Jason Fitzroy Jeffers is a filmmaker from Barbados whose work focuses on giving rooted and nuanced voice to the Caribbean, pockets of subtropical Black life across the American South, and other marginalized, equatorial, Afro-diasporic spaces. As a filmmaker, he has produced award-winning shorts such as “Papa Machete” and “Swimming in Your Skin Again” that have screened at film festivals such as Sundance, BlackStar, TIFF, Sheffield 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 this, Jeffers was a journalist with The Miami Herald whose writing has also appeared in outlets such as American Way and Ocean Drive.
In addition to his filmmaking, Jeffers is also a co-founder 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. It was named one of the “25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World” in 2019 and 2021 by MovieMaker Magazine. For his work at the intersection of filmmaking, community building and social justice, Jeffers was named a 2019 Ford Foundation / Rockwood Leadership Institute JustFilms fellow. For his work on his upcoming feature-length documentary debut, “The First Plantation” (working title), he was named a 2021 Doc Society New Perspectives fellow.
The First Plantation
The island of Barbados, one of the most stunning and popular tourist destinations in the Caribbean, is the birthplace of many things: possibly rum, definitely Rihanna, and sadly, many of the modalities and codifications of and around plantation slavery which spread throughout the wider Caribbean and the southern United States, setting the stage for much of what we know of white supremacy as we know it today. Directed by Barbadian filmmaker Jason Fitzroy Jeffers, “The First Plantation” is a spiritual and deeply personal investigation into the haunted and often-overlooked legacy of the 13th smallest country in the world—once Britain’s favorite colony; now proudly navigating the struggles of what it means to be truly independent—and its oversized impact on modern history.