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Entertainment : Bahamas International Film Festival Last Updated: Feb 13, 2017 - 1:45:37 AM

Bahamas International Film Festival names Debra Messing its 2014 Shining Star Honoree
Dec 5, 2014 - 9:35:29 AM

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Nassau, Bahamas  – The Bahamas International Film Festival (BIFF) announced today that Debra Messing (“Like Sunday Like Rain, Will and Grace, The Women, Open Season, The Wedding Date, The Starter Wife, Seinfeld”) will be honored with BIFF’s special Shining Star Tribute, presented by Atlantis Resort. The announcement was made by BIFF Founder & Executive Director Leslie Vanderpool.

The Festival’s Shining Star Award is given to an actor or actress whose noteworthy performances have put them on the path for elite and lasting stardom in the industry. Debra Messing will be on hand for the special BIFF Award tribute presentation on Friday, December 5th at Atlantis Theater at the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island. The Shining Star Tribute will be moderated by Dennis Dembia, Senior Vice President of Rogers & Cowan.

Debra Messing is best known for her role on NBC’s Emmy Award-winning comedy series “Will & Grace.” Messing captivated television audiences worldwide for eight seasons with her comedic brilliance as Grace Adler, an interior designer whose best friend and soul mate is gay. For her work on the popular sitcom, Messing won the 2003 Emmy Award, has earned a total of seven Golden Globe nominations, seven Screen Actors Guild nominations, winning the ensemble award in 2001, five additional Emmy nominations, two American Comedy Award nominations and two People’s Choice Award nominations. She also collected TV Guide’s Actress of the Year in a Comedy Series honor in 2001.

Currently Debra stars on the new NBC series “The Mysteries of Laura” as the character Laura Diamond, opposite Josh Lucas and Laz Alonso. The series is an adaptation of the Spanish television series “Los Misterios de Laura,” and chronicles the life of Laura Diamond (Messing), a homicide detective in the New York Police Department who balances her day job with her off-duty hours as a single mother to twin sons. The series premiered on September 24, 2014 and was given a full-season order after averaging more than 10 million viewers. Debra’s performance on the series has earned her her People’s Choice Award nomination, in the category of Favorite Actress in a New TV Series.

Debra appears in the independent drama, Like Sunday, Like Rain, written and directed by Frank Whaley. The film, starring Leighton Meester and Billie Joe Armstrong, screened at select film festivals and will screen at the 2014 Bahamas International Film Festival on Friday, December 5, 2014, at which Messing will be honored with the festival’s special Shining Star Tribute. Monterey Media will release the film in Spring 2015.

Earlier this year Messing made her Broadway debut in the Manhattan Theater Club’s winter production of “Outside Mullingar” opposite Brian F. O’Byrne. The play opened at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on January 23, 2014 and had its final performance on March 16, 2014. “Outside Mullingar” was nominated for a 2014 Tony Award in the category of “Best Play,” a 2014 Outer Critics Circle Award in the category of “Outstanding New Broadway Play,” and a 2014 Drama Desk Award in the category of “Outstanding Play.”

In 2012 and 2013, Messing was seen for two seasons on NBC’s “Seinfeld” which follows the process of putting on a Broadway musical about Marilyn Monroe, and the drama that ensues. Messing plays Julia Houston, a songwriter and lyricist developing her brainchild Marilyn: The Musical. The drama is executive produced by Steven Spielberg with Michael Mayer directing and co-starring Katharine McPhee and Anjelica Huston.

In 2008, Messing starred in Nothing Like the Holidays alongside John Leguizamo, Freddy Rodriguez, Alfred Molina and Elizabeth Peña. Nothing Like the Holidays was released by Overture Films on December 12, 2008 and is the story about a Latino family combatting their personal struggles in the one place that they have in common. Also this year, Messing was seen in The Women, a re-make of the classic film which centers on a group of gossipy high-society women whose personal lives collide. Messing commandeered the role of Edith Potter alongside Hollywood powerhouses Annette Bening, Meg Ryan, Jada Pinkett Smith, Eva Mendes, Cloris Leachman and Candice Bergen. The Women was released September 12, 2008.

Vanderpool Comments, “Debra Messing is one of my favorite female leads, she is radiant and has such a wonderful range of talent that will continue to make the world laugh and cry with every role she embraces. BIFF is honored to recognize Debra Messing at this year’s festival.”

About Dennis Dembia

Dennis Dembia In his role as Senior Vice President, spearheads Rogers & Cowan's corporate accounts in the company’s global corporate entertainment division, handling worldwide marketing and publicity initiatives for the company’s highly respected roster of clients in the film and television space. He is responsible for managing long-term and day-to-day strategic campaign initiatives for leading film and TV production companies, financiers, distributors, studios and sales companies and works with major international film festivals around the globe.

Dembia has over fifteen years of public relations and corporate communications experience within the entertainment industry. He was Manager of Corporate Publicity at Denmead Marketing, a boutique agency specializing in international marketing & PR, when the agency was folded into Rogers & Cowan in 2004.

Previously, he served as Director of Corporate Communications for leading independent studio Artisan Entertainment (now Lionsgate) where he led corporate PR initiatives activity across all operating divisions, which included theatrical film, home entertainment, new media, television and corporate affairs.

Prior to joining Artisan, Dembia worked for two NBA franchises; the Boston Celtics and Detroit Pistons, as well as NASCAR and the Washington D.C. based lobbying firm Cassidy & Associates. Dembia holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of Maryland.

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 available in print or online at www.bintlfilmfest.com. Tickets can be purchased in person at BIFF Lounge, downtown next to the Hilton Hotel across from Mcdonalds or at the theater on the day of the event.

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