The Belize International Film Festival is back for the 9th time, with its opening night gala scheduled for Thursday July 17 at Robert's Grove Resort in Placencia. They've got films from across the globe, including 5 from Belize. Organizer Suzette Zayden told us what to expect at this year's film festival.
The Festival will begin on July 16th and ends on July 20th with a closing awards banquet. There will also be a number of seminars during this period.
Belize International Film Festival 2014 Trailer
We hope you'll join us at the 2014 Belize International Film Festival! This year's festival selection is more exciting than ever before, with films from around the globe. See you at the movies!
July 16 - 21, 2014
See the full line up at: belizefilmfestival.com
Trailer Footage: from feature films and shorts in the 2014 festival
Trailer Mash-up Sequence Edited by: Mariana Ortega
Soft Launch for Belize Film Festival 2014
They may not be featured on the major television networks and they may not make it to the Oscar Awards but sixty low budget films and music videos will be featured in this year’s Belize International Film Festival in Belize which kicks off on July 16, 2014. It is the 9th film festival that will feature an average of six Belize films as Director, Suzette Zayden explained.
BELIZE FILM FESTIVAL
“Out of the 45, there are 6 films that are either by Belizean filmmakers, Belizean filmmakers in the diaspora or by filmmakers who came and did a film about Belize. So that’s what we classify as Belizean films for the festival. There are only 6; that’s pretty much the average of what we’ve been getting; we’ve had less but we have 15 music videos and we had 35 submissions. Some years we’ve had just exactly 15 submissions and all 15 went in, this year we had to turn back. We bring in an international jury of 3 persons to judge the film section. They decide the criteria amongst themselves. For this year, the president is a British-Italian producer, Donald Runveau. He was here in 2005 when he brought a film, Children of God – a movie that was nominated for the Oscars. He’s going to be the President of the jury. He developed the screen writing program for the European Union. He was the Executive Director in the Constant Gardener, Motorcycle Diaries. He helped bring up the cinema in China, Raised the Red Lantern, Central Station from Brazil. He’s working with Bolivia, with Puerto Rico and he is a good friend of the festival; he always helps us out in the festival. So he’s going to be the president this year. He’s going to sit with his crew. We also have a professor of screen writing from the University of Santa Barbara in California and the third person we’re still deciding, we’re between a few names for the last person but they’ll sit down and we try to bring in a different perspective; so, this person will more than likely be an American, whether an actor, we’re still working that out. They all come with different perspectives and it changes from year to year.”
For a schedule of the films, you can visit the website, www.belizefestival.com. The festival ends on July 21 with an award ceremony.
Sixty videos features at Film Festival
The annual Belize International Film Festival will not open until July, but today, a preview of what you can expect was revealed. The National Institute of Culture of History announced today that the festival is growing and that this year, more submissions were entered. All in all, there will be forty-five films and fifteen music videos featured when the festival gets underway. Duane Moody was on hand for the announcement of the calendar of events.
Duane Moody, Reporting
The media launch of the ninth annual Belize International Film Festival was held today at the House of Culture in Belize City. The event was to unveil a teaser for the film festival and to announce that of the local and international submissions, forty-five short films, featured films and documentaries were selected. Technical quality, esthetics, style and content were the criteria used to determine the selections.
Suzette Zayden, Director, Film Festival 2014
“This year we got a lot of entries, a lot of short documentaries even more than the featured films which is interesting because that is an area that we really need to start concentrating on here in Belize; encouraging people to make short films. So the more shorts they can see, the more inspired they can be to say that’s not so long so I can do that too. We had a three month submission period from January to March. Submissions came in from all over the world. We did not choose every film; we chose forty-five films. I believe we got about seventy films submitted. We are always happy to see the submissions coming from out of Belize. It is always interesting to see when they come in from Europe and from areas that are much further away than the Belizean reality. Quite frankly, we are just happy. We don’t know how they know about us; the power of the internet and help of your guys of course, but they are hearing about us and they are very pleased to be a part of our festival.”
Of those films selected, only six were of Belizean directors, producers and filmmakers. One category, however, that was extended only to Belizeans was that of music videos. Of the thirty-five entered, fifteen will be featured during the festival slated for July seventeenth through to twentieth. This year, the official opening ceremonies of the festival will be held at Robert’s Grove Resort in Placencia.
“There is going to be an opening night gala, our red carpet arrival, official ceremony and opening night film. It all starts at five-thirty to seven-thirty…we will be televising this live. Official ceremonies are until seven-thirty. Skip Weaver who is sitting here is coordinating that event. We are looking at a beach screen and I’ve been told that we will be treated to stuff like the airplanes.”
Also used as a springboard, the film industry has gained the support of various organizations; triggering several projects including that of a three to ten minute video competition on the theme: “RICH IN RESOURCES: How to depend on Marine Resources.” Alex Ellis of OCEANA Belize, explains.
Alex Ellis, OCEANA Belize
“It is professional, but the idea of this competition…it is more of an amateur base. We want people from all walks of life so whatever video capturing device you have—whether that is a cell phone, a tablet, or a digital camera—you can submit. So we are not judging based on fancy editing or lighting. It is really about storytelling and the idea is really to paint that connection to the marine resources. So maybe you sell ceviche in Benque or you are a local jeweler in Sarteneja using Lionfish; there is no right or wrong and so someone who can submit; it is completely open. The idea is to make that connection whether it be food, work, culture. It’s gonna be three to ten minutes in length and we ask the entrants to upload it to their site of choice whether it is YouTube or Vimeo, etc.”
A new feature to the activities surrounding the film festival is a five-day film school that will see Stouffer productions out of the US carrying out a youth workshop on techniques of the film industry.
Gregg Stouffer, Stouffer Productions
“I can teach people. The film school’s primary goal is to create intensive hands-on workshops where in three to five weeks, we teach somebody everything they need to know to be an electrician, to be a gaffer, to be sound operator. And the other side of the business as well…production management, catering, set design. Once a community really cannot thrive until it has a large base of talented and experienced people in all of those fields.”
The festival concludes on July twentieth with a two-hour awards ceremony at the Ramada Belize City Princess. Duane Moody for News Five.