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Bahamas International Film Festival Jury members

The Bahamas International Film Festival (BIFF) announced today the members of the jury that will preside over the 5th edition of the Festival, which takes place December 4-11, 2008. The jury was revealed today by BIFF Founder and Executive Director Leslie Vanderpool.

This year, the Festival will showcase 80 films from 22 different countries, including 50 features of which several are world or international premieres and nearly all Bahamian premieres. The four competition categories at BIFF are Spirit of Freedom: Narrative; Spirit of Freedom: Documentary; New Vision; and Short Film. The 2008 BIFF jury includes:

New Vision
Lisa Gay Hamilton – Actress (“The Soloist,” “One Life to Live”)
Norman Golightly – Producer / Actor (“Ghost Rider,” “World Trade Center”)
Sylvain Tron – Producer /Sales Representative

Spirit of Freedom: Narrative
Jeffrey Lyons – Television and Film Critic. Reel Talk (Nationally Syndicated)
Cameron Bailey – Co-Director of Toronto International Film Festival
Anthony Mackie – Actor (“The Hurt Locker,” “Million Dollar Baby,” “Eagle Eye”)

Spirit of Freedom: Documentary
Jeremy Kay – Screen International Chief US Reporter
Debra Zimmerman – Executive Director of Women Make Movies
Nicolette Bethel – the Bahamas Director of Culture

Short Film
Hoku Uchiyama – Producer/Writer/Director (“The Pledge,” “Rose”)
Andrew Trapani – Producer (“The Haunting in Connecticut”)
Ivo De Sanctis – Head of Acquisitions from Village srl

In addition to the high profile collection of jurors, BIFF has attracted an esteemed group of industry heavyweights to participate in various panels and seminars taking place over the course of the Festival. Participants include Variety Editor Steve Gaydos; Sony BMG’s Sofia Sodervan; Elliot Kotek – Editor in Chief of Moving Pictures Magazine; entertainment lawyer and producer, Steven Beer (“Skid Row,” “Love & Sucide”); composers Toby Tyler and James Harrell; producer Pamela Kohn (“Rain,” “Somebodies”); The Hollywood Reporter Editor Matt Beloni; producer Ivan Clements (“Gone Fishing,” “The Only Hotel”); producer/writer/directors Ryan Fleck (“Half Nelson,” “Sugar”) and Anna Boden (“Sugar,” Half Nelson”); actress and voice-over actress Ilyanna Kadushin; producer/director/actress Karen Arthur (“The Jacksons: An American Dream,” “True Women”); Magali Dubie – shorts programmer of Cannes Marche du film; Director of International Casting and Creative Production Marketing at DreamWorks Animation - Charley Walters; talent agent Rachel Sheedy; and talent manager Jason Spire.

Marquee local names include Bahamian Director of Culture – Nicolette Bethel; Bahamian singer Tenelle Burrow; Kareem Mortimer – Bahamian Director “Float”; and Renel Brown – Bahamian actor “Rain”.

Panels at this year’s festival will cover a wide range of topics including film finance & investing, marketing & distribution, music & film, representation, and international collaboration, among others.

The full BIFF program is now available online at


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