Amaziyah continues to create socially conscious films
From professional graphic designing, film editing, and photography to writing socially conscious poetry and scripts, the versatility of Craig Kirkland has no limits.
The 37-year-old promotes his work under the alias Amaziyah the Great (originally Ambrose Skull).
Ghetto Visit, the first film produced in 2010 by Kirkland in Fraser's Content, Spanish Town, where he lives, provided him with international recognition. It has more than 70,000 YouTube views.
It speaks about the process of a tourist getting acquainted with the ghetto lifestyle.
"It is still a struggle knowing that the feedback has been positive, and the topics selected for the productions are constructive, (but) they do not usually get the most attention even though it is to help make the wider audiences aware of what is happening," Kirkland told THE WEEKEND STAR.
The director of My Name is Pam and Camariah's Way is however, not discouraged from continuing to do similar productions.
Kirkland is currently in the planning stages of making a part two to My Name is Pam. The film features his sister, Trudean Kirkland, better known as Quali-Tee, who played a role in Alkaline's After All music video.
"My Name is Pam focuses on the violence women are exposed to especially from persons they think, or that say, love them. It was really just to raise awareness on the subject matter," said Kirkland.
MORE CAN BE DONE
He further said that there is more that Jamaican filmmakers can do to make persons aware of issues like guns, drugs, and domestic abuse.
But he blames the lack of a system to help with the promotion of productions similar to his own.
"Instead, people want to come out with the hype and Jamaica has more to tell," Kirkland said.
To date, he has received awards from the annual Jamaica International Reggae Film Festival, the Promoters, Entertainers and Business Owners (P.E. A. B. O) Awards hosted in Canada (for Best Graphic Designer and Best Videographer), as well as various prizes in local competitions.
However, the recognition has not propelled his career to a financially stable plane.
Any cash prizes received have been invested in equipment and productions. As such kirkland continues to use other talents, in particular graphic designing, as other means of income.
"We try so hard to get it exposed musically, but these stories need to be told through other mediums, and we are not seeing much from the creative side because of the amount of work and money that go into making films," he added.
Kirkland has recently been offered a training position by a major broadcasting company, and although it is not directly in film, the self-taught short-film producer and director is optimistic that the learning experience will lead to great opportunities.