Jamaican actor Jaime Lincoln Smith in a scene from Respect the Jux
Respect the Jux, an urban crime thriller centering on a corrupt young man from the Caribbean who ventures across the United States in search of the American dream, is set to premiere May 6.
The film, which ran for eight years, is a true story based on Frank C Williams’ bestselling 2010 novel of the same name.
Respect the Judgments features a mix of Jamaican and American actors. It was directed by GC Coba and produced by rapper Pusha T. It stars Tony Sirico, Ciera Payton and Jamaican actor Jaime Lincoln Smith who plays the lead role of Cat.
In an interview with the Jamaica Observerit is SplashGoba – who is Liberian and lives in New York – explained why he decided to bring the novel to the big screen.
“The book was picked up by producer/director F Gary Gray for a series shortly after it was published. After spending a year watching Mr Gray, I realized that if I wanted to get into film, I had to prove myself. The only way to do that was to make a movie,” Goba said.
He said the film’s budget was just over US$2 million. Scenes were filmed on location in New York, New Jersey and at Fletcher’s Land in Kingston.
Asked how easy or difficult it was to get the cast he needed for the film, Goba said, “It was hard to spot great talent once they came and auditioned. All an actor has to do is be himself while playing a character for the role. With that, it can be directed by a good director. Over 20 cast members are Jamaican. Everyone playing a Jamaican was born on the beautiful island.
He said portraying the authentic Jamaican element in the film was strategic.
“It was definitely strategic. Jamaican culture is popular culture that the masses are familiar with. I couldn’t think of any other culture to tell this impactful story. It meant the world to me. This story is based on real events and is very relatable. It had to stay authentic. To do that, even the actors had to reflect that,” he said.
Radio DJ Steven “Jabba” Beckford, Sharon Gordon and Shane Powell are among the Jamaicans in the film.
The director shared some of the challenges of making the film.
“Finding the right people to end the message correctly. Get people to do what they’ve been paid to do and do it well. It’s ‘show’ business – 95 percent show, 5 percent business,” he said.
This is Goba’s first film project, although he has been around filmmaking since 2013.
He gave a glimpse of what people can expect from the film.
“They can expect a deep understanding and insight into a world that is rarely filmed on this scale. Some will feel pain, some will feel anger, others will be proud and most will cry at the end. “, did he declare.
Respect the Judgments will open in theaters in select cities across the United States on May 6. It will also be available on all pay-per-view platforms, including Prime Video, HBO NowApple and Google Play.
“Making this film defined two things for everyone involved, emotions and virtues. Anxiety to start the process. Patience is to end the process,” Goba said when asked about completing this project.
Steven “Jabba” Beckford