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The Rum Diary to open Bahamas festival

Johnny Depp Starrer “The Rum Diary” and Sports Dramedy “Breakaway” To Bookend Festival as Opening And Closing Night Films, Respectively

Festival Founder and Executive Director Leslie Vanderpool today announced the final program details for the 8th edition of the Bahamas International Film Festival (BIFF), which takes place December 1-4, 2011 in Nassau.

GK Films’ “The Rum Diary” starring Johnny Depp (BIFF’s 2009 Career Achievement tributee and Bahamian home owner) will open the festival with a red carpet screening at the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island on Thursday, December 1st while sports dramedy “Breakaway” starring Rob Lowe will close the festival with an evening screening on Sunday, December 4th – also at the Atlantis.

This year, the Festival will showcase 68 films from 33 different countries, including 42 features of which several are international premieres and all are Bahamian premieres. The four competition categories at BIFF are Spirit of Freedom: Narrative; Documentary; New Visions; First Look; and Short Film. Special sections include Caribbean and Environmental sidebars as well as a World Cinema showcase.

The official BIFF lineup is comprised of the following films:

MOTHERS (Macedonia) / Director: Micho Manchevski
MAYA (Albania) / Director: Pluton Vasi
WHERE THE ROAD MEETS THE SUN (USA/Singapore/Indonesia) / Director: Mun Chee Yong
BETTER MUS’ COME (Jamaica) / Director: Storm Saulter
VIPS (Brazil) / Director: Toniko Melo

MARATHON BOY (USA/UK/India) / Director: Gemma Atwal
ZERO PERCENT (USA) / Director: Tim Skousen
FAMBUL TOK (USA) / Director: Sara Terry
GIVE UP TOMORROW (USA / UK) / Director: Michael Collins
DONOR UNKNOWN (UK) / Director: Jerry Rothwell

BRINGING UP BOBBY (USA) / Director: Famke Janssen
YELLING TO THE SKY (USA) / Director: Victoria Mahoney
JE T’AIME I LOVE YOU TERMINAL (Israel) / Director: Dani Menkin
RESTLESS CITY (USA) / Director: Andrew Dosunmu
WITHOUT (USA) / Director: Mark Jackson
LOVE.NET (Bulgaria) / Director: Ilian Djevelekov

FACE TO FACE (Australia) / Director: Michael Rymer
SAVAGE (Sweden) / Director: Martin Jern, Emil Larsson
SWEET LITTLE LIES (USA) / Director: William Saunders
THE WEDDING PARTY (Australia) / Director: Amanda Jane
TIRZA (Belgium/The Netherlands/Libyan Arab Jamahiriya) / Director: Rudolf van den Berg
CAPSULAS (Guatemala) / Director: Verónica Riedel
TOAST (USA) / Director: SJ Clarkson
Y-NING? (Trinidad & Tobago) / Director: Emilie Upczak
BOMBAY BEACH, CALIFORNIA (USA) / Director: Alma Har’el
THE CREATORS (South Africa) / Director: Laura Gamse, Jacques de Villiers
BIG IN HOLLYWOOD (India/USA) / Director: Bill Bowles, Kenny Meehan
DO WOMEN KNOW WHAT THEY WANT (USA) / Director: Michael Baisden
REAL VOODOO (Canada) / Director: Sandra Whiteley
SENNA (UK) / Director: Asif Kapadia


THE RUM DIARY (US) / Director: Bruce Robinson
BREAKAWAY (Canada) / Director: Robert Lieberman
A DANGEROUS METHOD (Germany/ Canada) / Director: David Cronenberg

ON THE WINGS OF MEN (USA/The Bahamas) / Director: Calvin Dwight Harris
ISLANDS OF LIFE (USA/The Bahamas) / Director: Bo Boudart
COCOON (The Bahamas) / Director: Giovanna Swaby
TALL TALE OF AN ACCIDENTAL TOURIST (The Bahamas) / Director: Jason Evans
FIVE BONES (The Bahamas) / Director: Tyler Johnston
DEVOTEE (The Bahamas) / Director: June Collie
AMOS (The Bahamas) / Director: Karen Arthur, Thomas Neuwirth

ANYTHING FOR YOU (USA) / Director: Laura Belsey
SEXTING (USA) / Director: Tim Harms
THE SEA IS ALL I KNOW (USA) / Director: Jordan Bayne
THIEF (USA) / Director: Julian Higgins
15 SUMMERS LATER (Norway) / Director: Pedro Collantes
ALAMBAMENTO (Angola/Egypt/USA) / Director: Mario Bastos
AUGENBLICKE (Germany) / Director: Martin Bargiel
HOMECOMING (USA) / Director: Gursimran Sandhu
CHRISTMAS PIGGY (Denmark) / Director: R.S. Soderstrom
GOOD MORNING BEAUTIFUL (USA) / Director: Todd Cobery
MERCY GRACE & CRAB MEAT (USA) / Director: Jonathan Thompson
MI HATICE (Turkey) / Director: Denis Metin
MISH MUSH (Syria/Canada) / Director: Amar Chebib
KILL BRASS (Canada) / Director: Michael Kandinsky
THE SHORE (Northern Ireland) / Director: Terry George
LAN (USA/China) / Director: Taylour Chang
POST-NUP (USA) / Director: Katharine Woodman-Maynard
TELL-TALE (UK) / Director: Greg Williams
MY BIG RED PURSE (USA) / Director: Giancarlo Iannotta
NORTH ATLANTIC (Portugal/UK) / Director: Bernardo Nascimento
THE BURNT CORK (Australia) / Director: Alexandra Edmondson
THE HAYMAKER (Canada/USA) / Director: Daniel D’Alimonte
TORA (Canada) / Director: Glen Samuel, Wendy Ord
TOY SOLDIER (Australia/France/Israel) / Director: Jeremy Bliss
10 AVE MARIA (Aruba) / Director: Ryan Oduber, Juan Francisco Pardo
INCEST! THE MUSICAL (USA) / Director: Grant Reed
BOFFIN & BOFFIN (USA) / Director: Ed Blythe
MUMBIA CHARLIE (UK/ INDIA) Director: Deepak Verma

It was previously announced that actress/singer Zoe Isabella Kravitz (“X-Men: First Class,” “It’s Kind of a Funny Story,” “Yelling to the Sky”), daughter of legendary American/Bahamian musician Lenny Kravitz and actress Lisa Bonet, will be honored with BIFF’s signature Rising Star Tribute. Kravitz will be on hand for the special award tribute presentation on Friday, December 2nd at the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island.

The festival is proud to be bringing back the Filmmaker’s Residency Program. For the second 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 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 2011 begins Thursday, December 1st in Nassau and runs through Sunday, December 4th. For additional information please visit

About the Opening and Closing Night Films:

Co-written and directed by Bruce Robinson (“The Killing Fields,” “Fat Man and Little Boy”), “The Rum Diary” is about an American journalist named Paul Kemp (Johnny Depp) who takes on a freelance job in Puerto Rico for a run-down local newspaper during the 1950s and struggles to find a balance between island culture and the expatriates who live there. During this critical turning point in his life, Paul is challenged on many levels as he tries to carve out a more secure niche for himself amidst a group of lost souls all bent on self-destruction.

The multi-award-winning cast includes Academy Award® nominated Johnny Depp (“Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise, “Alice in Wonderland”), Golden Globe nominated Aaron Eckhart (“The Dark Knight,” “Battle Los Angeles”), Michael Rispoli (“Kick-Ass,” “The Talking of Pelham”), Amber Heard (“Zombieland,” “Drive Angry”), Academy Award® nominated Richard Jenkins (“The Visitor,” “Step Brothers,”) Emmy Award nominated Giovanni Ribisi (“Avatar,” “Boiler Room”), Amaury Nolasco (“Max Payne,” “Transformers”) and Bill Smitrovich (“Seven Pounds,” “Independence Day”).

“The Rum Diary” is a Film District release and is currently in theaters.

“Breakaway” is directed by Robert Lieberman (“D3: The Mighty Ducks,” “Fire in the Sky”) and follows Toronto-based Rajvinder Singh, a hockey enthusiast since the age of 12, who struggles against traditional family values and discrimination from mainstream hockey players. He trimmed his hair, discarded his Pagri/turban, did not complete his education and most detrimentally, angered his father, Darvesh, who wanted to involve his son in the family business as well as confirm and respect Sikh religion principles and values.

Hoping to one day play professional hockey, Rajvinder, along with other fellow Sikh players, finds themselves treated as the object of ridicule, often referred to as a 'joker' by mainstream Caucasian players. He is attracted to stunning law student Melissa Winters while her brother, Dan, offers to coach Rajvinder and his team. Unable to get selected for any teams, they form their own.

The talented cast includes newcomer Vinay Virmani as protagonist Rajvinder Singh, Russel Peters (“Source Code”), Anupam Kher (“Bend It Like Beckham,” “Rang De Basanti”), Sakina Jaffrey (“Definitely, Maybe,” “The Indian in the Cupboard”), Akshay Kumar (“Khakee,” “Hera Pheri”), Noureen DeWulf (“Ghosts of Girlfriends,” “Ocean’s Thirteen”), Rob Lowe (“Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me,” “The West Wing”) and Camilla Belle (“What a Stranger Calls,” “The Lost World: Jurassic Park”).


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