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Arts & Culture Last Updated: Feb 6, 2017 - 2:32:04 PM


Cuban Ambassador Calls for Greater Cooperation Among Caribbean Nations Through Art
By Owen Bethel
Jun 6, 2013 - 11:11:33 AM

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Craig Woods, Film Commissioner with the Ministry of Tourism, Angela Archer of the Film Commission, and Mr. Robert Jagger, Honorary Consul for Costa Rica.

Nassau, Bahamas - H. E. Ernesto Soberon Guzman, Cuban Ambassador to The Bahamas, told attendees at the Opening Night Film and Reception for the fifth edition of the Travelling Caribbean Film Showcase at Galleria Cinemas West on Monday, 3rd June, that the occasion should serve “to show the proportions that art contributions can reach in our nations’ wellbeing. Let’s share values and aspirations for a better Caribbean. Let’s break down barriers and build a stronger sense of cooperation between our peoples.” He further indicated that the event represented an “unstoppable interchange among Caribbean artists” and in this way “there was no better occasion to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Independence of The Bahamas, next july 10th”.

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Owen Bethel, President of Bahamas FilmInvest International, Coordinator of the Caribbean Film Showcase, addressing attendees. He is surrounded by guest hosts for the evening wearing designs created by Bahamian designer, Brynda Knowles.

The Caribbean Film Showcase has its administrative secretariat based in Havana, Cuba, and is endorsed by both the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for its value in promoting cultural expression across national boundaries, and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for its parallel mission and objective of highlighting the creative works of adolescents and youth throughout the region. This year, in recognition of the 40th Anniversary of the Independence of The Bahamas, a Special Program was created featuring the works of filmmakers throughout the Caribbean with a specific theme of the struggle for freedom, independence, and racial and cultural identity. Short and full-feature films, documentaries, and animations by noted regional filmmakers such as Menelik Shabazz of Barbados, Martine Chartrand of Haiti, Rigoberto Lopez of Cuba, and Dalton Narine of Trinidad and Tobago, were selected to be a part of the Special Program and the Travelling Caribbean Film Showcase which runs throughout the month of June at Galleria Cinemas West.

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H.E. Ernesto Soberon Guzman, Cuban Ambassador to The Bahamas, addresses attendees at the Opening Night Reception of the Travelling Caribbean Film Showcase.

The Opening Night featured three short films: “Catch A Fire” (Barbados) is a documentary on the popular uprising against the colonial powers and entrenched slavery led by Paul Bogle in Morant Bay, Jamaica. “Black Soul” (Haiti) is an animation of a grandmother relaying to her grandson the path of black people from the line of royalty in Egypt to slavery, the struggle for freedom, and the songs of hope and aspiration for a better future. “1912 – Breaking the Silence. Chapter 1” (Cuba) is a documentary about the struggle for identity and improved conditions by blacks in Cuba, commencing with the 1912 “incident” considered a race war or massacre of blacks. It is a revealing and riveting story of a previously untold part of Cuba’s history.

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Mr. Athama Bowe, Chairman of the Plays and Films Control Board, with H.E. Ernesto Soberon Guzman, Cuban Ambassador to The Bahamas

Owen Bethel, President of Bahamas FilmInvest International, the Coordinator for the Showcase in The Bahamas, indicated that it was a “pleasure to work with the secretariat to recognize the 40th Anniversary of Independence through the Special Program, which has attracted the attention of several international film festivals, and negotiations are underway to expand the distribution of the films to those markets, thereby giving greater exposure to the regional filmmakers and the objective of the Film Showcase. Also for the first time, several of the films will be aired at a later date on television, courtesy of the Broadcasting Corporation of The Bahamas, so that the larger population on the Family Islands will be able to benefit from the mission of the Showcase.” Mr. Bethel has recently been appointed to the International Selection Committee of the secretariat for the next edition of the Film Showcase, the first such honour for a Bahamian.

No representative from the Independence Celebration Commission was available to attend the Opening Night Film and Reception, but a major sponsor of the event, The Ministry of Tourism, was represented by Mr. Craig Woods, the Film Commissioner. Remarks were also given by Mr. Athama Bowe, Chairman of the Plays and Films Control Board.”

The Travelling Caribbean Film Showcase and the Special Program for the 40th Anniversary of Independence of The Bahamas continues throughout the month of June with screenings every Monday and Tuesday evenings at Galleria Cinemas West, JFK Drive. Admission is free.

A Schedule and Synopses of Films may be viewed on the facebook page of Travelling Caribbean Film Showcase – Bahamas.


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