Jamaican Film Team Takes Flight

Kia Moses (centre)shares the moment with cinematographer Gabrielle Blackwood (left) and producer Tashara Johnson at the Black Women Film Network Summit.

From a child who excelled in High School, destined for what her family thought was a certain career path to the field of Medicine, Kia Moses broke loose, away from the norms of expectation and headed instead to New York to follow her dreams of becoming a creative leader in the arts.

In 2007, Kia Moses (nee Williams) graduated with Honors in Advertising from The School Of Visual Arts in New York, and was ranked in the “top 100 Advertising Students in the USA.”  After working with ad agencies in New York and London, plus interning with music director “X”, she returned to Jamaica where she worked for a local advertising agency before going out on her own to co-found TCP Those Creative People, with their own product line of gift cards and bags, and her personal creative writing services, crafting ads for Jamaican television.

Flight is my first time doing both screenwriting and directing; my very first screenplay, and I co-directed it with Adrian McDonald,” said Moses.

“It’s always been a dream of mine to evolve into film. Journeying into film was natural. I’ve been doing 15, 30 and 60 second TV ads and I’ve always wanted to go beyond (that) to be able to tell stories in a longer format, but I never went to film school,” she noted. 

“Then along came JAFTA Propella, the brain child of the Jamaica Film & Television Association (JAFTA)’s script to screen development initiative.”

JAFTA Propella is designed to hone Jamaican talent to create diverse Jamaican film, which was for her, the ideal gateway into this new industry. “When I saw their poster on Instagram for the call to entry, I figured it was the perfect opportunity to finally try and venture into film,” beamed Moses.

Flight has travelled to Trinidad and Tobago, Bentonville Arkansas, Portland Oregon, Atlanta Georgia, Guadeloupe, and Cannes France, and has won many awards and recognition along the way.

Flight is now on its way to Miami. “Coming to Miami is a huge deal,” says Moses. “It’s the largest film festival in the U.S., so it’s really a dream come true.”  One of 5 finalists, Flight is scheduled to participate in the HBO short film competition at The American Black Film Festival, June 12 – 16.  “Knowing that this film is Jamaican made… it was literally made here in Jamaica with a Jamaican film crew!” beamed Moses.  “It’s a film that is written, co-directed, shot and produced by Black women and we worked alongside amazing men who treated us like equals, so it’s true diversity.”

Flight synopsis: From Jamaica, the little island of big dreams, an inner city youth, Kemar, has the biggest dream of all – to fly to the moon. This story explores dreams bigger than us, what fuels them, what stands in the way of them, their ability to transport us and those around us, if they take Flight.

FLIGHT Accomplishments:

  • Jamaica Film & Television Association, JAFTA Propella – Selected out of 50 entries as one of four 2018 winners to win funding towards the production of the short film
  • Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival (TTFF) – Private Screening only (did not compete)
  • Portland Film Festival – Portland, Jamaica – Private Screening only (did not compete)
  • BWFN (Black Women Film Network) Film Festival  – Atlanta, GA – Nominated in 7 categories and won 3 awards: Best in Festival; Audience Award; Best Screenplay
  • Nouveaux Regards Film Festival – Guadeloupe- Nominated and won 2 awards: Best Short Film; Audience Award (Best Short Film)
  • International Du Film PanAfrican De Cannes – Cannes, France – Nominated and won: Best Short Film
  • Bentonville Film Festival – Arkansas – Nominated and won: Audience Award (Short Film)
  • Diversity in Cannes – Cannes, France – Nominated and won: Audience Award; 2019 Overall Winner of Diversity in Cannes Showcase; Short Film Corner at Cannes Film Festival

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