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Naomie Harris to receive Rising Star Tribute from Bahamas

The Bahamas International Film Festival (BIFF) announced today that emerging superstar Naomie Harris (“Miami Vice” “28 Days Later” “Pirates of the Caribbean 2&3”) will receive BIFF’s special Rising Star Tribute, presented by offshore bank and trust company Ansbacher (Bahamas) Limited. The announcement was made by BIFF Founder & Executive Director Leslie Vanderpool at a press conference in Nassau at the British Colonial Hilton.

Naomie Harris will be on hand for the special Chopard Award tribute presentation on Tuesday, December 11th at Aura Nightclub at the Atlantis Hotel & Resort on Paradise Island. The Rising Star Tribute is given to an actor or actress whose early accomplishments have put them on the path for elite stardom in the industry.

It was also announced that Ansbacher & BIFF will generously award $10,000 to a deserving independent Bahamian and Caribbean filmmaker vying for funding through BIFF’s innovative Filmmaker Residency Program (also sponsored by Ansbacher). The prize money will go directly towards the development and production of the selected recipient’s film. The esteemed group of Filmmaker Residency Advisors presiding over the program and evaluating the candidates include Shoreline Entertainment CEO Morris Ruskin, filmmaker Lawrence Konner (“Mighty Joe Young”), producer Norman Golightly (“Ghost Rider”), veteran film festival director Nicole Guillemet, and writer/director Susan Jacobsen.

The filmmakers and projects selected for the BIFF’s Filmmaker Residency Program are:

Miguel A. Drayton - THE SLUMBER PARTY
Jason Darcy - ADAM'S QUEST
Kareem Mortimer - DAYBREAK
Gustavius Smith - BUILT FOR LOAD
Ian Poitier - FLIGHT OF THE BUMBLEBEE

Michael Mayhew-Arnold, Managing Director of Ansbacher (Bahamas) Limited comments: ""Ansbacher Bank in the Bahamas is pleased, in this its 50th anniversary year, to be sponsoring the Bahamas International Film Festival (BIFF) for another year. It believes that the BIFF is a central column in the development of film and arts in The Bahamas and in The Caribbean. The Bahamas and other Caribbean countries are overflowing with artistic talent that needs an outlet and the BIFF gives that focus".

"In particular Ansbacher Bahamas has started the Rising Star Tribute Partnership believing that it is a significant step towards the recognition of acting and film talent in the Caribbean film industry, which should be encouraged. It is important to not only recognize present and past high achievers but more importantly to give recognition to those who will be future achievers".

"As one of the main sponsors of BIFF, we are able to give back to The Bahamas so that we can help young Bahamians with artistic film talent to share that talent with all of us. It's an exciting time and the Bahamas International Film Festival is the place to be."

Rising star Naomie Harris burst onto the world’s screens as the machete wielding survivor in Danny Boyle’s zombie horror film “28 Days Later” and gained a reputation as a superbly versatile actress with roles as varied as Bronx agent Trudy Joplin in Michael Mann’s “Miami Vice” opposite Jamie Foxx and Colin Farrell; the voodoo Queen Tai Dalma in Gore Verbinski’s “Pirates of the Caribbean 2 & 3” opposite Johnny Depp; and a Bahamian law enforcement agent in Brett Ratner’s “After the Sunset” opposite Pierce Brosnan, Salma Hyack and Woody Harrelson.

Harris spent her early years doing theatre before securing the co-lead in “28 Days Later” in 2001. She gave critically acclaimed performances as Clara in the Channel 4 adaptation of Zadie Smith’s “White Teeth” directed by Julian Jarrold, and Maggie in Peter Kosminsky’s BBC political drama “The Project.” Harris also starred opposite Colin Firth in Marc Evan’s film “Trauma,” and Steve Coogan in Michael Winterbottom’s “Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story.”

So far this year Harris has completed work on five films: “Poppy Shakespeare” directed by Benjamin Ross; “Explicit Ills” directed by Mark Webber; “Morris: A Life With Bells On” directed by Lucy Akhurst; “The Night Watchman” with Keanu Reeves, directed by David Ayor; and “August” with Josh Hartnett, directed by Austin Chick.

Taking place December 6-13, this year’s Festival will showcase 83 films from 26 different countries, including 54 features of which several are world or international premieres and nearly all Bahamian premieres.

About The Bahamas International Film Festival
The Bahamas International Film Festival is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing the local community and international visitors with a diverse presentation of films from around the world. In addition to offering films that might not otherwise be released theatrically in the Bahamas, BIFF will provide a unique cultural experience, educational programs, and forums for exploring the future of cinema.

For more information please visit www.bintlfilmfest.com.

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