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Alan Arkin (Little Miss Sunshine) to be honored in Bahamas

The Bahamas International Film Festival (BIFF) announced today that Academy Award® winner Alan Arkin (Little Miss Sunshine,) will be honored with the prestigious Career Achievement Award at this year’s Film Festival, taking place December 1-5 in Nassau. Arkin will be on hand for the tribute, with the special award presentation coming from actress Abigail Breslin, who received an Oscar® nomination for Best Supporting Actress starring alongside Arkin in Little Miss Sunshine.

The Career Achievement Tribute ceremony featuring Arkin and Breslin will take place at the Atlantis Theater on the evening of Saturday, December 4th at 8:00pm. Jeffrey Lyons, host of the TV show “Lyons Den”, will be moderating the evening’s conversation. BIFF Founder and Executive Director Leslie Vanderpool revealed details of the event and its participants today and the Atlantis is a proud to be the Exclusive Sponsor of the evening.

A beloved stage and screen star, Alan Arkin is known to many moviegoers for his memorable roles in timeless comedies such as Edward Scissorhands, Little Miss Sunshine and The In Laws Arkin began his career with the Second City improvisational troupe in Chicago and from there moved on to Broadway. He won a Tony for his first stage role -- the lead in the Broadway version of Carl Reiner's Enter Laughing. He received an Oscar® nomination for his first movie role -- as a Soviet sailor in the film farce The Russians Are Coming! The Russians Are Coming! in 1966.

Arkin then turned in memorable dramatic performances on screen, terrorizing Audrey Hepburn in the 1967 thriller Wait Until Dark and earning another Oscar® nomination as the lead in the 1968 film version of the Carson McCullers novel The Heart is a Lonely Hunter. He then led the all-star cast of the Hollywood Catch-22 (1970, based on the bestseller by Joseph Heller), and during the 1970s he was a popular leading and supporting player in comedies, including Freebie and the Bean (with James Caan), Hearts of the West (with Jeff Bridges) and The In-Laws. After several more movie roles the 1980’s, Arkin started off the '90s with a memorable performance as the unruffled dad who helps Johnny Depp in Edward Scissorhands directed by Tim Burton. Frequently cast in broad comedic roles, Arkin also appeared in the dramatic ensemble piece Glengarry Glen Ross (with Alec Baldwin) and the film version of Kurt Vonnegut's Mother Night starring Nick Nolte.

Over the years Arkin has directed eight plays on Broadway and a handful of feature films. He also published several children's books, including The Lemming Condition, which is placed in the White House Library and has been selling steadily for 30 years. Others include Some Fine Grampa! and Tony's Hard Work Day. Arkin will be releasing a memoir in March 2011 entitled "An Improvised Life," published by DaCapo Press. His recent films include Grosse Pointe Blank, starring John Cusack, Get Smart, Sunshine Cleaning, and City Island and Thirteen Conversations About One Thing with Matthew McConaughey.

Arkin has just finished an appearance in the new Muppet Movie and plays Ryan Reynolds’ father in the upcoming film Change Up.

Arkin received his third Oscar® nomination in 2007 and this time won the Academy Award® as best supporting actor, for his performance as the drug-addicted, sharp-tongued grandfather in Little Miss Sunshine.

BIFF’s Career Achievement Tribute honors an actor or actress whose work has had a major impact and advanced the frontiers of cinematic artistry around the world. Past recipients include multiple Academy Award® nominee Johnny Depp, Academy Award® winner Nicolas Cage, Academy Award® nominee Laurence Fishburne, critically acclaimed actress Daryl Hannah and the esteemed Roger Corman.

Entering just its seventh year, the Bahamas International Film Festival has established itself as a marquee international Festival in the Caribbean region, discovering and promoting independent voices and talent from around the world and showcasing a diverse array of international films.

The complete BIFF program lineup can be found online at www.bintlfilmfest.com. Book ending the Festival this year are Sony Pictures Classics’ acclaimed comedy “Tamara Drewe,” which will open the Festival Thursday, December 2nd and The Weinstein Company’s Oscar® contender “The King’s Speech,” which will close out the Festival on Sunday, December 5th with Harvey Weinstein in attendance.

BIFF is continuing its efforts to educate and inspire a new generation of filmmakers, expanding its popular Youth Film Workshop by partnering with schools throughout Nassau and integrating the workshops directly into classrooms.

The festival is also proud to be bringing back the Filmmaker’s Residency Program. In years past BIFF has exclusively provided the Bahamian and Caribbean community with the opportunity to receive invaluable mentoring from industry professionals. This year BIFF has broadened the program to include filmmakers from around the world to submit screenplays that are based in The Bahamas or Caribbean region.

The Filmmakers’ Residency Program nurtures new filmmakers and screenwriters by providing them with an unrivaled opportunity to spend a full day with accomplished professionals who make a living working in the industry from Los Angeles and New York.

BIFF 2010 begins Wednesday, December 1st and runs through Sunday, December 5th. For additional information please visit www.bintlfilmfest.com.

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