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#466091 - 06/07/13 11:00 AM 2013 Belize International Film Festival
Marty Offline
Here is the schedule for Belize International Film Festival. Hope to see you there!!

(Click schedule for a larger version)


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#468113 - 07/14/13 11:06 AM Re: 2013 Belize International Film Festival [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline
The BIFF has a really smooth video out for this year's festivities.

Belize International Film Festival - 2013 from Island Films on Vimeo.


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#468243 - 07/16/13 10:55 AM Re: 2013 Belize International Film Festival [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Film Festival’s Winners

The 8th Annual Belize International Film Festival closed today with a press conference by the Institute of Creative Arts to announce the winners.

There weren’t many Belizeans honored this year, and the majority of the awards went to international filmmakers.

7News attended, and was spoke to 2 of the 3 of the winners from Belize who were recognized for producing content respected by the international community.

Here’s how they explained their work, as well as the Festival’s explanation why Belizeans weren’t the forefront of this Festival.

Daniel Ortiz
"Was it difficult in trying to produce a film with budgeting and all that stuff?"

Michael Flores - Most Notable Belizean Film
"The thing of money, you have to sort of have a passion for what you do so that you save every little penny that you have to invest it in your work, like I am a person, I don't necessarily drink and go to parties and stuff like that and whatever money I have that would say leisure, I would take that to shoot a scene, to do a few leg work, some research. I pay people to do different things that have to be done in order to make a film complete but it's a 'knock and go' kind of a thing because here in Belize we don't necessarily have that money but we do have time, we are able to sacrifice and we have good people who support us."





Carlo Habet - Director, Ex-Boyfriend Music Video
"At the end of the day we wanted to do something that brought the song to life and gave people an idea of what it is she was singing about and apparently we succeeded. From here on we have another video the shoot and we are going to be working on that fervently between now and next week in posts so we have more stuff for you guys, Belize. Very humbled and flattered that we were picked, and we tied, kudos to Melonie Gillett who is another star in the industry, another great work behind her as well."





Sudz Sutherland - Director, "Home Again"
"Home Again, the film that debut here, opened the festival has won an honorable mention for best features so I am very happy that it won and very happy to be here, very happy to open the festival."







Rigoberto Lopez - Member, Film Juror Panel
"The quality of the Belizean films, were really very general in consistency."









Suzette Zaiden - Director, Belize Int’l Film Festival
"We can't just award our prizes to Belizean films just because they are Belizean films because if we start giving mediocre or low quality, and I'm just talking about technical stuff at this time, awards, we get back lashed because other festivals are watching us. We have began to get a reputation and if I say that we chose this film as a winner some of them will, on that basis, select these films, to be in their festival and then we end up with Belize looking bad. When it reaches them, they'll be like, 'but your festival gave them a prize, what were you thinking.'"

As noted in the interview, Michael Flores was recognized for Most Notable Belizean Film for his move Maroons: Africans on the Move.

The award for the Best music video was a tie between Tanya Carter’s “Ex-Boyfriend”, directed by Carlo Habet, and Melonie Gillett’s “Come Away”, directed by Ben Hudson.

Channel 7


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#468244 - 07/16/13 10:59 AM Re: 2013 Belize International Film Festival [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

8th Belize International Film Festival: Top Films Awarded In Five Categories

The Eight Annual Belize International Film Festival officially closed this morning with an award ceremony recognizing the top films screened during a span of three days. Winner were chosen for the five categories including best feature documentary, best music video and best short documentary. The Best Notable Belizean Entry was recognized and that award went to Michael Flores for directing, “Maroons: African on the Move”. Love News was there for the Conch Shell Award Ceremony and here is that report.

Suzette Zayden, Director, BIFF

“We surpassed ourselves with this one; I have never seen that much film makers show up at the event.  I would say we had at least 10 – 15 participating films; the film makers were present out of 49 and that’s a big jump.”

As the Director of the Belize International Film Festival explained, this year’s festival was a success. The festival opened with the screening of Home Again, a feature filmed directed by Sudz Sutherland that incorporates the story of three main characters that were deported to Jamaica after being raised abroad. After that film ended, forty eight other films including music videos played on the big screen at the Princess Hotel. A panel of four jurors watched and critiqued each screening carefully and chose the winners for each category. Sitting alongside Cuban Director, Rigoberto Lopez, the Vice President of Creative & Visual Content for Warner Brothers, Denise Williams Watts and Founder and Chair of Film London, Sandy Lieberson was American Actress, Erika Alexander.

Erika Alexander, Actress

“As a juror I looked at it the same way as I might pick a script when I am at home.  First of all, you look at the story, story, story, story; what is the film maker trying to say?  Then you’re looking at how is he trying to say it?  How unique can he say it?  Then you look at quality; are they using the best of what they have?  Are they using, maybe even very primitive means; are they doing it to the best of their ability?  Have they found a new way to make that interesting.  So, it shows that you can do just as much with a very expensive camera or a digital iphoto camera; it doesn’t matter, if you have a good story, and you have an interesting way in and you have done your homework and you have the good advice or the good teaching of all that’s come before you, you can create genius.”

There were six categories including that of Most Notable Belizean Film which was won by “Maroons: African on the Move” which was shot in Guatemala, Jamaica and Belize. The film was directed by Michael Flores.

Michael Flores, Director, “Maroon: Africans on the Move”

“It’s a short documentary that looked at cultural similarity and African cultural continuity between the Maroons of Jamaica and the Garifuna of Central America and other Maroons in the diaspora; for example, Suriname, the Gullah/Geechee islands and Maroons on a whole in the world.”

There was also the category for music videos which was the only tie in the festival.  The award for Best Music Video was shared by Melonie Gillett’s, “Come Away” directed by Ben Hudson and Tanya Carter’s “Ex-Boyfriend”, directed and produced by Carlos Habet.

Carlos Habet, Director, “Ex-Boyfriend”

“At the end of the day, the video was a success because Ex-Boyfriend is a hit; I just made a video that went with the song.  At the end of the day, we wanted to do something that brought the song to life and give people an idea of what she was singing about and apparently we succeeded.”

With a record of forty nine screening, the film industry in Belize is showing signs of improvement but one of the most difficult hurdles to overcome is financing.

Michael Flores, Director, “Maroon: Africans on the Move”

“The thing of money, you have to sort of have a passion for what you do so that you save every little penny that you have to invest it in your work.  It’s a knock and go kind of thing because here in Belize, we don’t necessarily have that money but we do have time and are able to sacrifice and we have good people who support us.   

Suzette Zayden, Director, BIFF

“Grants are out there to be accessed but you can’t send in a book to get a grant; you have to send in a proposal which says these are my actors, I think people will come watch because I have Tom Cruise in it, so, I have more chance that I will recover my money and the different things involved.  If the government offers incentives, then you can say, look we will invest one million dollars but we will get back so much money in the end; that’s what will encourage investors.”

Reporting for Love News, I am Hipolito Novelo.

Winner of the Best Feature Length Narrative was “Toomelah” directed by Ivan Sen. Best Feature Length Documentary went to Director Micah Fink for the film, “The Abominable Crime”. Best Short Film went to Cebu directed Pablo Belaubre. Best Short Documentary Film was awarded to Director Carlos Quiles for Agape- A story of a dream.

LOVEFM


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#468250 - 07/16/13 11:24 AM Re: 2013 Belize International Film Festival [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Winners announced at close of Film Festival

An award ceremony this morning brought to a close the eighth Film Festival. Close to fifty films were presented. The winner of the Best Feature Length Documentary was the Abominable Crime; in the category of the Best Short Film the winner is CEBU; the Best Short Documentary is “Agape: Story of Dream,” while Best Feature Length Narrative, went to TOOMELAH. Now, the most notable Belizean Film was “Maroons: Africans on the Move,” while the Best Music Video was a tie between Melonie Gillett’s Come Away and Tanya Carter’s Ex-Boyfriend. News Five’s Jose Sanchez was at the award ceremony and has this report.

Jose Sanchez, Reporting

Earlier today, the curtains closed for the Eight Annual Belize International Film Festival. It culminated with an award ceremony at the House of Culture.

Suzette Zayden, Founder/Director, Belize Film Festival

Suzette Zayden

“The eighth Belize International Film Festival for us was a success. It shows that for us we are growing. We had forty-nine films in the festival, but we don’t really judge ourselves by the quantity of films in the fest but the quality of the films and the interest of the filmmakers. In this instance, we had about sixteen foreigners here—many of whom came on their own expenses; travelled to come and promote their film here in Belize to our Belizean audiences. For me that signifies success because it means that they believe in the festival and an award or win at this festival would mean something to their film. It shows us that our reputation as a festival is growing.”

The Most Notable Belizean Film was MAROONS: Africans on the Move which was directed by Michael Flores.

Michael Flores

Michael Flores, Winner

“It’s a short documentary that looked at the cultural similarity and African cultural continuity between the maroons of Jamaica, the Garifuna of Central America and other maroons in the Diaspora for example Suriname and Guelageechi islands—maroons in a whole in the world as an evolution of our history as people in the world. We shot this movie in Guatemala, we shot in Jamaica and we shot in Dangriga. Very costly to make it, but it was an investment on our side. Our job really is to do work to educate our people. I do this for the love of my people, Belize people, African people, black people, people all over the world. And I hope that what we do will help to raise the consciousness level of our people at home and abroad.”

The Best Music Video was a tie between Melonie Gillett’s Come Away and Tanya Carter’s Ex-Boyfriend.

Carlo Habet

Carlo Habet, Ex-Boyfriend

“The video was a success because “Ex-boyfriend” is a hit. So I just made a video that went with the song. But at the end of the day we wanted to do something that brought the song to life and gave people an idea of what it is she was signing about and apparently we succeeded. I’m very humbled and flattered that we were picked and tied. Kudos as well to Melonie Gillett, who is another stalwart in the industry; a lot of great work behind her as well. Just great that we got picked and we are going to raise the bar from here on up.”

The Best Feature Length Narrative went to Australian film TOOMELAH. Special Jury Mention went to Home Again, directed by Sudz Sutherland.

Sudz Sutherland

Sudz Sutherland

“I’m very happy that it won. I’m very happy to be here. I’m very happy to open the festival. The eighth annual Belize international film festival and it was a very great response to a film about forced repatriation or deportee-ism. And so I know that it affects Belize as well as the rest of the region and it is something that we need to talk about. Western Democracies are becoming more aggressive in repatriating people they don’t want. So it is something we need to talk about.”

Rigoberto Lopez, Jury Member, Film Festival

“My hope is of course, Belize can develop a good film movement, a national movement. And I think if we can support this experience, this force, we are available.”

Jose Sanchez

Rigoberto Lopez

“People may not have the education, but you used the word “inconsistent” in terms of the presentation. Tell us about that.”

Rigoberto Lopez

“I say the representation of the Belizean film was inconsistent in terms of quality. The problem is not if the film is national or not national. The problem is that it could be a national, but also good film, good cinema. If you want to show your films for a national audience that action can be just one action for a willing action. It could be because the film is good and the people go to see the film, the subject is interesting and the narration in terms of the cinema is good. In that sense, we say it is important to develop a level of the quality of the Belizean cinema for the next edition. You can change that situation and include it in the program or the selection…to have real consistency.”

Suzette Zayden

“We’re trying to up the ante and encourage Belizean producers to raise the quality despite the fact that they have financial obstacles.”

Many of the films will continue to show in the traveling Caribbean Showcase.  Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.

Channel 5


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#468256 - 07/16/13 11:42 AM Re: 2013 Belize International Film Festival [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline
The Eight Annual Belize International Film Festival ran from July 11-15 culminating with the recognition of the top films screened. The festival opened with the screening of Home Again, a feature filmed directed by Sudz Sutherland that incorporates the story of three main characters that were deported to Jamaica after being raised abroad. After that film ended, forty eight other films including music videos played on the big screen at the Princess Hotel. A panel of four judges watched and critiqued each screening carefully and chose the winners for each category. Sitting alongside Cuban Director, Rigoberto Lopez, the Vice President of Creative & Visual Content for Warner Brothers, Denise Williams Watts and Founder and Chair of Film London, Sandy Lieberson was American Actress, Erika Alexander. The Best Notable Belizean Entry was awarded to Michael Flores for directing, “Maroons: African on the Move”. Winner of the Best Feature Length Narrative was “Toomelah” directed by Ivan Sen. Best Feature Length Documentary went to Director Micah Fink for the film, “The Abominable Crime”. Best Short Film went to Cebu directed Pablo Belaubre. Best Short Documentary Film was awarded to Director Carlos Quiles for Agape- A story of a dream. There was also the category for music videos which was the only tie in the festival. The award for Best Music Video was shared by Melonie Gillett’s, “Come Away” directed by Ben Hudson and Tanya Carter’s “Ex-Boyfriend”, directed and produced by Carlos Habet.

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#468636 - 07/20/13 11:08 AM Re: 2013 Belize International Film Festival [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline
The lights have gone up on the 8th annual Belize International Film Festival, bringing to a close four days of independent film industry networking and the showing of films from around the world, further cementing Belize’s reputation as something more than just a pretty face – the little country is maturing into a cultural and artistic powerhouse in the region and the world.

This year’s festival kicked off on July 12 and had close to 50 entries from all over the globe, with winners spanning the globe from Canada and Holland to Australia, which took best Feature Length Narrative with Ivan Sen’s “Toomelah”.

“Maroons: Africans on the Move,” won the Most Notable Belizean Film category and CEBU, from Cuba, won Best Short Film.

All, in all, it’s safe to say that the BIFF was truly an international affair, and congratulations must go out to the organisers for putting together such a successful cultural coup.

This year’s winners of the BIFF CONCHSHELL AWARD in the following categories, were:

1. Best Feature Length Narrative
Winner: TOOMELAH (Australia, 2011) by Dir: Ivan Sen
Special Jury Mention – HOME AGAIN (Canada, 2012) by Dir. Sudz Sutherland

2. Best Feature Length Documentary
Winner: THE ABOMINABLE CRIME (Jamaica, Holland, UK, Canada, 2013) by Dir. Micah Fink
Special Jury Mention – SEPARATED (Australia, Spain, 2012) by Dir. Natalie Halla

3. Best Short Film
Winner: CEBU (Cuba, 2012) by Dir. Pablo Belaubre

4. Best Short Documentary Film
Winner: AGAPE: Story of a Dream (Spain, Thailand 2012) Dir. Carlos Quiles

5. Most Notable Belizean Film (in the Festival)
Winner: MAROONS: Africans on the Move (Belize 2013) Dir: Michael Flores

6. Best Music Video
Winner #1 – COME AWAY by Dir. Ben Hudson
Artist: Melonie Gillett / Label: Metamorph Creatives, Starbase Films
Winner #2 – EX-BOYFRIEND by Dir. Carlo Habet
Artist: Tanya Carter / Label: I Am Music / BiG Pikcha Films

The Jury for the 2013 Belize Film Festival consisted of President, US/British Producer Sanford Lieberson, Cuban Filmmaker Rigoberto Lopez and American actor Erika Alexander. The Festival was organized by NICH under the direction of the Coordinator of the Film And Media Arts Unit within ICA, Suzette Zayden. More information is available by emailing – info@belizefilmfestival.com.

Congratulations to the winners and organisers, and we’re all looking forward to next year!

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