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
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:
The New Vision Award was awarded to “Morenita,” written and directed
by Alan Jonsson Gavica.
Spirit of Freedom:
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.”
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:
Director: Marc Brummund
Producer: Yildiz Özcan
Screenwriter: Fabian Wiemker
Principal Cast: Radik Golovkov
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
Language: Spanish, English
Director: Josh Crook
Producers: Josh Crook, Manny Perez
Screenwriter: Manny Perez
Principal Cast: Manny Perez, Denise Quinones,
Paul Calderon, Juan Fernandez
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
. 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.