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First Annual Bahamas International Film Festival Launches in 2004

Nassau, Bahamas – The Bahamas International Film Festival announces its inaugural event December 9 – 12, 2004.

In celebration of Cinema in Paradise, the first annual Bahamas International Film Festival will present approximately fifty films, encompassing international features, shorts, documentaries, and animation. The theme of this year's 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 Festival will also showcase a series of innovative works by emerging artists, with a special Modern Maverick Award to be presented by pioneer filmmaker Roger Corman. Other film sections will include Retrospectives, Short Film Program, and a Caribbean Sidebar. The Festival will also honor accomplished artists with Gala Presentations and Special Tributes.

Education and connection between the film industry and the Bahamian community is an important aspect of the Festival's mission. "The Bahamas International Film Festival would like to convey the message that the island of the Bahamas welcomes the international film community and looks forward to linking industry and education," says 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 experience their excitement and bring awareness to the youth and talent of our nation."

In continuing this mission, 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 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 our inaugural film festival," comments Ms. Vanderpool.

The inaugural Festival, whose Founding Partners include the Island of the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and the Atlantis Paradise Island Resort 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 diverse menu of local recreational activities.


The Bahamas International Film Festival continues to accept submissions for its first annual Festival. The extended Withoutabox deadline is October 4.

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