Barbados Independent Film Festival 2019 Underway

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The third iteration of the prestigious Barbados Independent Film Festival – also known as BIFF – began this past Friday at the Walled Garden Theatre of the Barbados Museum and Historical Society. This year the length of the festival has been extended; it has gone from being held over six days last year – and five days the year before – to ten days. The festival will be ongoing until the 20th of January,

In his opening address to those in attendance, co-founder of the festival Sir Trevor Carmichael spoke of volunteerism; it’s history in Barbados and it’s relationship with the festival. Stating that volunteers make up 95% of BIFF’s staff, Sir Carmichael also said:

“…BIFF thrives on the spirit, the strength and the sincerity of its many volunteers. BIFF is volunteer led, it is volunteer driven and volunteer embraced. Its ethos further thrives on the character and the content of the forces of Barbadian volunteerism. A volunteerism that has never been narrowly focused, or jingoistic, or parochial. For it is Barbadian, yet it is also international and together that combination ensures that it is universal. And the independent movie industry represents well these strands of universalism.”

In her speech BIFF’s other co-founder, Jennifer Smith-Bent, stated that this year’s festival is a celebration of music and “the stories behind some of the world’s most talented artists.” She also shared a bit of trivia about the Martin Scorsese film Hugo, which was screened yesterday; the film’s composers Howard Shore and Elizabeth Contoir composed the score while in Barbados.

The first screening of the night was of the much too short film Liquid Gold: The Story of Rum in Barbados, the product of  BIFF’s Film Collaboration Grant which was awarded to local filmmaker Rommel Hall, the winner of last year’s Local Filmmaker Award. Hall directed and produced the film along with American filmmaker Dan Mirvish, with whom he was paired to work on the film as part of the grant.

Liquid Gold – The Story of Rum in Barbados TRAILER

The trailer for the #BIFF2019 Collaboration Grant funded film LIQUID GOLD – The Story of Rum in Barbados is here. Filmmakers Rommel Hall and Dan Mirvish will premiere the film at the Opening Night Gala. Watch the trailer below. Tickets here: https://bit.ly/2GvGJoT

Posted by Barbados Independent Film Festival on Saturday, January 5, 2019

In keeping with the festival’s music theme for this year, the second screening was of the feature length documentary Satan and Adam. Filmed over twenty-three years by filmmaker Scott Balcerek, the documentary covered the lives and careers of the blues duo of the same name, comprised of musicians Sterling “Mister Satan” Magee and Adam Gussow.

Following the screenings Balcerek and Gussow held a Q&A with the audience and Mirvish gifted Hall with a back back from the Director’s Guild of America.

For this year’s scheduled events and to purchase tickets, visit the Barbados Independent Film Festival’s website.

For photos from the Opening Night, visit out Facebook page.

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An avid reader who accidentally discovered her love and talent for writing and has loved movies for as long as she has been watching them. Stumbled into film-making and found her second love because she decided to read for a degree in it on a whim - kind of.