Bermuda Film Festival kicks off

Island showcases award winners in 13th edition.

by Leanne McGrath

The 13th Bermuda International Film Festival kicked off on March 19 — screening 97 movies over seven days.

The event launched in 1997, with just 22 films screening in that first edition.

Now the week-long festival shows up to 100 movies in four theatres and is recognised by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as a qualifying festival for the Short Film Academy Award.

This year’s schedule includes three Cannes winners, including the recipient of this year’s Palme D’Or. The movie, The White Ribbon, was also nominated as Best Foreign Language film at this year’s Oscars.

It follows a series of strange events in a small German town on the eve of World War I that hint at the forthcoming rise of Nazism.

French prison drama A Prophet took the Cannes Grand Prix prize, while the Jury Prize went to gritty British movie Fish Tank.

Its director, Andrea Arnold, saw her Academy Award-winning short Wasp screened at BIFF in 2004.

Another of BIFF’s line-up, the Romanian Katalin Varga, took the award for outstanding artistic contribution at the Berlin Film Festival and won a 2009 European Film Award for European Discovery of the year.

The movies are split up into the following categories — world cinema, modern Turkish cinema, special presentations, competition documentaries, competition features, BIFF kids and shorts.

There is also 37 movies and documentaries from the 3rd Africa World Documentary Film Festival and four ‘From The Onion Patch’, movies by Bermudians.

Four prizes are up for grabs — Best Narrative Feature, Best Documentary, the Bermuda Shorts Award and the Audience Choice Award.

This year’s jury includes Emmy-winning composer Jim Dooley, who won Best Original Music Composition For A Series for Pushing Daisies in 2008.

He will be joined by Jim Fall, director of The Lizzy McGuire movie and JoJo Dye, head of PR and marketing at Ealing.

We'll be bringing you reviews from the festival, but for more information and additional reviews, check out the Bermuda Sun website

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