods including a BAFTA Choice Prize Award for South African director Jahmil XT Qubeka.

 “1982” a film loosely based on a true story about a family struggling with the mother’s cocaine addiction earned the Audience Award for Best Feature for director Tommy Oliver. The Isaiah Washington produced film “Blackbird,” the documentary Inner City Champions” and the gritty drama “Magic City” also won PAFF prizes.

Now in its 22nd year, the Pan African Film and Arts Festival (PAFF) is America’s largest and most prestigious Black film festival and was founded in 1992 by award-winning actor Danny Glover, Emmy Award-winning actress Ja’Net DuBoi and Ayuko Babu.

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