Belize International Film Festival opens this week

[Linked Image] The Belize International Film Festival is opening at the Bliss Institute of Creative Arts this Friday night. The forty-five films come from almost every continent and the organizers have gathered a few notable actors and producers to attend. On Thursday, Jamaican Actor Paul Campbell is flying in. He is best known for his role in Dancehall Queen and Shottas. Next week, Hollywood Actor, Michael Jai White will also be joining the event. White is known for his starring role in Spawn and a minor role in The Dark Night as Gambol, and as Marcus in Why Did I Get Married. This afternoon the festival’s organizer, Suzette Zayden, dropped by our studios to tell us why everyone should come out for the yearly event.

Suzette Zayden, Director, Belize International Film Festival

“Film as an art has not been promoted seriously. Perhaps mainly just as a medium to promote everybody else. We’re here and the festival is here to show you that film by itself is a cultural product. Here in Belize and the rest of the Caribbean, what we’ve been faced with is that I’ve already scraped up all the cash to make it and now I can’t air it so it just sits here on the shelf. So what the festival does is it gives us an opportunity to show your product or your film to a wider audience in hopes that if it’s well received or if people talk about it, if people like it then maybe the stations will take notice and buy it from you without you having to pay for the airtime. They will see a benefit in it for them because they know the audience likes it. Maybe they will be able to sell it to their advertisers after that. So you’re looking for potential buyers at a film festival and they are looking for potential product at a film festival.

“You’re going to see several types of people at the film festival. We’re looking at actors, directors, producers, coming into the film festival. We have confirmation from Paul Campbell and Adrian Allen, they are a team of Jamaican filmmakers. One is an actor the other is a director that are based in Miami. They are flying in tomorrow and will be at the opening night at the festival. They will not just be here for viewing films, they will also be presenting a seminar on acting and directing.”

“The films, some are serious some are funny, some have lighter topics like love and romance, like Tambakish and Love Sickness from Puerto Rico and Tambakish from India. Those deal with the topic of romance and love and the stresses that one needs to go through in a relationship. Some are more serious like the Fist of a Nation from Panama, which is a parallel story of Roberto Duran, the boxer and the rise of Panama searching for its identity as a nation. So what the film maker did was kinda put a parallel story of Roberto rising to fame when he challenged Sugar Ray Leonard to fight and when Panama rose to fame along with him. So that’s an interesting show for anyone interested in boxing or nation building. We have an opening film from Belize, called Three Kings of Belize by Katia Paradis. After that we’ll be having a second showing of Gasolina from Guatemala.”

Thursday night there will be a café series at the Bliss at seven, where Jamaican duo Paul Campbell and Adrian will talk to anyone interested in the arts about the craft of movie making. Tickets can be bought individually or for a discounted package price at the Bliss.

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