FLIFF on Location Opens With Bahamian Film

"Beneath The Blue" projected on a massive screen at Taino Beach with ocean as the backdrop Photo: TheBahamasWeekly.com

Under the palm trees on the beautiful shores of Grand Bahama, the family feature film, Beneath the Blue screened against the backdrop of the azure waters to open FLIFF on Location: Grand Bahama Island, an offshoot of the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival.

The screening was free to all and there ended up being standing room only as movie enthusiasts enjoyed the film which was shot on location in the neighbouring community of Smith’s Point and at the UNEXSO dolphin sanctuary.

On hand for the screening was Bahamian actress Leah Eneas who flew in from Nassau.

She had a prominent role in the film directed by Michael Sellers.

It was announced that a third movie will be coming in the series, as well as a TV pilot.

The film’s underwater cinematographer, Paul Mockler, a resident of Grand Bahama, was also on hand and was responsible for the beautiful underwater imagery.

Bahamas Film Commissioner Craig Woods welcomed the audience and introduced a pre-recorded message by movie legend, Sir Sidney Poitier, who grew up in The Bahamas. Poitier’s message was powerful and moving.

International guests of FLIFF including actors, writers, producers and film star Dennis Haysbert were shuttled to the park by water on the Bahama Mama.

Local Rotarians provided food and refreshments including popcorn.

The film centers around Alyssa Harker, an 18-year-old dolphin researcher who works with her famous scientist father Hawk on Grand Bahama developing a dolphin language. Beneath the Blue picks up where Eye of the Dolphin left off, showing Alyssa’s powerful bond with the wild dolphin Rasca. Having assimilated to the island, the research center and the dad she never knew, Alyssa is now tested when she meets a somewhat mysterious tourist named Craig.

Beneath the Blue features Paul Wesley, who stars in the smash CW hit television series “Vampire Diaries.” He was recently named one of Cosmopolitan’s “Fun Fearless Males of 2010.” Caitlin Wachs (Alysssa) was named one of People Magazine’s “20 Teenagers Who Will Change The World” and received the Young Star Award from The Hollywood Reporter. David Keith (Hawk) is currently starring in the new hit Fox TV Series “Lonestar,” and is best known for his work in “An Officer and a Gentleman” and “Behind Enemy Lines.” The majority of the shoot took place in the quaint, friendly town of Smith’s Point, Grand Bahama, where Director Michael D. Sellers worked creatively intertwining the actors and story with the Bahamian community both on land as well as beneath the ocean. Sellers captured researched developments of human-dolphin interaction while bridging fictional elements with actual ongoing supreme court rulings. Bahamian actress Leah Eneas landed a good role in this film.

Grand Bahama Youth Film Competition winner, Katrina Dorsett was presented with her prizes of $500 by Chantal Bethel, co-founder of the Grand Bahama Heritage Foundation, and James Sarles of James Sarles Realty presented her with a GoPro camera.