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Clarks Celebrates Jamaican Heritage in Vibrant Short Film

18/06/2021
Production Company
Los Angeles, USA
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Emerald Pictures Gabrielle Blackwood finds beauty in contradiction to capture the essence of Clarks to Jamaican artists

Jamaican director Gabrielle Blackwood, of Emerald Pictures, has helmed a project for Clarks x Jamaica, a short film celebrating the deep roots of the shoe brand within the island’s rich cultural heritage. Having grown up on the island, Gabrielle brings an out-of-the-box approach to her filmmaking, finding the beauty in contradictions, whilst highlighting the dynamic essence of Clarks and what its legacy means to today’s most renowned Jamaican artists. 

Clarks x Jamaica is set against story-rich backdrops; from verdant green fields in the Blue Mountains, to colourful mud lakes in Manchester and old Georgian architecture of the legendary Spanish Town, to recording studios and artist ateliers. Moving handheld through the streets of Kingston, with quick cuts, clever transitions and a dynamic edit, the different interviews weave a compelling and cohesive story.

Gabrielle captures the authentic connection that each artist has formed with Clarks, as well as the imprint the brand has had on Jamaican fashion, their families, style and culture over the past 60 years. From Manchester City footballer Raheem Sterling to reggae artist Original Koffee, the word ‘Clarks’ is synonymous with the word ‘culture’ itself.

“I was extremely excited to highlight my country’s rich cultural heritage and the role that Clarks plays within it,” says Gabrielle. “This documentary is a tribute to not just the brand, but to the eccentricities, unique sense of style, energy and culture of Jamaicans, from past generations to the present.”

Mara Milićević, co-founder/managing director of Emerald Pictures says: “Clarks x Jamaica is a beautiful example of the way that brands can become a part of a place’s culture. Gabrielle’s gift for blending authenticity, well-composed imagery, and storytelling paints a rich picture of the shared legacy of Clarks and Jamaica.” 

Gabrielle earned a BA in Media & Communication from the University of the West Indies and a Master’s in Screen Production from the University of Auckland. She has written, directed and shot numerous short films, documentaries, music videos, and commercials, including spots for well-established brands like UNICEF, the Discovery Channel, BBC World, Mercedes Benz, Nike and Apple Music, amongst others. Blackwood’s first feature documentary, ‘Denis,’ tells a story of courage and resilience, following a man diagnosed with ALS at the age of 43. She has garnered awards and accolades for ‘Denis,’ as well as several of her short films, including Best Short and the Audience Award at Diversity in Cannes, Best Short at Festival International du Film Pan Africain de Cannes, and the LA Film & Script Festival. 


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