New York, N.Y (October 31, 2005) -- The 2005 Bahamas International Film Festival (BIFF) has announced the official line-up for its second annual presentation of films and panels. The festival will run December 8-11, residing in various beautiful venues, including the Atlantis Hotel, the Ocean Club and the Albany House in the Bahamas.
BIFF is committed to exhibiting films that showcase unique international themes as well as combining both enjoyment and thought provoking concepts via the cinematic arts. Leslie Vanderpool, the Founder & Executive Director of BIFF, screened hundreds of films from all over the world and put together a slate of seventy films. Many of these films fulfill the competition categories of Spirit of Freedom and New Visions in both the narrative and documentary perspectives. “The high caliber of representation of films in this year’s festival is incredible,” says Ms. Vanderpool “There are significant messages from many countries with a special concentration in the Caribbean. It will affect the Bahamas multi-cultural community in a powerful way,” she noted.
The Spirit of Freedom category, which is presented by Versace, will honor one narrative and one documentary whose subject matters touch upon the filmmakers’ personal convictions and journey into the human spirit with ties to themes such as religion, politics and the freedom of expression.
The New Visions category, which is presented by the Hard Rock Café, will focus on emerging artists who have completed no more than two films, both of which must be narrative. Films entered into the competition categories will be eligible for a Grand Jury Prize. Other film categories that are non-competitive will include Special Screenings, Family Film, World Cinema, Touching Africa Sidebar and
Presented by Versace, The Spirit of Freedom Dramatic Competition films, prize valued at $500 in cash, include:
- A WAY OF LIFE of the UK, directed by Amma Asante, is a drama that depicts the plight of a single mother living in a tight knit community battling issues of racism and finding no answers for the ignorance that surrounds her;
- TURTLES CAN FLY of Iraq, directed by Bahman Ghobadi, the world of a young boy living in Kurdistan under Saddam’s rule deals with the harsh realities of war and terror;
- SHOOTING DOGS of the UK/Germany, directed by Michael Caton-Jones, a true story about a priest and teacher during the Rwandan genocide of 1994 who have to choose between running and saving to run and save themselves or staying to help others and risk their lives.
- ZOZO of Sweden/UK/Denmark, directed by Josef Fares, tells a story during the war in Beirut, a young boy and his family are waiting for his exit papers to move from Lebanon and to seek refuge in Sweden. The film shows the horrors of the war and its effects on the civilian population. Even in the most serious situations, there is room for laughter
- LOVE AND SUICIDE of the US, directed by Lisa France, is based on actual events, the narrative follows Tomas (Kamar de los Reyes) on a journey to Cuba to find the one thing between love and suicide. While there, he encounters Nina (Daisy McCrackin) a world traveling gypsy flower child and Alberto (Luis Moro) a native Cuban taxi driver. In Havana, Tomas discovers a world of history preserved in time. Alberto's simple life and philosophy, represents peace, clarity and family values for Tomas, forcing him to slow down and listen to himself. Tomas finally begins to hear the revolution within him, just at the moment when he decides to choose between love and suicide.
Presented by Versace, The Spirit of Freedom Documentary Competition films, prize valued at $500 in cash, include:
- FAVELA RISING of Brazil, directed by Jeff Zimbalist & Matt Mochary, portrays a former drug dealer in the slums of Rio de Janeiro turned social revolutionist who battles to change the oppressive and violent community he lives in through music and dance;
- LA SIERRA of Colombia, directed by Scott Dalton, follows for a year three youths, who live, endure and battle the tragedies of the Columbian civil war that has been escalating for over forty years;
- SWEET HONEY IN THE ROCK of the US, directed by Stanley Nelson, follows the history of an African American a cappella group and includes scenes from concerts, touring rehearsals and their daily lives;
- THE BIG QUESTION of Italy/US, directed by Franco Cabras & Alberto Molinari, is based on a series of interviews with those associated with the making of the film “The Passion of the Christ” resulting in very different viewpoints about God and Faith;
- 39 POUNDS OF LOVE of Israel, directed by Dani Menkin, is the heartwarming story about an incredible medical miracle named Ami Ankilewitz, who doctors told would not live past the age of six. Thirty years later he travels across the US to find the doctor who predicted he would not survive.
Presented by the Hard Rock Café, The New Visions Award, prize valued at $500 in cash, for first and second time directors in a Dramatic Competition include:
- ANTIBODIES of Germany, directed by Christian Alvart, is the story of a killer that slaughters his victims and then sexually violates them and a young policeman who is drawn to the case when the killer’s sick mind begins to play games with his psyche and nightmare turns to reality;
- THE RECEPTION of the US, directed by John J. Young, depicts a relationship between best friends thrown into a series of revealing arguments and drunken evenings when an estranged daughter pays them a visit leaving them asking the question - are they really who they appear to be?;
- BROOKLYN LOBSTER of the US, directed by Kevin Jordan, is based on the struggle of keeping a family business alive after 65 years affecting personal relations to keep their livelihoods;
- AMONG BROTHERS of the US, directed by John Schwert, unveils that the death of a female student in her burnt down apartment was not accidental as there was no smoke present in her lungs;
- HARI OM of India, directed by Ganapathy Bharat Bala, is the romantic journey that turns to an adventure of self discovery through unusual circumstances of love, beauty and courage;
- EL FAVOR of Argentina, directed by Pablo Sofovich, the delightful tale of Roberta and Mora’s quest to have a child with unexpected truths that come about over many cocktails;
- THE FIVE OF US of Canada, directed by Ghyslaine Côté, is a haunting story of a girl named Manon who is consumed by a series of flashbacks when she sees a man with a tattooed arm at which time she decides to confront her memory.
Presented by Federal Express, the Audience Award for best dramatic film competition.
Presented by Lombard Ordier Darier Hentsch, the special tribute and Career Achievement Award will be presented to Spike Lee.
Special Screenings include:
- The Opening Night film BROKEN FLOWERS of the US, directed by Jim Jarmusch, and star studded cast Bill Murray, Julie Delpy, Sharon Stone, Jeffrey Wright, is the tale of a now single man who travels cross country to confront his past and former lovers after receiving notice that he has a 19 year old son and The Closing Night Film, THE MATADOR of the US, directed by Richard Shepard, staring Pierce Brosnan and Gregg Kinnear, is the story of a hitman and a traveling salesman who through a chance encounter form an intense and powerful friendship that will change their respective lives forever;
- AN AMERICAN HAUNTING of Canada, directed by Courtney Solomon, starring Donald Sutherland and Sissy Spacek, is the adaptation of Brent Monohan’s book “The Bell Witch - an American Haunting” which narrates the only spirit associated death to take place in US history;
- MANDERLAY of Denmark, directed by Lars Von Tier, is the story of Grace who travels with her father to the deep south where she discovers people are still living as slaves and she attempts to free them;
- ME AND YOU AND EVERYONE WE KNOW of the US, directed by Miranda July, is a poetic and powerful overview of the difficulties in connecting people to others in an overwhelming and isolated world;
- SHADOWBOXER of the US, directed by Lee Daniels, starring Cuba Gooding Jr. and Helen Mirren is about a terminally ill female assassin who decides to carry out one final murder;
- MRS. HENDERSON PRESENTS of the UK, directed by Stephen Frears, starring Judi Dench, who buys an old London theater and opens it up as the Windmill, a performance hall which goes down in history for, among other things, its all-nude revues.
Presented by British Airways, the Panorama World Cinema Category, the dramatic films include:
- MYSTERIOUS SKIN of the US, directed by Gregg Araki, a story about two very different male characters who in their seemingly different lives are lead to each other to discover the truth;
- BAREFOOT of Germany, directed by Til Schweiger, depicts an unlikely love affair between a psychiatric orderly and a female patient from the clinic, the orderly, Nick, realizes that he must take responsibility for someone for the first time in his life;
- QUANDO SEI NATO NON PUOI PUI NASCONDERTI / ONCE YOU ARE BORN YOU CAN NO LONGER HIDE of Italy, directed by Marco Tullio Giordana; when a boy Sandro and his wealthy father go on a luxurious cruise vacation, he falls overboard, is assumed dead and is rescued by a fishing boat;
- ARSENE LUPIN of France, directed by Jean-Paul Salomé; the daring thief Lupin runs from the attempts of arrest from the police and their secret weapon;
- THE WORLD of China, directed by Zhang Ke Jia, describes a girl’s dreams of World Park where dancers perform at international famous monuments;
- NORDESTE of Mexico, directed by Juan Diego Solanas; Helene realizes that after sacrificing everything for her career she needs more in her life and travels to Argentina in the search of adopting a child.
The documentary films include:
- MUSICA CUBANA of Germany, directed by German Kral, is a passionate film about the love of music and the people of Havana as an everyday taxi driver picks up a member of the Buena Vista Social Club and a very special friendship begins;
- FABIO FABULOSO of Brazil, directed by Ricardo Bocão, follows the most famous surfer of Brazil, Fabio Gouveia, with footage of his greatest championship wins;
- MAD HOT BALLROOM of the US, directed by Marilyn Agrelo, follows 11 year old New York City school children in their transformation from awkwardness to classic ballroom dancers;
- SHOW BUSINESS of the US, directed by Dori Berinstein, depicts the struggles of bringing a Broadway show to success with clips of Wicked, Avenue Q, Taboo and Caroline.
Amongst the Touching Africa Category, the films include:
- RAJA of Morocco, directed by Jacques Doillon, describes a relationship between a 19 year old orphan girl and a wealthy businessman and the inability to continue because of the greatness of their differences;
- THE STANDER of South Africa, directed by Bronwen Hughes, staged in Johannesburg, describes a man’s journey from apartheid to a notorious bank robber;
- SISTERS IN LAW of Cameroon, directed by Florence Ayisi, portrays a positive image of the justice system in Cameroon where a female judge and an attorney intervene in cases of violence towards women and children;
- MOOLAADE of Senegal, directed by Ousmane Sembene, is the powerful story about female circumcision, a tradition in Africa and the horrors faced by women who refuse to undergo the operation;
In the Family Series, the films include:
- DEEP BLUE of the US directed by Andy Byatt, which portrays the frightening and unexplored world of the deep sea filled with up-close footage of sharks, killer whales and creatures of the sea unknown to man;
- THE KITE of the US, directed by Zack Wolfman, is a short film about a young boy traveling with his parents in the city of Prague. Finding himself in utter boredom he turns this trip into a carefree adventure with his parents frantically searching to find him;
- DISCOVERY of Venezuela, directed by Andreas Faucher, is the story of the musical journey which brings individuals to self discovery in the noble spirit of the Americas.
The Shorts World Program consists of:
- BOB'S PLACE of Germany, directed by Götz Schauder, depicts the daily happenings at Bob’s hair salon and his clients turned characters located in Frankfurt;
- JUST PRAY of the US, directed by Tiffani Thiessen, is the story about a boy wise beyond his years fearing that the one person who would watch after him would be taken away. He learns that salvation, hope and redemption can be found in unexpected people and places; he is saved but not as he imagined;
- NEVER AN ABSOLUTION of Sweden, directed by Cameron B. Layasin, takes place in a refugee camp in Sweden where an 11 year old orphan from the Congo is identified as being present at the scene of a murder:
- DOWN DOG of the US, directed by Richard Roll, is the story about Dave, a yoga instructor to the stars, who is challenged when he encounters Grace who confronts him on his gifted livelihood;
- SOLIDARITY of Poland, directed by Joan Stein, a wedding anniversary is being celebrated in communist Poland where an accident takes place and in minutes, life long relationships are destroyed;
- IN TIME of the US, directed by Maurice A. Dwyer, is a story where ancient traditions and modern lifestyle clash on the eve of a couple’s wedding;
- ANTEBODY of the US, directed by James P. Gleaso, the wife of Martin Ambro receives horrible news that her husband has been found dead in the Los Angeles river, with no explanations or answers;
- EL COCHERO of Mexico, directed by Miles Merrit, follows Neto a carriage driver in central Mexico, who grieves to his passengers over the loss of his son but they seem unsympathetic to his sadness;
- LAS VIANDAS of Spain, directed by Jose-Antonio Bonet, a guest is forced to eat the best dishes at a restaurant where he is lost in the mountains;
- GOD SLEEPS IN RWANDA of Rwanda, directed by Kimberlee Acquaro, depicts the plight of five courageous and strong women who must survive and rebuild hope after the destruction and genocide in Rwanda, 1994;
- CUADRILATERO of Spain, directed by José Carlos Ruiz; incapable of expressing their emotions, four nameless characters are in love with being loved;
- CROCODILE JOURNALS, of Singapore, directed by Yeo Lee Nah; in the human world, a crocodile lives in disguise and is invited to a masquerade party. What will he go as?;
- WILDERNESS WITHIN of Greece, directed by Vangelis Maderakis, is about a boy and his grandfather, Papou, who reveals the details of his love affair with the boy's grandmother and the eventual tragedy of their relationship which includes the terrible secret she never revealed;
- LUCKY of the US, directed by Sondra Weimar; an elderly couple live in bliss at their Florida condominium after 42 years of marriage until one day Harry brings home the wrong tuna;
- GOOD NIGHT BILL of the US, directed by John Mitchell, an old man set in his ways is forced to share a hospital room and learns a great lesson of friendship that changes his outlook on life;
- MUCKRAKER of the US, directed by Richard Shenkman, is a satire parodying the oh so serious documentary style of filmmakers such as Michael Moore; while Muckraker spoofs its grander, big screen predecessors, it owes much to their style and approach to create its often hilarious effects;
- THE JOGGER of the US, directed by Ryan Nelson; a homeless man fights the boundaries of class and money for love;
- BIRTHDAY BOY of Australia, directed by Sejong Park, is the story of Joey’s 5th birthday; will he remain a baby?;
- JESUS CHILDREN OF AMERICA of the US, directed by Spike Lee; A Brooklyn teenage girl learns she was born with HIV;
- LEO of the US, directed by David Haye, is the story of a florist delivery man who tries to battle his low self esteem and develops an unrequited love interest that leads him into intrigue and suspense.
- CRUDE of the Bahamas, directed by Gustavio Smith. Made in the style of old silent movies with a tinkling piano accompaniment and signs to denote dialogue, the film is a humorous yet biting satire of the USA’s wars against terror and Iraq. With George Bush as a wannabe fighter pilot and Dick Cheney a brewer of potent, illegal beverages.
The Caribbean Spotlight films consist of:
- CHU CHU MEETS MARVELLOUS of the Bahamas, directed by Kevin Taylor, is a an informative film about middleweight contender, Jermain Chu Chu Mackey preparing for his challenge fight against the Bahamian super champion, Marvelous Marvin Smith, and is filled with footage of interviews with both fighters;
- THE MAKING OF AN ART GALLERY of Nassau, Bahamas, directed by Philip Burrows & Manny Knowles, this films follows the transformation of the once elegant but neglected Villa Doyle into the majestic National Art Gallery using footage of interviews with builders and architects;
- HABANA BLUES of Cuba, directed by Benito Zambrano, a film that takes place in Cuba using the strength of music to tell a story where a woman plans her voyage to Miami;
- IN SEARCH OF A RISING TIDE of the Bahamas, directed by John Howard, as an aesthetically beautiful film displaying marvels of the blue shades of the Bahamian waters while revealing the intricacies and skills of the art of bone fishing;
- MURDER IN MESOPOTAMIA of Saint Vincent, directed by Andy Abraham Wilson, is the story of a brutal murder of a woman the day before she is supposed to appear in court and give testimony against the man who raped her; all eyes are on the rapist but due to lack of evidence he is set free. The quest for justice becomes a poignant topic for her family. “World Premier at BIFF”
The Panels specialize in Film Financing and Producing; Producing in the Caribbean; Marketing, Distributing and Festivals; Actors and Their Directors; Producing Shorts. The Panels will all take place at the Ardastra Gardens Zoo and Conservation Center. A special Music and Film panel, will take place in the Filmmaker Lounge at the Atlantis Hotel. BIFF has invited highly respected and resourceful industry executives to speak on behalf of each category.
The highlight of the festival will be when world-renowned, award-winning director and actor, Spike Lee, receives the inaugural Career Achievement Award. The award will honor Mr. Lee’s innovative style and his profound effect on cinematic artistry. The tribute to Spike Lee will open with an onstage interview with the director, during which clips of his films will be presented. The ceremony will be moderated by distinguished film critic and journalist, Karin Durbin. All events will take place at the Atlantis Hotel; the One & Only, Ocean Club Resort; the Albany House; Caves Village; Ardastra Gardens and the Hard Rock Café.
Passes and tickets can be ordered beginning November 14, 2005. For online access, please visit www.bintlfilmfest.com. By phone, you may order by dialing toll-free, 1-800-919-5152. You may speak to any customer service agent and they will gladly take your order for any film or special event as well as answer any questions you may have. To purchase tickets in person, you may buy them at either the Atlantis Theater or the Galleria 6 JFK Cinema at the time of the festival
Atlantis Hotel – Atlantis Theater/Marina Village/Royal Deck – Paradise Island, Nassau, Bahamas
Albany House - South Ocean, Nassau, Bahamas
Ardastra Gardens - Chippingham, Nassau, Bahamas
Caves Village – West Bay Street, Nassau, Bahamas
The Cloisters at the One & Only Ocean Club - Nassau, Bahamas
Galleria 6 JFK Cinemas – JFK Drive, Nassau, Bahamas
Hard Rock Café - Charlotte & Bay Street, Nassau, Bahamas
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. Founding sponsors for the Bahamas International Film Festival are the Islands of the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and the Atlantis Paradise Island Resort. Airline partners include British Airways and US Airways. Other sponsors include: Lombard Ordier Darier Hentsch, Versace, Veuve Cliquot, BGC Capital, Bacardi, Pepsi, The Bahamas Tourism Channel 36, Galleria Cinemas, Best Buy Furniture, Federal Express, Hard Rock Café, Albany House, Ardastra Gardens, Zoo & Conservation Centre, Heineken, Chalks and Caves Village.
For more information please visit www.bintlfilmfest.com.