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Entertainment : Bahamas International Film Festival Last Updated: Feb 6, 2017 - 2:32:04 PM

BIFF Names 2009 Festival Award Winners
By Dennis Dembia
Dec 14, 2009 - 1:03:03 PM

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American actor Delroy Lindo presents the Spirit of Freedom award as one of this year's judges at BIFF. Other judges for this category were Tivi Magnusson and Jamie Kantrowitz Photo: AshHenderson.com

La Soga” “Morenita” “Traces of the Trade” and “Gaining Ground” Take Home Top Prizes

Nassau, Bahamas – Competition winners were announced on the evening of December 13th at the awards ceremony for the 6th Bahamas International Film Festival, held at the Balmoral Club in Nassau. The announcements were made by Festival Founder and Executive Director Leslie Vanderpool and BIFF jurors following a special career achievement event honoring Johnny Depp.

The Festival showcased 86 films from 26 different countries, including 38 features of which several are world or international premieres and nearly all Bahamian premieres. The four competition categories at BIFF are Spirit of Freedom: Narrative; Spirit of Freedom: Documentary; New Vision; and Short Film.

Spirit of Freedom judges Debra Zimmerman and Nancy Collet given out the award to 'Traces of the Trade: A Story From the Deep'. Bahamian John Cox was also a jury member. Photo: AshHenderson.com

Below are the official competition winners at this year’s Bahamas International Film Festival:

New Vision 
The New Vision Award was awarded to “Morenita,” written and directed by Alan Jonsson Gavica.

Spirit of Freedom:  Narrative 
The Spirit of Freedom: Narrative Award was presented to “La Soga,” a Dominican Republic film from Director Josh Crook.

Spirit of Freedom: Documentary 
The Spirit of Freedom: Documentary Award was awarded to Katrina Browne’s “Traces of the Trade.”

Short Film  
The Award for Best Short Film went to “Gaining Ground,” directed by Marc Brummund.

Jury for the Short Film Category (Kate Cohen, Maria Cataldo, and Pamela Poitier) awarded “Gaining Ground,” directed by Marc Brummund. Photo: AshHenderson.com

About the Winning Films:

Gaining Ground


Language: German

Director: Marc Brummund

Producer: Yildiz Özcan

Screenwriter: Fabian Wiemker

Principal Cast: Radik Golovkov

Genre: Drama


A young illegal immigrant couple spends their time furtively avoiding the German authorities, until the wellbeing of their young son dictates that they resolve their untenable situation.

Film maker Manny Perez from the Dominican Republic receives his Spirit of Freedom Narrative award for "La Soga". Photo: AshHenderson.com

La Soga

Dominican Republic

Language: Spanish, English

Director: Josh Crook

Producers: Josh Crook, Manny Perez

Screenwriter: Manny Perez

Principal Cast: Manny Perez, Denise Quinones, Paul Calderon, Juan Fernandez

Genre: Action-Drama

SF Narrative

In a poor neighbourhood in Santiago, Dominican Republic, where the streets are run by “boomerang” drug dealers, a modest butcher struggles to raise his ten-year-old boy. After witnessing the murder of his father by a vicious New York criminal named Rafa, Luisito meets General Colon, head of the Dominican secret police. Colon preys on the boy's desire for revenge, transforming him into a heartless killer. Twenty years later, Luisito has risen to become Colon's top assassin, kept in control by the general's promise to deliver his father's killer.

Into Luisito's hollow world comes Jenny, a childhood sweetheart. Unaware of his occupation, Jenny falls again for Luisito, and the tenderness she shows him rekindles his dormant conscience. Recrimination, guilt and fury bubble up until he is forced to risk his life in order to alter its path.

In his first solo directorial effort, Josh Crook has worked cheek-by-jowl with writer-actor-producer Manny Perez to create a work of such poetic ferocity that much of its imagery will be stamped on the viewer forever.  Inspired by true events, and made on location in the Dominican Republic for the price of a high-end German car, La Soga embodies everything that independent filmmaking should be about: passion instead of money, story instead of special effects, soul instead of spin.

Judges David Greenbaum and Giovanni Stuart were in the New Vision category which went to Morenita (Mexico) Sheila Hailey was also in their jury. Photo: AshHenderson.com



Language: Spanish

Director: Alan Jonsson Gavica

Producer: Ozcar Ramirez Gonzalez

Screenwriter: Alan Jonsson Gavica

Principal Cast: Ignacio Lopez Tarso, Everado Arzate, Maya Zapata, Mario Almada, Dagoberto Gama, Ianis Guerrero

Genre: Drama

New Visions

Desperate to save his family from death threats by a notorious drug dealer, Mateo Cruz steals the venerated image of the Virgin of Guadalupe causing pandemonium throughout Mexico.

Winner of the Spirit of Freedom Documentary award was American film maker, Katrina Browne for Traces of the Trade: A Story From the Deep Photo: AshHenderson.com

Traces Of The Trade: A Story From The Deep North


Language: English

Directors: Katrina Browne, with Co-Directors Alla Kovgan and Jude Ray

Producer: Katrina Browne and Alla Kovgan

Screenwriters: Katrina Browne, with Co-Producers Juanita Brown and Elizabeth Delude-Dix

Principal Cast: N/A

Genre: Documentary

SF Documentary

Filmmaker Katrina Browne discovers her New England ancestors were the largest slave traders in US history. Traces of the Trade follows Browne and nine fellow DeWolf descendants as they travel from Rhode Island, to Ghana and Cuba on a trip that brings them face-to-face with the history and legacy of New England's hidden enterprise

Leslie Vandepool, Founder and Executive Director of BIFF. Photo: AshHenderson.com

About the Bahamas International Film Festival:

The Bahamas International Film Festival (BIFF) is a nonprofit organization committed to providing the local community and International festival goers with a diverse presentation of films from The Bahamas and around the world. In addition to showcasing films that might not otherwise be released theatrically, BIFF provides unique cultural experiences, educational programs, and forums for exploring the past, present & future of cinema. BIFF aims to raise the level of filmmaking, participation and education throughout The Bahamas and the world.

The full BIFF program is now available in print and online at www.bintlfilmfest.com . Tickets can be booked online, over the telephone, or in person at BIFF box offices. Every year the Festival offers advance ticket deals from the date of Box opening to the first day of the Festival.


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