24 Jan 2019
A new documentary charting the JUMP Jamaica project is set to receive its UK premiere at the 2019 Glasgow Film Festival. Run Free: The Documentary, directed by Simon Sharkey and Benjamin Zecher, follows the journey of eleven young men from Parade Gardens in Kingston, Jamaica as they prepare to travel to Scotland and take part in the National Theatre of Scotland’s Home/Away festival in 2016.
Originally presented by the National Theatre of Scotland, British Council, and Manifesto Jamaica, under the creative guidance of directors Simon Sharkey, Brian Johnson, and choreographer Liane Williams, JUMP Jamaica was a community performance project that used parkour, physical theatre, and music to capture the stories and struggles of young men living in downtown Kingston. The resulting performance piece, Run Free, saw the group travel across the world, many for the first time, to perform as part of the 2016 Home/Away festival of participatory arts in Glasgow.
The documentary charts the journey of the eleven young men who took part, following their struggles over three years of engagement and development as they create a piece of theatre that impacts both them and their community. The 66-minute film was completed in 2018, based on footage captured during the project’s implementation from 2014 to 2016, and post-project interviews in 2017.
The premiere will be attended by Lesley-Ann Welsh of Manifesto Jamaica, who led the Run Free project, as well as Giovanne Hinds, one of the young participants. Both will also take part in a post-screening Q+A alongside the film’s co-director Simon Sharkey.
JUMP Jamaica was an expansion of the National Theatre of Scotland’s pioneering original Jump programme, which delivered a series of workshops in secondary schools in areas of multiple deprivation in Fife and the East End of Glasgow.
Over the course of six months, over 1000 young participants took part in regular parkour and theatre-making classes, exploring their own challenges and experiences of young manhood to create two new pieces of physical theatre. These were performed to public audiences and to critical acclaim in Glenrothes and Easterhouse in 2012. Since 2016 the JUMP programme has also been successfully rolled out in Trinidad & Tobago with JUMP TT, again led by Simon Sharkey and supported by the British Council.
Screening at CCA, Glasgow 3.45pm on Sunday 25 February
Tickets available through Glasgow Film Festival:
Tel: 0141 332 6535 glasgowfilm.org/glasgow-film-festival