Jason Fitzroy Jeffers
Jason Fitzroy Jeffers received the Creative Capital Award in 2024. Jason Fitzroy Jeffers is a filmmaker from Barbados whose work focuses on giving rooted and nuanced voice to the Caribbean and the wider Third World. He has written and produced award-winning shorts such as Papa Machete that have screened at film festivals such as Sundance, BlackStar, TIFF, and more. More recently, he co-directed the short film Drowning by Sunrise for The Intercept, and produced T, the 2020 winner of the Golden Bear for Best Short Film at Berlinale. Prior to his work in film, Jeffers was a journalist with The Miami Herald and various media outlets across South Florida. In addition to filmmaking, Jeffers is co-founder and former co-executive director of the Miami-based Caribbean filmmaking collective Third Horizon, which stages the annual Third Horizon Film Festival, a showcase of cinema from the Caribbean, its diaspora, and other underrepresented spaces in the Global South. For his work at the intersection of filmmaking, community building, and social justice, Jeffers was named a 2023 USA Fellow, a 2022 USC Annenberg Civic Media Fellow, and a 2019 Ford Foundation / Rockwood Leadership Institute JustFilms Fellow.
The First Plantation
Jason Fitzroy Jeffers is a filmmaker and cultural organizer from Barbados whose work gives voice to the Caribbean and the Third World.Artist Bio
The stunning Caribbean island of Barbados is the birthplace of many things: rum, Rihanna, and sadly, ghastly innovations in 17th century plantation culture that established the island as the world’s first economy powered entirely by slavery. These modalities would soon spread across the Caribbean and into the American South, helping to lay the groundwork for the systemic racism and white supremacy that still haunt the entire western hemisphere to this day.
Upon casting off the British monarchy and becoming the world’s newest republic in 2021, the island has since embarked upon a campaign seeking reparations from its former colonizer. Chief among its targets is Drax Hall, the island’s oldest continuously-owned and still operational plantation, which was recently inherited by conservative British Minister of Parliament Richard Drax, the wealthiest landowner in the UK’s House of Commons. With this, outcry has erupted on both sides of the Atlantic: should the Drax family continue to profit from the plantation, or should it be overturned to the people of Barbados?
Thoughtful yet confrontational, with a simmering undercurrent of gothic tropical noir, The First Plantation is a spiritual investigation into the haunted legacy of the 13th smallest country in the world, its oversized and often-overlooked impact on modern history, and its undeniable claim for reparations.