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Bahamian films shine at BIFF

‘Bahamian Son’ and ‘Black Moses’ to open and close festival
  • A screen capture from “Bahamian Son”.

    A screen capture from “Bahamian Son”.

  • “Contrarian: Mr. Templeton”.

    “Contrarian: Mr. Templeton”.

Published: Nov 30, 2013

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Bahamian films are making their mark at this year’s Bahamas International Film Festival (BIFF).

Bahamian films “Bahamian Son” and “Black Moses” will open and close the festival, respectively, and are among a strong group of other Bahamian and international features, shorts and documentaries showcased at BIFF.

“As the Bahamas International Film Festival celebrates its 10th anniversary and The Bahamas celebrates its 40th year of independence, what better way to recognize these milestones than by having Bahamian films open and close the festival,” said BIFF Founder and Executive Director Leslie Vanderpool.

“Film festivals were created for the independent filmmakers, and once again I am proud to present six strong films made in and about The Bahamas."

Andrew Melby’s and Reggie Henderson’s “Bahamian Son”

Andrew Melby’s and Reggie Henderson’s drama “Bahamian Son” has been selected as this year’s Opening Night Film and will kick off the festival on December 5 at the Atlantis Theater.

“Bahamian Son” stars Constance Anderson (“Prodigal”, “Profile of a Killer”, “Gods’ Green Earth”), Fatima Cocci (“Gods’ Green Earth”) and Leah Eneas (“Beneath the Blue”).

The film is based on true events from the life of the film’s writer Reggie Henderson. The story follows Kevin as he sets out to find his father, whom he hasn't seen in more than 30 years.

During his journey, Kevin examines his own life and the family he has built for himself, during his childhood, having grown up in the projects of North Minneapolis.

After Kevin tracks down his father, he travels to The Bahamas to meet him. What happens in The Bahamas opens Kevin's eyes to a world and a history he never knew existed. It is also another test of Kevin's beliefs regarding family, loyalty and what it means to be a son, a father and a man.

"We are ecstatic that our film ‘Bahamian Son’ will be headlining BIFF this year. Shooting a semi audio-biographical film was not easy, and it had its challenges, but we had wonderful support from the Bahamian community during the making of this film,” said writer and producer of “Bahamian Son” Reggie Henderson.

“‘Bahamian Son’ may be a small indie film, but it's big in heart and content. The Bahamas is not just a resort destination, and it gives us great pleasure to share with the rest of the world what we've learned, which is The Bahamas is a beautiful island, rich in culture, history and tradition. What a great honor to be a part of BIFF!"

Travolta Cooper’s “The Black Moses”

Travolta Cooper’s documentary “The Black Moses” will have the honor of closing the 10th edition of the festival on December 8 at the Atlantis Theater.

Written and directed by Travolta Cooper (“Founding Fathers: Sir Stafford Sands” “A Miami Trail”), “The Black Moses” takes a look at the first black prime minister of The Bahamas. The film follows the popular folk ‘moses mythology’ as it was manifested through the life and times of Sir Lynden Pindling. It focuses on Pindling as he sets on a course to bring about social, political, and economic revolution to the British Bahama Islands.

The film features Golden Globe nominee Dennis Haysbert (“The Unit”, “24”, “Wreck-It Ralph”) as “Black Moses” and commentary from the 18th Prime Minister of Canada Brian Mulroney, civil rights activist Jesse Jackson and many others.

"It's been quite a journey producing ‘The Black Moses’, and for our little movie to be bestowed such an honor is encouraging and inspiring. Our production team is ecstatic. And I am personally overjoyed because BIFF has undoubtedly played a role in my career as a filmmaker giving me opportunities and lifelong mentors like filmmaker Malcolm Lee and producer Jane Schoettle,” said director of “The Black Moses” Travolta Cooper. “And now to be afforded such an honor in the same tradition of films such as ‘The King's Speech’, ‘Juno’ or ‘Precious’, which have closed this festival in the past, means more than I can express."

Vijay Subramanian "Happenstance"

Story of two different couples in a disturbed relationship. There is an incident that happens that brings the good person in both relationships together as one.

Valicia Rolle, Valene Rolle, Alexandria Smith, "The Dream"

Adam Samsun, an investor at Eden Investments, is possibly cheating on his wife. Delilah Samsun, Adam’s wife, is possibly abusing Adam. For one of them, it is a dream, for the other it is a nightmare.

Mary Mazzio, "Contrarian: Mr. Templeton"

Legendary investor John Templeton ranks among the top investors of all time. Long before Warren Buffet and Peter Lynch were on the radar, thousands of people were trekking to Templeton’s annual meetings – making Templeton the first true rock star investor.

Raised in a small rural town in Tennessee, Templeton was profoundly influenced by his mother who encouraged his sense of adventure from an early age. She also imbued in her son an indefatigable sense of optimism, which proved to be indispensable years later when John’s father lost everything with a risky bet on cotton futures. Undeterred, John stayed on at Yale University (and later at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar), paying his own way with the earnings from three jobs and nightly poker games.

John’s resilience and his meteoric rise as an entrepreneur, investor and philanthropist can be attributed to lessons learned in his youth: think differently, live frugally, be willing to bet against conventional thinking, and, above all, be honest. This made Templeton unique, particularly on Wall Street.

Andrew Turley "It's Better In The Bahamas"

The film begins with an encounter. The filmmaker has traveled to The Bahamas to meet, for the first time, old friends of his grandparents. They are a Haitian-Bahamian family who arrived in New Providence over half a century ago. The filmmaker's self-narrative then withdraws from the plot and allows the members of the family to share themselves with the audience.

At the center is Marjorie, the filmmaker's grandmother's goddaughter, whose bright, ambitious and attractive personality shines through.

The film was made for the Social Sciences department at the University of Manchester, the United Kingdom. It explores anthropological themes of identity, migration, kinship and gender. However, its academic grounding does not prevent it from being a humorous and touching documentary.

BIFF 2013 kicks off on Thursday, December 5 to December 8 in Nassau and will run through December 9 to 13 in Eleuthera.

For the second consecutive year, BIFF will be coming to Harbour Island December 9-11 and Governor’s Harbour December 11-13, showcasing a diverse presentation of films from around the world accompanied by a group of local and international filmmakers. For more information, please visit www.bintlfilmfest.com.

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