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BIFF Announces Festival Dates

Nassau, Bahamas - The Bahamas International Film Festival (BIFF) is pleased to announce the second annual Film Festival, to be held December 8-11, 2005. Last year, BIFF played host to a powerful combination of industry professionals, filmmakers, celebrity guests, film enthusiasts and the local community. By all accounts it was a resounding success.

BIFF is fast becoming the most sought after event of The Bahamas, and reinforces the nations growing reputation as a cultural destination. Many local and international filmmakers, festival goers and industry professionals are talking about how successful this ground-breaking event was and are very much looking forward to being a part of BIFF 2005.

BIFF’s Founder & Executive Director, Leslie Vanderpool, has traveled the world to promote BIFF to recruit top-tier films and talent. The promotional efforts led to some of the highest-profile events at film festivals as Tribeca (April 19th - May 1st) and Cannes (May 11-22). "I look forward to attending the Cannes Film Festival once again to bolster the reputation of the festival in The Bahamas,” said Leslie Vanderpool. "We established a presence at Cannes last year with a reception for over 400 people. BIFF is quickly establishing an identity in the minds of industry professionals and the response has been overwhelmingly positive.”

In celebration of Cinema in Paradise, the second annual Bahamas International Film Festival will present approximately fifty films, encompassing international features, shorts, documentaries, and animation. The theme of the Official Competition is the "Spirit of Freedom” with a focus on works that provide insight into the mosaic of cultures that make up our world. Competition films will be eligible for a Grand Jury Prize. The other categories are 1) "New Visions,” a showcase for emerging artists, providing the festival audience with the opportunity to discover the next generation of

visionary filmmakers, 2) "World Cinema,” a selection of international films, and 3) The "Caribbean Spotlight,” a collection of films by Caribbean filmmakers.

In addition, to showcasing films and celebrating filmmakers, BIFF will continue to focus on education and the connection between the film industry and the Bahamian community, an important aspect of the Festival’s mission. "The Bahamas International Film Festival would like to convey the message that The Bahamas welcomes the international film community and looks forward to linking industry and education,” says Founder & Executive Director Leslie Vanderpool. "When we organized the set visit to Brett Ratner’s AFTER THE SUNSET for students and local filmmakers, it gave me great pleasure to share their excitement and enthusiasm, and to be able to bring such an experience to the youth and talent of our nation. In Grand Bahama, students and local filmmakers look forward to Pirates of the Caribbean 2 & 3 and the opportunity to see filmmaking in The Bahamas up close.”

To strengthen this focus, the Festival will present a series of interactive, educational seminars. Established industry professionals will conduct these sessions for filmmakers and the public at the world-renowned Ardastra Gardens, Zoo & Conservation Centre. Topics will include filmmaking, acting, directing, screenwriting, distribution and film financing. "We look forward to offering more one-on-one experiences and opportunities between directors, producers, actors, festival guests and the local community at the Festival and throughout the year,” comments Ms. Vanderpool.

The Festival, whose Founding Sponsors includes the exquisite Atlantis Resort & Casino on Paradise Island and the Islands of the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, will craft a genuine cultural experience for its guests by showcasing the nation’s many tropical charms. In addition to Cinema in Paradise, Festival highlights will include beach screenings and hospitality suites at the prestigious Atlantis Paradise Island Resort as well as educational forums, a unique filmmaker retreat, and a wide choice of local recreational activities. Airline partners include US Airways and British Airways.

The Bahamas International Film Festival (BIFF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing the local community and International visitors with a broad selection of films from around the world. In addition to offering films that might not otherwise be released theatrically in The Bahamas, BIFF will provide educational programs and forums for exploring the past, present and future of cinema.

Throughout the four days of BIFF 2005, there will be many special events including opening and closing night galas, premieres, retrospectives and a celebrity tribute, as well as filmmaker cocktail parties and happy hours.

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