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2006-08-22 15:10:23

Dates Announced For Third Film Festival

The Bahamas International Film Festival has announced that it will be presenting its third annual festival on December 7 to 10.

Since its inception in 2004, the festival has received a great deal of positive feedback from international and local participants.

"This year promises to echo the success of the previous two film festivals which have featured a total of about 140 films by both local and international filmmakers, and have played host to industry professionals, film enthusiasts, celebrities and the local community," said the organisers in a statement yesterday.

BIFF founder and executive director Leslie Vanderpool learned first hand of the film festival's growing reputation after being honoured at the 59th annual Cannes Film Festival, by representing the Bahamas as an expert panel member.

Filmmakers and film festival directors from around the world have recognised the rapid development of BIFF and its potential to become a prime film festival destination for industry giants.

Fans include Golden Globe Award winning actor Jeffery Wright, who said said the festival was "very exciting for an inaugural festival. It was the sense of seeds of something really wonderful being planted."

"I never dreamed this would happen so quickly," said Ms Vanderpool. "I am very proud to represent the Bahamas to the world as a place where diversity is embraced and opportunities for success are abundant. I hope this opens the door for other Bahamians to live their dreams in the film industry because it has so much to offer."

Spread over four days, the third annual film festival will feature around 50 films including features, documentaries, shorts and animation.

The festival's theme, "Spirit of Freedom" will highlight films that provide insight into the kaleidoscope of cultures in today's world. Films in this category will be eligible to compete for the Grand Jury cash prize, sponsored by Versace.

Emerging artists have the opportunity to compete in the New Visions category for another Grand Jury cash prize, sponsored by Hard Rock Cafe. Additional categories include World Cinema, featuring international films; Caribbean Spotlight, a showcase of filmmakers based in the Caribbean or films made by Caribbean filmmakers; Family Films, films for the whole family to enjoy; and, opening and closing night galas.

A new sidebar this year is East Meets West, which will feature films originating in or based upon East Asia, Eastern Europe, India and the Pacific Islands.

"Although BIFF seeks to use film entries to educate and enlighten the audience, emerging directors, producers, scriptwriters, actors, film editors, production designers, art directors, sound designers and film composers will be given the opportunity to hone their skills and gain inspiration via Talent Campus Week," the organisers noted.

Talent Campus Week is a five-day programme that will offer panel discussions about the latest in technical developments, stylistic trends, creative tools, marketing and philosophical perspectives and includes the invaluable Filmmakers Residency Programme.

First or second-time Bahamian and Caribbean filmmakers are encouraged to apply to the programme, which selects up to six projects that are shown to established producers, directors and writers.

Entry deadline for screenplay and treatment submissions must be postmarked by September 15, 2006. Those accepted will be notified by November 15 and will be invited to attend the entire festival.

In addition, a series of script clinics will be held to offer those  selected an opportunity to have . their screenplays critiqued by a  well-known script consultant,who will provide professional coaching and guidance.

Associate professor Nathaniel Kohn, of the University of Georgia, director of Roger Ebert's Overlooked Film Festival and associate director of the George Foster Peabody Awards, said: - "As one of the participants in  the Filmmaker Residency Programme; I discovered that there are stories of incredible power in the Bahamas, stories that come out of the lived experiences of Bahamians. It is a world that I knew nothing about, and in reading the stories submitted to the programme I was surprised, intrigued, and eager to learn - more."

Celebrity panelists, such as active BIFF advisory board member Rick Fox, will also be on hand to offer their expertise in the world of filmmaking. Renowned NBA star Fox has appeared in numerous television shows and films, including a new horror project slated to begin shooting in August.

Source: The Tribune

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