Wed | Apr 8, 2020

Farewell, Franklyn ‘Chappie’ St Juste - Former student Fabian Thomas dedicates workshop to film-maker

Published:Monday | November 25, 2019 | 12:21 AMStephanie Lyew/Gleaner Writer
Franklyn ‘Chappie’ St Juste
Franklyn ‘Chappie’ St Juste

The life of Franklyn ‘Chappie’ St Juste, a master film-maker who has influenced many within the entertainment industry, will be celebrated today at The University Chapel on The University of the West Indies, Mona. It is scheduled for 2 p.m.

His passing was disheartening for professionals throughout the media and culture fraternities, and more so for mentees who benefited from St Juste’s teaching on the university campus, having lectured at the Caribbean Institute of Media and Communication (CARIMAC) for many years, as well as at the Creative Production and Training Centre (CPTC), where he served as a board member since 2016.

Executive Director of Sankofa Arts and Facilitation Fabian Thomas, a former student of St Juste, described his work as “unparalleled to none” in a recent interview with The Gleaner.

“The last thing we worked on together was a documentary on sugar cane, and last year he did the animated project called Miss Sugar. Though he was really sick, he had bounced back before, and he was scheduled to do a master class in 2020,” he added.


A Trinidadian who made Jamaica his home, St Juste had captured some of the most iconic moments in the celebration of Jamaica’s independence in 1962, and was passionate about the nation’s place in the global media and film industry. A master of lighting, he 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.

Thomas will not be able to bid farewell to St Juste at the funeral because of responsibilities to his students as a part-time lecturer on campus, but expressed condolences to the family, his children Brian, Francois and Maya. He also shared that the third and final session of his Actor’s Flex workshop will be dedicated to Chappie.

“The Actor’s Flex 3 workshop, which is titled ‘Acta Space and Characta Tings’, will focus on familiarising participants with the areas on stage and film sets, and the etiquette and best practices to successfully navigate those spaces, which is something my friend was always eager to pass on knowledge about,” he said.

The executive director said he did not expect the passing to come so soon, having spoken to St Juste three days before Tuesday, November 5, the date of the 89-year-old stage, film and television pioneer’s transition.