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Filmmaker Franklyn ‘Chappie’ St Juste – remembered

Filmmaker Franklyn ‘Chappie’ St Juste – remembered

Franklyn ‘Chappie’ St Juste, a master film-maker who positively impacted professionals throughout Caribbean media and culture fraternities was celebrated for his contribution and influence at the UWI Mona Chapel on November 25, 2019. He taught at the Caribbean School of Media and Communication (CARIMAC) at the UWI Mona Campus for many years and was behind major film productions The Harder They Come in the 1970s, Children of Babylon, almost a decade later, and the short film The Cool Boys.

Excerpts from the CARIMAC Tribute – Dr. Livingston White, Director - CARIMAC  

Chappie supported me in so many ways in the running of the Film Programme and gave of his wisdom and experience when we encountered difficulties as a fledgling unit. He even advised on the construction of the building for the programme. “

Chappie remained active in the regional film industry up to the time of his passing. In fact, it was just last August that he participated in CARIFESTA, the Caribbean Festival of the Arts held in Trinidad and Tobago.  He recalled then how much that festival reminded him of the range of emotions he experiences whenever   he remembers working as part of the team that created “The Nation is Born”, a film capturing the story of Jamaica’s journey to independence in 1962.

Although we, at CARIMAC, claimed Chappie as our own, his vast knowledge of and experience in the film industry extended beyond the borders of 3 Sherlock Drive and when he was not in the studios or lecture rooms at CARIMAC he was engaged with youngsters from August Town who were a part of the UWI’s Community Film Project; or the ArtUpDownTown project at Studio 174 on Harbour Street.  At other times he was busy working with scientists in the Faculty of Science and Technology, to create the video documentary for the cardiac surgery simulator.  On other days he would be at the Philip Sherlock Centre for the Creative Arts preparing for another show. ….

Sitting in the CARIMAC foyer one day, as he often did, Chappie was asked about some of the lessons that had guided him throughout his long life and productive career. He replied with a list:

To be impeccable in my word

Don’t take anything personally

Don’t make assumptions, and

Do my best all the time.

Today we can celebrate the fact that Chappie played his part well at The University of the West Indies and we are confident that his legacy will live on for decades. So long Chappie…

Excerpts from the Tribute by Dr. Patrick Prendergast, Former Student of Chappie and Campus Director, UWI Mona Western Jamaica

Chaps was a giant of a man who made an incalculable contribution to the teaching of media and communication across the Caribbean. He was a colossal influence on both the production and performance of communication and certainly for me a Master at debating the instructional, directional, and developmental functions of media and the creative arts.

Chappie was a kind of a sage, a unique brand of Master teachers… He was always inviting students up for group work and special assignments; but I think it was just a guise for sharing his passion for cooking which was as intense as his passion for production. As a student I never had that experience; but as a friend? Man! I was happy to visit with him in the hills.

The coffee is brewing. The palau is almost done. Let the wifie know the star apple tree is laden. The gate is open. Come on up! I treated my visits as mini retreats which could last anywhere from 15 minutes to 15 hours.

Chappie was one of the most fascinating of raconteurs to have emerged from the special mix of creatives that only the Caribbean experience could have produced. Simply put, his transition is a huge loss to the interpretive anthropology of this uniquely dynamic space called The Caribbean.

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