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Passage sails in to win at Film Festival in Grand Bahama
By Clarence Rolle, Ministry of Tourism
Nov 4, 2013 - 3:56:46 PM

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Freeport, Grand Bahama - Passage, a gripping story of human smuggling, seized first prize in the Bahamas open category of Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival On Location: Grand Bahama Island.

In the third edition of FLIFF On Location: Grand Bahama Island, Bahamian submitted a record number of original films for the judging panel to consider for various prizes in three categories.  A total of 26 Bahamian films were submitted in the open, college and high school categories of the festival, which is an extension of the Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival.

It was the latest win for Passage, which has had great success on the festival circuit.

“We premiered in New Zealand, and then we went to Aruba,” said Kareem Mortimer, director of the short film. “Then we went to Bristol in England. We went to Trinidad, where we won Best Short Film. We went to Fort Lauderdale International, and now we are here.”

Mr. Mortimer said he wants to see more and more Bahamian films being made.

“My hope for Bahamian filmmaking is that people keep doing it, keep pushing the boundaries, that people recognize the value in films,” he said. “I am still naïve enough to believe that art can save the world and filmmaking is a very accessible piece of art that people can look and see themselves reflected back.”

Craig Woods, Bahamas Film and Television Commissioner, said the Bahamian film industry is slowly growing. He pointed out that more Bahamians are interested in filmmaking and several are studying the craft at colleges and film institutes.

FLIFF is another vehicle that Bahamians have to get their talents seen, he said.

“This festival brings in festival goers who are core festival goers to the Ft. Lauderdale Film Festival and they come over to Grand Bahama to show their films and to see Bahamian films,” Mr. Woods said. “So Bahamian films are being shown in Grand Bahama and they get the opportunity to be shown in Ft. Lauderdale as well.”

Kendra Clarke, Project Liaison and Corporate Affairs Officer for Grand Bahama Port Authority, said the surge in film interest is good for the Bahamas’ economy and cultural development.

“Grand Bahama, the Bahamas by extension is a beautiful place,” she said. “Who better to take advantage of it than Grand Bahamians and Bahamians themselves? I am so pleased. It is going to help our economy and we have some of the brightest students in the world.”

Ms. Clarke said she hopes that the Bahamian films would be broadcast on Bahamian television stations in the near future.

Winners of FLIFF On Location: Grand Bahama Island Take 3:

Open Category:
o    Winner , Passage, Kareem Mortimer
o    Second Place, Womanish Ways , Marion Bethel
o    Third Place , Crave, Bruce Russell

o    Winner, Rhythms of the Bahamas, Brittany Ambrister, College Of The Bahamas
Second Place, Father May I , Sloan Smith, College Of The Bahamas
o    Third Place, Drip-Color My World , Aryana Joy Roberts, Full Sail University

High School:
o    Winner, Happy 40th Bahamas, George McInnes, Lucaya International School  
o    Second Place , The Good Samaritan,  Joanne Petit Homme, Eight Mile Rock High School
o    Third Place, Jane Cartwright, Wiaja Hepburn, Eight Mile Rock High School

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