Paramount Pictures Executives Discuss Bob Marley: One Love Movie at The UWI Mona

Paramount Pictures Executives discuss Bob Marley: One Love Movie at The UWI Mona

 Paramount pictures Executive VP of Casting, Tricia Wood (centre) captivates the standing room only audience at the Neville Hall lecture Theatre as VP of Physical Production, Mathew Ferrante (left), Senior VP of Creative & Production, Bryan Oh (second left), Managing Director at Cinecom, Natalie Thompson (third left) and Dr. Dr. Sonjah Stanley Niaah (right) look on. VP of Visual Effects, Clayton Lyons (second right) joined remotely to support the team from Paramount Pictures.

The Neville Hall Lecture Theatre at The UWI Mona came alive recently when Paramount Pictures in association with the Faculty of Humanities and Education (FHE) hosted executives from Paramount Pictures and Cinecom Productions.

According to Dr. Sonjah Stanley Niaah “this was a very special gathering as The UWI Mona celebrated the iconic Jamaican story of Bob Marley which has spread to every corner of the world. ‘Bob Marley: One Love’ broke Valentine’s Day box office records in the United States, and had the largest opening ever here in Jamaica. Bob’s face was on buses in London and murals in South Korea. His music, already beloved around the globe, was rediscovered by fans of all kinds… This is indeed a film for the generations to come which will be introduced to Bob through this incredible visual,” Dr. Stanley Niaah noted in her opening remarks.

‘Bob Marley: One Love’ has had tremendous social impact including a joint effort by The Marley family, Paramount and the Jamaican government developing a first of its kind production rebate that made it possible to shoot on the island. This helped generate momentum for the creation of the Jamaica Screen Development Initiative (JSDI) - a permanent funding programme to support local filmmaking, talent development and future investment in the Jamaican film industry.

In attendance at The Neville Hall Lecture Theatre were Paramount Executives: Bryan Oh, Senior VP of Creative & Production; Mathew Ferrante, VP of Physical Production; Tricia Wood, Executive VP of Casting; Natalie Thompson, Managing Director at Cinecom and Jamaican Line Producer of Bob Marley: One Love who all joined ‘face to face’ whilst VP of Visual Effects, Clayton Lyons joined remotely to give insight about, during and after the film’s production.

During the discussion the Paramount team highlighted that it was imperative for them to honour Bob’s legacy with some meaningful local investments including the construction of an outdoor learning pavilion and security booths at the Trench Town Primary school, which were dedicated in honour of late location manager Colin Smikle in February 2024 as part of the school’s Jamaica Day observance. Also, partnerships with local organizations including the Rose Town Foundation to establish nutrition, dance, and counselling programs within the community and deliver much needed supplies like computers, desks and books to primary school children.

The Paramount Pictures panel discussion at the FHE was well supported by the actors from the film who were present including the following: Sheldon Shepherd – (portrayed Neville Garrick); Naomi Cowan – (portrayed Marcia Griffiths); Anna Share Blake – (portrayed Judy Mowatt); David Davo Kerr – (portrayed Junior Marvin); Quan Dajai Henriques – (portrayed Teen Bob Marley); Cornelius Grant – (portrayed Bucky Marshall). Kareen Blake Chin, the casting director on the Jamaican side, was also present as well as dignitaries from the film community and wider stakeholders including Ms. Justine Henzell, Jamaica Screen Development Initiative and Perry Henzell Estate and Dr. Carey Wallace, Executive Director, Tourism Enhancement Fund.

Paramount, through this discussion, was able to explain the filming process in Jamaica and provide keen insight for students of the FHE who are pursuing studies in Film Production, Cultural and Creative Industries, Film Studies, Digital Media and Entertainment & Cultural Enterprise Management. It is also worth noting that as a result of Paramount filming on location, this film project employed about 400 Jamaican cast and crew and more than 1,800 background performers to deliver 25 days of filming on the island, a box office record breaking movie, a moment in history and another piece to the legacy that is Bob Marley.