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Freeport, Bahamas -
Giancarlo Esposito, the film,
stage and TV star was in Grand Bahama Island to receive a career achievement award at FLIFF On Location: Grand Bahama Island, an offshoot of the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival. The event was held at the Pelican Bay Hotel and is a three year collaboration with the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism.
Despite the festival coinciding with the appearance and affects of Hurricane Sandy, the event was a success and Esposito, and his daughter Syr enjoyed their time on island. During his acceptance speech he remarked a few times about the weather which he said he appreciated.
can currently be seen in NBC's hit TV show, REVOLUTION and has been in
such notable films such as “Rabbit Hole,” "The Usual Suspects," "Smoke"
and "The Last Holiday." His performances in Spike Lee’s films "Do the
Right Thing", "Mo’ Better Blues," “School Daze” and "Malcolm X" are
among his most memorable.)
FLIFF Career Achievement acceptance remarks by TV, stage and film actor, Giancarlo Esposito on October 27th, 2012, Pelican Bay Hotel, Grand Bahama Island:
I am so inspired to be here. I want to thank Gregory von Hausch of the Fort Lauderdale Film Festival, and Bonnie and Soleil, for being so committed to film and filmmakers. I am truly in their debt. FLIFF was the first festival where I not only had the opportunity to show my first film, GOSPEL HILL, and to get an audience reaction to that film, but I was also able to see as many movies, back-to-back, as I did today. To realize, and have a renewal, of understanding of how important the arts are to our humanity. To be able to sit in one room, on one afternoon and travel the world - to be exposed to many different cultures, many different religions, many different ways that people communicate to each other, not only culturally, but also in gender. It is a wonderful thing that film does for us is, in that it renews and reestablishes our awareness not only of who we are, but what we aren't, and who we may want to become.
To be here in The Bahamas is extra special, because it's an extension of the world that is so well defined in entertainment and film, to a community that is still up and coming, and looks to be able to have this film industry and film culture extended to them.
Photo: Mackey Media Ltd/ thebahamasweekly.com
My mother used to tell me that desire is everything, and that desire for me to perform, and for me to be on screen, on stage, and in the performing arts has created an atmosphere in my life, where I look at this and see it has gone very quickly. I have never worked a day in my life really. When I go to work, it's never work. We call it that, but I can't call it that, just as I can't say that these last few days with a hurricane have been a tragedy or a misery. So I guess one man's misery is another man's joy. As I said earlier, I absolutely love this weather and I think it's inspiring to have things stirred up. I am really in gratitude to be here, to have seen so many wonderful films. It seems kind of crazy to get a career achievement award when I have already received the gift of inspiration. That is truly my gratitude and I am grateful to all of you for coming out not only in this really great weather, because that's how I see it, but also leaving some of your family at home, or bringing them along, or being told you shouldn't go out and you should batten down the hatches. But that's faith, and that's trust that you will be inspired and you will be taken on a journey throughout the world. Gregory's taste is impeccable and the films that have been shown truly have inspired me and are still running around in my head.
We were able to be together as human beings, and to laugh and to cry, and to really be educated by a documentary, where as Greg said that he's from South Florida and didn't know all these African-American were so influential in the area that he lives. We can learn a lot about The Bahamas as well by fostering, and raising up, and educating young Bahamian filmmakers. I am sorry I didn't get a chance to see more Bahamian films. I hope next time when I come I can see that and maybe I can participate in some workshops that also would help them to understand what it is like to make films on a grass roots level.
I want to say a special thanks to my daughter Syr who I promised a 'very sunny' vacation. For her lifting me up and being here, and not complaining one bit.
A big thank you to this hotelier, and Magnus Alnebeck who has worked so hard to keep us happy during the storm.
Film has the ability to uplift and change people's lives. It also has the ability to change your community. It has the ability to be a floating factory that brings in financing and bring in dollars.
How we are renewed, how we are inspired, how we are revived is 'our story'. No matter what your story is, it's important that you tell that story, and be original in your thinking. Be completely clear about the story you want to tell. Film takes you on a journey like no other. It has the ability to connect people.
When you are able to come to a venue like this, and be exposed to films from around the world British, Cuban, African filmmakers, by African-American filmmakers, and by Bahamian filmmakers who all makes films about their country, then you get a chance to really experience something different.
After which you can get a sense of how to take those films out and market them, and let them be an economic force for your country. If you have a, and love, and desire for what you do, that is all you need. Whether you are a Van Gogh and never sell a painting, or whether you are a Steven Speilberg who has really successful movies, the idea is that when you link up the love for what you do, you are connecting, not only yourself to your craft, but you are connecting others to you and your craft. There is nothing greater than the four letter word called love, L O V E. That begins with how you love and respect yourself, and how your love and commitment guides you thorough your life, to connect with other people. Your love and commitment constantly reaffirms who and what you are, which connects to who we are, as human beings, to the world.
I am in deep gratitude for a career which spans 45 years, and I feel like I am just beginning.
© Copyright 2012 by thebahamasweekly.com
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