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The Bahamas International Film Festival is dedicated to providing the local community and International visitors with a diverse presentation of films from around the world. educational programs, and forums for exploring the future of cinema.
Immediately following it's ninth annual festival scheduled for Dec 6 - 9, 2012 the Bahamas International Film Festival (BIFF) will travel to Eleuthera for a continuation of this year's celebration to be known as The Best of the Fest Eleuthera. During its visit to Harbour Island and Governor’s Harbour, a full program of films and festivities will be offered for the enjoyment of visiting Filmmakers, guests and local residents. The schedule of events to be held Dec. 10 – 14, includes Opening Night Film and Welcome Reception at Coral Sands Resort, daily film screening at Seagrapes, Harbour Island and the Globe Princess Theater in Governor’s Harbour and Closing Night Film and Farewell Party. Visiting Filmmakers will be on hand for panel discussions, seminars and training sessions.
Bahamas Hollywood's best kept secret
It's official: The Bahamas is not just for honeymooners and sun worshipers anymore. Who would have thought that in amongst sandy beaches and swaying palms would lie the next big showcase for independent film. Founder and Executive Director, Leslie Vanderpool tapped this hidden potential when she started the Bahamas International Film Festival in 2004. And, after this year?s event, she may just set in motion the makings of a marketplace for Hollywood that could eventually rival Sundance and other film festival around the globe.
Especially if acting legend, Sir Sean Connery and Nicolas Cage are involved. Sir Sean made a rare appearance and spoke at the Film Festival to an audience on a night honoring actor Nicolas Cage with a Career Achievement Award. He was his usual engaging self, but what made things interesting was his suggestion to extend the Bahamas International Film Festival from a three-day event to a 10-day extravaganza where Hollywood dealmakers could set up shop. In fact that is exactly what Vanderpool did, and the festival will run seven days this year, December 6-13, 2007.
This year, BIFF will spotlight the Scandinavian, Danish and Nordic films by bringing awareness to the innovative and independent way of making films in this region. In addition, BIFF continues to showcase films that capture the human spirit through the SPIRIT OF FREEDOM category; highlighting the first and second time directors in the NEW VISIONS category; and the SHORT WORLD FILM category, these categories are eligible for the Chopard Grand Jury prize. Other categories consist of PANAORAMA WORLD CINEMA; CARIBBEAN SPOTLIGHT; and films that the whole family can enjoy. Once again, BIFF will present the Filmmakers Residency Program which is a talent campus program geared to mentoring Bahamian and Caribbean filmmakers enhancing their screenplays no matter the level of completion.
The Bahamas has been the new island of choice with many of Hollywood?s top acting talents recently purchasing homes there. Even Nicolas Cage is now a Bahamian resident. In fact there seems to be some sort of movement going on with Hollywood?s new home away from home boasting newfound islanders including Nicolas Cage, John Travolta, Sir Sean Connery, Johnny Depp, Lenny Kravitz, David Copperfield among others.
Ultimately, what makes the Bahamas so attractive is its accessibility to Hollywood moviemakers. Known for its backdrop to many James Bond films beginning with ?Thunderball? in 1965 to the film franchise?s latest, ?Casino Royale,? starring new Bond star, Daniel Craig, and Pirates of the Caribbean starring Johnny Depp, The Bahamas has hosted over 50 Hollywood film productions to date. But it?s Pirates of the Caribbean and James Bond who have brought the most attention to the island over the years with ?Never Say Never,? "You Only Live Twice,?
"The Spy Who Loved Me,? and "For Your Eyes Only,? which might explain why former Bond, Sir Sean Connery maintains residency there. ?I live here, well because it?s really for my golf game,? laughs Connery who can often be found hitting the links with his good friend.
The appeal of The Bahamas as a film location stems from many attributes including its close proximity to New York and Miami. Nassau is only a two and a half hour flight from New York and only 35 minutes from Miami. The Bahamas is also 55 miles closer to Los Angeles than Hawaii is.
All this adds luster to The Bahamas as a filmmaking destination and as a yearly marketplace to showcase new and upcoming product from Hollywood and local filmmakers. And more and more filmmakers and the producing elite from Hollywood are becoming keenly aware of this. Even this year?s honorary celeb, Cage, revealed that he plans to devote his attention to the Bahamas International Film Festival.
Sir Sean Connery says that having Cage?s support is a win-win for The Bahamas and Hollywood. ?Nic is a professional and brings to the table all the stuff that makes it a real joy,? Connery said.
One of the highlights of BIFF was a moderated Q&A session with Cage in which, Sir Connery, sitting in the audience asked jokingly, ?If you are a method actor but you are not that smart, how do you play a very intelligent person?? Cage shook his head, laughed and then quipped, ?I guess that?s why I?ve never really been much of a method actor.? Well, Nic, you certainly fooled most of us.
Ms. Vanderpool is attending the Cannes Film Festival this week for those who would like to set up a meeting with her please contact her at email@example.com
For updates and further information please visit the Bahamas International Film Festival website. www.bintlfilmfest.com
About Bahamas International Film Festival Dailies
Come to Nassau and Paradise Island from December 6- 13 and join filmmakers and celebrites from around the world at the 4th edition of The Bahamas International Film Festival. The festival will entertain visitors with a diverse presentation of international films, unusual cultural experiences and fantanstic social events. Come and be a part of the fun!
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