‘Bermuda Docs’ Announce Film Festival Line-Up
A double award-winner from the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, and an award-winning film from The Bahamas, will screen on the opening night of the four-day Bermuda Documentary Film Festival, October 17-20.
Blood Brother, winner of a Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award at Sundance, is a beautifully crafted and intimate film about the power of love. American Rocky Braat gave up his comfortable western lifestyle to live among the dispossessed in India, where he found a life with meaning as a father figure, brother and friend to children living with HIV and AIDS. It will open the festival at 6 p.m. on Thursday October 17.
Bahamian filmmaker Marion Bethel will attend the festival with her award-winning film, Womanish Ways, which honours and celebrates the leaders of the women’s suffrage movement in The Bahamas, who fought for more than a decade to win the right to vote for women. The film won the top prize this summer at a festival in Philadelphia. The film will screen at 8.30 p.m. on opening night, and will be followed by a Q and A with the filmmaker.
“I am very much looking forward to welcoming Marion Bethel to Bermuda,” says festival director Duncan Hall. “Her film is a stirring account of the women’s suffrage movement in The Bahamas.”
Blood Brother is one of three Sundance award-winners to screen at Bermuda Docs.
The Summit, about the deadliest day on the world’s most dangerous mountain, won the Editing Award at Sundance. In August 2008, 18 of 24 climbers reached the summit of K2, the world’s second highest mountain. Forty-eight hours later, 11 were dead. The film unravels the mystery of what happened to them.
Dirty Wars, about the clandestine activities of the top-secret U.S. Joint Special Operations Command, won the Cinematography Award at Sundance.
Investigative reporter Jeremy Scahill traces the rise of JSOC, the most secret fighting force in U.S. history.
The festival also features three films that have won festival audience awards:
Music documentary Muscle Shoals won the audience prize at Hot Docs. It tells the story of FAME Studios in the Alabama backwater of Muscle Shoals, where music producer Rick Hall brought black and white together in Alabama’s cauldron of racial hostility to create music for the generations. The film features Percy Sledge, Keith Richards, Jimmy Cliff, Bono, Clarence Carter, Alicia Keys and more musicians who bear witness to Muscle Shoals’ influence on popular music.
Maidentrip won an audience award at South by Southwest, and tells the story of Dutch sailor Laura Dekker, who in 2012 became the youngest person to sail around the world alone. She was just 14 when she set out alone in 2010 on her 38-foot ketch, Guppy, without a follow boat or support team.
Sweet Dreams is a joyful film about the first all-women drumming troupe in Rwanda, formed to help women build new relationships, and to heal the wounds of the past caused by the country’s 1994 genocide. It won the audience prize at a festival in Sweden, a jury prize at a Spanish festival, finished among the top 10 in audience voting at the prestigious International Documentary Festival Amsterdam, and has screened at the United Nations.
The film line-up also includes a documentary profile of Anita Hill. The film, Anita: Speaking Truth to Power, had four sold out screenings at Sundance this year. In this intimate portrait, Hill reflects on how her testimony before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee hearings into the suitability of Clarence Thomas to become a U.S. Supreme Court Justice affected her life – and her nation.
Former world heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali is profiled in The Trials of Muhammad Ali, which tells of his early days in Louisville, Kentucky, his successes in the ring, his conversion to Islam — and his protracted fight for justice after he is banned from boxing and faces a five-year prison sentence for refusing to fight in the Vietnam War.
The festival also features environmental documentary People of a Feather, the winner of 10 international festival awards, which uses astounding time-lapse photography and stunning underwater footage to craft the compelling tale of how changing sea ice and ocean currents caused by man are threatening both the Inuit people and the eider duck in the Canadian territory of Nunavut.
Festival favourite The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne will also be screened. The film is an entertaining portrait of a glamorous and charismatic 82-year-old international jewel thief who reveals the secrets of her 60-year life of crime.
Tickets to Bermuda Docs go on sale Friday October 4 at www.bdatix.bm, Sportseller-Washington Mall, Fabulous Fashions-Heron Bay Plaza, or by calling 232-2255. Sportseller will be closed October 10-16 for renovations.
Bermuda Docs is presented by MINI and sponsored by Stella Artois, BELCO, Bermuda Commercial Bank Limited, CellOne, and the Bermuda Arts Council.
The festival’s host hotel is the Fairmont Hamilton Princess.
The festival schedule:
Thursday October 17
• 6 p.m. – Blood Brother
• 8.30 p.m. – Womanish Ways
Friday October 18
• 6 p.m. – Anita: Speaking Truth to Power
• 8.30 p.m. – The Summit
Saturday October 19
• 2 p.m. – People of a Feather
• 4.15 p.m. – The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne
• 6.15 p.m. –Dirty Wars
• 8.30 p.m. – The Trials of Muhammad Ali
Sunday October 20
• 3 p.m. – Maidentrip
• 5.15 p.m. – Sweet Dreams
• 7.30 p.m. – Muscle Shoals