Sherando Fer­ril seeks to help lo­cal film in­dus­try

Jamaica Gleaner - - ENTERTAINMENT - Shere­ita Griz­zle Gleaner Writer en­ter­tain­ment@glean­erjm.com

JA­MAICAN AC­TRESS, direc­tor and pro­ducer, Sherando Cu­pid-Fer­ril, has her sights set on help­ing to move Ja­maica’s film in­dus­try to a place where it can ac­tively com­pete on the in­ter­na­tional mar­ket.

Speak­ing with The Sun­day Gleaner, in a re­cent in­ter­view, the pop­u­lar per­son­al­ity ex­plained that the coun­try’s in­dus­try has the po­ten­tial to be­come a force to be reck­oned with on the world stage but suf­fers from a lack of sup­port from both the Gov­ern­ment and pri­vate sec­tor com­pa­nies. Point­ing out that Ja­maica does not lack tal­ent, Fer­ril ex­plained that the in­dus­try should be far more ad­vanced than it is, but stressed that there are not enough risk-tak­ers sup­port­ing the lo­cal film fra­ter­nity.

“If we want to big up your coun­try we need to have the vi­sion to recog­nise tal­ent and then have the courage to in­vest in it. It’s a mat­ter of find­ing a way for Gov­ern­ment and pri­vate sec­tor to say, ‘oh, this is a good thing, mek we tell some real Ja­maican story and then in­vest­ing in the ac­tual film­mak­ers who want to make it hap­pen’,” she said.

“Part of the prob­lem that I have with some of my Ja­maican broth­ers and sis­ters in terms of pri­vate sec­tors is that they love to do the wait-and-see thing. Look at all the ex­cite­ment that now sur­rounds Us­ain Bolt and many other ath­letes. That sense Fay, played by Sherando Fer­ril (left) pushes Stan­ley, played by Den­nis Ti­tus, dur­ing a scene from ‘Stan­ley, Fay Pu­larchie and P’. Look­ing on is Nathan, played by Mau­rice Bryan.

of pride and the pri­vate-sec­tor sup­port did not come about eas­ily. That came from in­di­vid­u­als work­ing hard for their goals. When they were strug­gling no­body was pay­ing them any mind, they had to dig deep in their own per­sonal

re­serves to make some­thing hap­pen, and then when some­thing hap­pens that’s when ev­ery­one wants to jump on board,” she added.

Fer­ril went on to say that both the gov­ern­ment and pri­vate­sec­tor com­pa­nies need to do

more to sup­port lo­cal tal­ent.

“They don’t have the vi­sion and aren’t will­ing to take risks. Based on my ex­po­sure here (in NY) one thing I’m sure of is that Ja­maica nuh short a tal­ent. We have a lot of tal­ent and in some cases we have drive. We

are mak­ing good movies, you know, and do­ing more than we were do­ing a few years ago but there needs to be some kind of in­fu­sion and ex­cite­ment that sweeps across the na­tion.”

Fer­ril, who just com­pleted her master’s de­gree in film-mak­ing from the New York Film Academy in Cal­i­for­nia, en­cour­aged per­sons in­ter­ested in pur­su­ing ca­reers in the lo­cal film in­dus­try to go over­seas and en­rol them­selves in re­lated pro­grammes if the op­por­tu­nity pre­sents it­self.

GET THE KNOWL­EDGE

I be­lieve that if you want to be at the top of your game in any­thing, in any in­dus­try, then the smart thing to do is to as­so­ciate your­self with peo­ple who are at the top of their game,

“I be­lieve that if you want to be at the top of your game in any­thing, in any in­dus­try, then the smart thing to do is to as­so­ciate your­self with peo­ple who are at the top of their game, so if the op­por­tu­nity ex­ists for you out­side of the coun­try, go. You can get the knowl­edge and carry it back home,” she said.

“There are peo­ple there (in Ja­maica) who have ex­pe­ri­ence and some­times prac­ti­cal is bet­ter than the­ory but when you are in an en­vi­ron­ment such as Hol­ly­wood, what it does is ex­pose you to a va­ri­ety of op­tions that be­ing home some­times doesn’t al­low you.”

With a master’s de­gree un­der her belt, Fer­ril is now look­ing to as­sist in the de­vel­op­ment of the lo­cal film in­dus­try by mak­ing more con­tri­bu­tions as writer, direc­tor and pro­ducer. Fer­ril, who is cur­rently liv­ing in Hol­ly­wood, says she is look­ing for­ward to telling Caribbean sto­ries on the big­gest stage in the world but has to first build a name for her­self.

“I want to be my own boss. I’m work­ing to­wards be­ing an ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer so that I’m able to have the fi­nal say in the prod­uct that is pre­sented to the world bear­ing Ja­maica’s name.”

Fer­ril, who has been in­volved in the film in­dus­try since she was 17 years old, cre­ated his­tory shortly af­ter com­plet­ing her stud­ies at the academy in Jan­uary. She be­came the first Ja­maican to be of­fered a job as a lec­turer at the pres­ti­gious New York Film Academy, right af­ter com­plet­ing her year­long course at that in­sti­tu­tion.

“The school I grad­u­ated from has in­vited me back to teach which is un­prece­dented, as I found out af­ter­wards,” she said. “I am to date the first stu­dent to grad­u­ate and im­me­di­ately be in­vited back to lec­ture.”

Fer­ril started work­ing ear­lier last week and has five classes that con­sist of be­tween 12-16 stu­dents in each class. She is also pop­u­lar on the lo­cal cir­cuit for her lead role in the pro­duc­tion of Hig­glers, as well as a cameo in the hit Ja­maican movie, Ghett’a Life. She is also the voice be­hind the Ja­maica Pub­lic Ser­vice’s pop­u­lar ra­dio pro­gramme, Power Con­nec­tion.

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