Competition Categories:

Spirit of Freedom: Narrative & documentary

BIFF has held Spirit of Freedom as one of its themed categories since it's very first festival, eight years ago. Each film in this program explores the potential of the human spirit and how freedom affects - or is absent from - our lives.  

NEW VISIONS

Our New Visions competition is a showcase for emerging artists, providing festival audiences with the opportunity to discover the next generation of visionary filmmakers. A Grand Jury Prize will be presented to the New Vision film category.  

Short Films

A short film is 31 minutes or less and often the only place where young filmmakers have the chance to explore story telling through cinema. Film Festivals are one of the few venues where multiple short films can experienced. BIFF is pleased to present one of the most interesting and diverse lineups of short films. A Grand Jury Prize will be presented to the Short film category.

Rob Adler

Panelist | Panel On Acting

Rob Adler is the director, writer and producer of 'iVOTE' starring Eric Roberts, Dan Lauria & Sharon Lawrence (www.ivotethemovie.com).

 

An award winning actor, director of theater and film, performance coach and teacher, Adler's acting credits include ABC/Disney's "High School Musical: Get in the Picture," NBC's "Profiler," FOX's "Kitchen Confidential," Academy Award nominee Jonathan Heap's film "Plan B," Sundance phenom Drake Daremus’ “The Beauty Inside. ” Adler received an LA WEEKLY Theater Award for his work in the Best Play of 2006: “Marat/Sade,” directed by Patrick J Adams, star of NBCs “Suits.”  He has also performed in a host of commercials.

 

A long time activist, Adler was a co-founder of the (American) Campaign to End the Death Penalty and has worked tirelessly on issues of peace and progress.  The marriage of art and activism is Adler’s artistic mission; directing myriad plays including “Paul Robeson: The Artist Must Take Sides” in Chicago, devising and directing "Patriot Act" starring acclaimed performer Roger Guenveur Smith (Do the Right Thing, American Gangster, K-Street), continuing a long time affiliation with Los Angeles' Bootleg Theater. Adler directed and produced "Rise & Shout," starring Joe Mantegna, Jack Klugman, Jean Smart & Wendy Mallick to benefit the Will Geer Theater where he was a company member for nearly a decade.

 

Rob Adler is also  the founder and Artistic Director of  AdlerImprov (www.adlerimprov.com) and has worked as an on-camera acting coach at ABC/Disney for primetime television and serves as an on-set coach to actors working in films and television as well as business professionals, doctors and lawyers. Adler's teaching has been sought out by the most prestigious actors and institutions including: the Geffen Playhouse;  Aaron Speiser Acting Studio, creative home to Will Smith, Virgina Madsen, Gerard Butler; the University of Southern California, Boston University, Occidental College, Will Geer Theatricum-Botanicum, The Hothouse, The Chicago Improv Festival, Seattle Festival of Improvisation, The Actors Gang, Bootleg Theater, , St. Peter's Medical Center and at schools and businesses nationwide.

 

An expert in Improvisational Acting, Adler studied in Chicago at The Theater School/Goodman School of Drama (alums include John C Reilly, Joe Mantegna, Judy Greer) and in the UK at BADA.  His expertise was honed with the worlds foremost teachers and training; with Alan Rickman, Fiona Shaw, Paul Sills; in Spolin, Viewpoints, Commedia Del Arte; with the Groundlings; Second City, Anne Bogart's SITI Company; Tim Robbins' Actors Gang and more. Adler also holds a certificate in Film Directing from UCLA.  Rob Adler seeks to help you get out of your head and bring spontaneity, presence and play to your work and life.

Kelly Amber Moore

Juror | Spirit Of Freedom Narrative & Documentary

Kelly Moore graduated from California State University, Northridge in 2004 with a degree in Cinema and Television Arts with an emphasis in Screenwriting. She began her career in the mailroom at Paradigm Talent Agency and worked her way up to Coordinator for their Feature Packaging Department where she assisted talent with financing projects. She went on to become a Creative Executive at Nicolas Cage’s Saturn Films, working closely with President Norm Golightly on such films as, “National Treasure: Book of Secrets,” “Ghost Rider,” and “Knowing.” In 2010, Kelly transitioned to writing full time and is currently working on two feature screenplays. She currently resides in Los Angeles, California and in her spare time enjoys learning languages.  

Vashti Anderson

Panelist | Filmmaker Residency Script Reader

Vashti Anderson is a filmmaker whose experiences living in the U.S., Trinidad, England, and India have had a profound impact on her work. As a result, she has developed a passion for telling stories that examine the complex and ever-changing themes of cultural identity. She holds an MFA in Film from New York University and has won grants, recognition and awards at national and international film festivals.

Ivan Clements

Panelist | Films, Festivals and Fundraising

IVAN FRANCIS CLEMENTS

 

Ivan graduated from film school in 1991 and the Hollywood Film Institute in 1999. Ivan has just delivered his latest feature film, 'LITTLE DEATHS' (as Exec Producer). The film is being sold by Imagination Worldwide Entertainment in LA. It has sold almost all territories (most of which were pre-sales). Ivan's extensive knowledge covers all areas of pre-production (including Celtx, preparation of budgets and schedules in EP and / or MM Scheduling and Budgeting), production and post-production. Negotiations including international co-production, contracts, law, reading and coverage, line production and lab negotiation through to international sales and distribution agreements.

He has a proven track record in raising film finance, cashflowing and tax credit structuring. He handles EIS structuring for investors to ensure tax credit success in this very difficult climate. 12 successful claims to date. He has a keen eye for commercial product and is involved in all aspects of its creation.

Lisa Cortes

Panelist | Films, Festivals and Fundraising

Lisa Cortés - Producer/Director

Lisa Cortés is a trailblazer in the film and music industries. She was the  Executive Producer of the Academy Award- and Sundance-winning film Precious and worked with director Lee Daniels as a producer on several critically acclaimed projects. As an innovator in the music industry, Cortés was one of the driving forces behind the launch of Def Jam Records and was the first African American woman to have her own label deal at a major record company when she founded and served as President of Loose Cannon Records. Recent productions include  Imagine A Future  which she co-directed with Shola Lynch, Mickalene Thomas’ Happy Birthday To A Beautiful Woman and Kwaku Ananse for Focus Features Africa First program.  Lisa  can be followed on Twitter at @misscortes.

 

 

 

Theodore Elyett

Juror | Short Film

Considered a rising star in the Bahamian fashion circuit, 29-year-old Fashion Designer Theodore Elyett is also making tremendous waves throughout the region as he recently snagged first place in Mission Catwalk Season3; placing him a stitch above the rest as the best in the region among emerging fashion talents. His big win at Mission Catwalk will afford the young designer a chance to showcase his eponymous label at London Fashion Week, a scholarship to the prestigious London College of Arts and a retail contract with a chain of boutiques in Jamaica. In 2012 Elyett was named The Bahamas' Designer of the Year by leading Bahamian online fashion publication Stylezine.  Since 2010, Elyett's eponymous label has been featured on the cover and inside pages of every local fashion publication - Profiles98 Magazine, Nu Woman Magazine and CaMari Magazine. Elyett also captured international attention when featured in VOGUE ITALIA's The Black Blog and ESSENCE MAGAZINE BLOG. He's the champion of Runway To Fashion Week Designer Competition, the recipient of the Harl TaylorBAG 2010 Scholarship, an award winning gown and costume designer for Miss Bahamas Universe and the 2005 recipient of The Bahamas' Ministry of Youth's JA- Recognition of Excellence for outstanding achievement in Fashion Design and Entrepreneurial Skills. Elyett's fashion portfolio dates back to 1998 when he emerged as a 13 year old award winning designer. Since then, he has built a portfolio in Nassau, the Caribbean, South America, North America, Africa and Asia.  His design label is: Theodore Elyett.

Attila Feszt

Juror | New Visions

Attila Feszt was born in Nassau in 1976 and has drawn for as long as he can remember. He studied in the UK and graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University with a BA (Hons) in History of Art and Design with Graphic Design in 1999. His art and design work is an attempt to capture the essence of island life in the Bahamas. Creating original pattern designs and paintings inspired by its pristine natural beauty, he uses simple and familiar design elements that translate easily to functional applications, such as screen-printed t-shirts and bags, with almost endless future possibilities. As the lead screen-printing and graphic designer at Abaco T-Shirt and Design since 2007, he became proficient in his professional field and began to experiment with pattern and print design. His creative venture mæter design was born in 2009 through a desire to grow creatively, and quickly became a vehicle for his journey of exploration. ‚Ä®Combining his knowledge and passion for drawing, painting, screen-printing, graphic/vector design, illustration, and comic books/graphic novels with inspiration from observing the natural world on his home of Hope Town (usually on his way to surf) his work is bold and distinctive, and developing as he progresses. He has exhibited throughout Abaco and Nassau including Transforming Spaces: Fibre 2012, Fash|Art 2012; where he won the Jackson Burnside Award for Emerging Visual Artists, the 2013 NAGB/Colina calendar, his inaugural solo show at Doongalik Gallery and the BNT Art and Wine at the Retreat, with many more projects and exhibitions on the horizon. Much of his recent work is inspired by the motto ‘by reducing the world we make it larger’, which he intends to continue to explore. 

 

Lance Knowles

Panelist | Filmmaking In The Bahamas

Lance Knowles

Owner-Pilot-Cinematographer

Sky High Media

 

Lance’s passion for photography began from the moment he “borrowed” his mother’s Pentax Camera.  With curiousity for the ever changing world of technology, Lance went on to The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale and obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Multi-Media and Web Design.  Always having an extreme interest in mechanics and electronics, from cars to “remote controlled toys”, his creativity sprung when the opportunity for Aerial Photography became a reality.  In late 2012, Sky High Media Ltd. was formed.  With the combined efforts of partner and best friend, George Mosko, the company grew to fulfill its name with limitless creativity and the evolution of Aerial Cinematography.  Professionally, Lance continues to chase his dream and hopes to see Sky High Media Ltd. continue to grow with many new opportunities on the table.  Creatively, Lance uses his undeniable ambition to educate and advocate for the commercial use of U.A.V.’s for cinematography and photography.  

 

Nathaniel Kohn

New Visions Juror & Panelist

Dr. Nathaniel Kohn is professor at the University of Georgia and Associate Director of the George Foster Peabody Awards, the most prestigious award in electronic media.  He directs the University of Georgia Cannes Festival Study Abroad Program and co-directs the University of Georgia Cannes Lions Advertising Festival Study Abroad Program.


He is also festival director of Roger Ebert's Film Festival, and he was co-founder and director of Robert Osborne’s Classic Film Festival. 

 

Dr. Kohn's credits as Producer include the Academy Award nominated Zulu Dawn starring Burt Lancaster and Peter O’Toole; the independent feature Somebodies , which premiered in competition at Sundance (2006); Rain , starring Nicki Micheaux and CCH Pounder, the Bahamas’ first indigenous feature which premiered at Toronto (2007) and on Showtime (2010); the feature film Bottleworld (2010); he was Executive Producer on the BET television series Somebodies (2008); and he is Producer on the feature length documentary Bayou Maharajah that premiered at the SXSW Festival (2013).

 

He has served on juries and mentored at the Atlanta International Film Festival, the Hawaii International Film Festival, the Kerala International Film Festival and the Bahamas International Film Festival. 

 

He is the author of numerous scholarly articles and of the book Pursuing Hollywood: Seduction, Obsession, Dread (AltaMira Press, 2006).

Travon Patton

Panelist | Filmmaking In The Bahamas

Travon A. Patton has been involved in the field of videography and filmworks for over 5 years but has been actively involved in producing acting and drama productions from the age of 16 as President of the Young Actors Guild (YAG). He is the founder of the 12:01 Studios Media Group and is also presently the Lead Visual Producer at Fam Entertainment, headed by William ‘Mark’ Cartwright. Patton is known for his feature documentary, May 3rd (2008) that premiered at the Bahamas International Film Festival (BIFF), Redial Sunshine (2010), a short film that premiered at BIFF and

Break (2009), a short film that premiered at The National Centre for the Performing Arts, aimed at bring awareness to the Bahamian community regarding youth, violence and poor decisions. 

 

In addition, Patton is also responsible for producing over 60+ hours of programming ranging from music videos such as Marlin Award Nominated Pray for You by Bahamian Gospel Sensation, Najie Dun, and I Choose You by Jamaica’s Kristine Alicia, Television shows such as Wordup Tv, Concerts such as the Marlin Award Nominated Najie Dun Album Release and Famfest, popular internet sensations such as “T.A.P’s VLOGS”, public service ads, documentaries and short films. Furthermore, he is also the producer, director of photography and editor for the Bahamas’ first televised soap opera called Gippie’s Kingdom, which premiered in the summer of 2012 while collaborating with co-producer Dr. Ian Strachan on Strachan's latest documentary feature, 'I is Man' (2013). Patton and Strachan are now completing the second season of Gippie's Kingdom, due to premiere January 2014.

 

Beyond directing, producing and editing films, Patton is also passionate about the roadwork to creating an industrious and successful film and television industry in the Bahamas. He has been at the helm of various initiatives within churches, schools and tertiary institutions to promote unique ways of troubleshooting filmmaking in the Bahamas. In fact, Patton has steered a group of biology students at the C.R Walker Secondary school to a surprising 1st place prize at the Bahamas International Film Festival’s Green Reel Competition. Now, Patton is back to the Bahamas International Film Festival as a platform for a new generation of young Bahamian filmmakers. He truly believes that there is a heavy responsibility among those in the media to tell our stories and preserve our histories. Patton's short screenplay, 'The Dream' (2013), which is slated to premiere at the 10th Bahamas International Film Festival, is the first of many productions that will introduce Bahamian stories and Bahamian production talent to the forefront.

Patty Roker

Juror | Spirit Of Freedom Narrative & Documentary

Patty Roker was born in Syracuse, New York where she was a Drama major at Syracuse University School of Speech and Theatre.  She worked in the hotel business at the Concord Hotel in the Catskills – the world famous Borscht Belt – and continued that career on Paradise Island in the Bahamas.

Enchanted by the sun, sand and sea – as well as a Bahamian to whom she has been married for 37 years – she stayed in paradise, working as the administrator of an arts festival and in the radio business where she was involved in sales, copy writing and as a talk show host.  Patty has also been a professional “voice” in many local and international commercials, documentaries and “talking books”.  She has also written and produced documentaries, including the most recent one done for the opening of the domestic terminal of Lynden Pindling International Airport, and edited the script for “Trailblazer”, a documentary on the life of the Bahamas’ own NBA superstar, Mychal “Sweetbells” Thompson.

Patty also edited and compiled “The Vision of Sir Lynden Pindling: In His Own Words” with the former Bahamian Prime Minister and wrote “A Bahamian Story”, volumes 1 and 2, the memoir of Sir Clifford Darling, former Bahamian Governor General.  She is currently working on several projects including an oral history of the Bahamas Union of Teachers.

Dan Shannon

Juror | Spirit Of Freedom Narrative & Documentary

Filmmaker, distributor and digital marketing aficionado, Dan has more than 25 years in the film and media industries, from hands-on production to executive management, distribution and marketing.

Mr Shannon has produced and/or directed more than 20 documentary films in as many years, most often with Isabelle Depelteau, his life partner and co writer/director.  Their projects range in theme from science and technology to social justice and politics and fine arts. Their most current film Haiti Untold, which premiered at BIFF 2012, currently airs on Direct TV in the USA and has sold to UK and Canadian broadcast partners. In 2005 after 2 years as a buyer for a major North American DVD company, Dan formed ID Communications, an international sales agency for indie films and documentaries, which has placed films in every major territory.  Dan is also founder of ID Digital Media which creates digital media marketing solutions for film properties as well as other enterprises. Dan and Isabelle’s upcoming film is entitled My Quiet Revolution, dealing with the English-French question in Canada. The disconnect between the two has a long backstory, dating back to the capitulation of the French to the English a few hundred years ago for North America. It speaks to the geopolitics of old European ambitions in America, and in many ways those ambitions still live today.

Tatiana Siegel

Juror | Short Film

Tatiana Siegel has rejoined The Hollywood Reporter as a film reporter in June 2012. She previously worked at the magazine from 2003-07. During her first stint at THR, Ms. Siegel also offered showbiz analysis on the weekly TV Series STARZ The Hollywood Reporter. Before returning to THR she covered the film business for Variety from 2007- 2012. Additionally, Ms. Siegel has appeared on ABC's Good Morning America, NPR's All Things Considered, CNN, CNBC, Fox News, MTV and E! Before entering the Hollywood fray, she worked as an editor and reporter for several publications including the New York Daily News, the Providence Phoenix and the Boston Globe. She began her Jounalism career as a sports reporter at the Providence Journal. Ms. Siegel also has written extensively as a freelancer for such newspapers and magazines as USA Today, Emmy Magazine, the San Francisco Chronicle and The Nation. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northeastern University in Boston and a master's degree in journalism from New York University.

Toni Silveri

Juror | New Vision

Toni has worked as an actor, voice actor and singer, performing nationally and regionally in film, television and commercials, for over 30 years. She has been a working member of the Screen Actors Guild since 1980 and has screened and voted every year on the SAG Awards during her membership. At present, Toni’s talent agency, All Coast Talent Management, represents over a hundred actors across the country and abroad  These talents can be heard nationally for Chevrolet,  Hundai, Budweiser,  Hunter Douglas, Capital One, PBS Kids, Disney, A &E,  Discovery Channel, Worlds of Warcraft video game,  and Promos for Eat Pray Love and Harry Potter, Seinfeld’s original production, “Colin Quinn, Long Story Short”, the Broadway return of “Les Miz”, and recently, the new ABC television series, Once Upon a Time, to mention a few.  She is the founder of the Western New York Voice Actor Workshop, which has gained national recognition as one of the best training grounds for voice actors in the country. Top professionals in the industry are invited regularly to share their expertise and experiences with her students. One of Toni’s favorite guest lecturers and luminaries is Pat Fraley, who has created voices for over 4000 characters, making him one of the top ten performers of all time to be cast in Animated Film and Television shows.  Toni is a member of the Voice and Speech Trainers of America.

 

Vijay Subramanian

Panelist | Filmmaking In The Bahamas

Vijay Subramanian

 

Profession: Doctor, Photographer and Independent film maker.

International awards for photography:

-Awarded 34 (thirty four) Honorable mentions at the prestigious International Photography awards (IPA) in Los Angeles, California in the year 2012. Vijay is a winner of 2 golds, 1 silver and 2 Honorable mentions at Prix de la Photographie in Paris, in the year 2012. He is also a winner of Bronze in Oneeyeland international photography competition, India in 2012 and has been awarded 'Honorable mention' at Prix de la Photographie,Paris in 2011

Leslie Tynes

Juror | Short Film

As a lover of the arts and entertainment world, Leslie is a local actress; voice over artist; radio and television personality.  With a flair for artistic expression in her blood, she first gained experience in acting, with performances in numerous stage plays throughout her schooling; to which she credits her late grandmother who was a music teacher, for instilling her passion for music and performance within her. In 2010, she held the lead role in the Bahamian produced feature length comedy “Crazy Love” which was screened at the 7th annual Bahamas International Film Festival; The Trinidad & Tobago Film Festival as well as at local theaters and available on pay-per-view. She has also portrayed various roles with "James Catalyn & Friends," “Track Road Theater" and "Shakespeare in Paradise" theater groups. With a background in hospitality and close to a decade of experience within the industry, Leslie left management at the exclusive One&Only Ocean Club, Paradise Island in 2007, opting to take her love of people and providing information to her true calling.  As a direct result of a strong desire to pursue a career in electronic media, she made the transition to local broadcasting and has had countless opportunities as the face and the voice for various companies, projects, campaigns and products. Presently, Leslie is co-host of 'The WakeUPandGO Morning Show' on 100 JAMZ, a local Hip Hop and RnB Station.  Outside the studio, she continues to express her creative side by appearing in local television and radio commercials, lending her writing and "character" voice skills to being the exclusive talent for the local branch of The McDonald's fast food franchise and as an alternate host of the Bahamian variety television program “Native Show.”


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