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Aruba International Film Festival


Aruba International Film Festival Year 5 Kicks Off October 7-11 2015.

The Aruba International Film Festival (AIFF) quickly became the international film community’s “must-attend” summer event after its opening in July 2010. After 4 intensely exciting years, the festival took a break in 2014 for a complete makeover and now is back with full force to celebrate year 5 from October 7th-11th, 2015. 

The festival offers a pleasurable and inviting atmosphere for filmmakers, press and film lovers. It serves to not only develop an understanding and appreciation of the art of cinema and filmmaking, but also to inspire, educate and promote emerging local and regional filmmaking talent. This in turn has helped position Aruba as a center of art, culture and creativity, and as a viable destination for international film and commercial productions.

The AIFF was founded in 2010 by film producers Jonathan Vieira and Giuseppe Cioccarelli, with artistic direction by 30-year industry veteran Claudio Masenza. Previous editions of the festival have showcased a diverse array of critically acclaimed fiction films and documentaries from every corner of the globe, and have attracted such notable industry names as:

Hollywood leading man Richard Gere (Pretty Woman, An Officer and a Gentleman)
Multi Oscar-winning editor Thelma Schoonmaker (Raging Bull, The Aviator)
Mexican writer/director Guillermo Arriaga (The Burning Plain, Babel)...




Inaugural Aruba International Film Festival Carribean spotlight

The inaugural Aruba International Film Festival (AIFF), which takes place June 4-11, 2010, will include a special screening series that showcases movies from Caribbean filmmakers. Details were revealed today by AIFF co-founder and executive producer Jonathan Vieira.

"Although the Film Festival will show films from the four corners of the world, it hasn't forgotten its roots," said Vieira. "Caribbean films have a unique outlook, and a cinematic style that differs from those in other parts of the world.  We want to spotlight that singularity."


The afternoon of Sunday, June 6th has been dedicated to showing the AIFF SPOTLIGHT SERIES, films of special interest to the Aruban community.  Five of the movie theaters at the Festival site will be showing a total of 15 films, all created by filmmakers from the Caribbean. The Islands of Aruba, Curacao, The Cayman Islands, Haiti, Trinidad and Tobago and The Bahamas will be represented. Over half the films will be in Papiamento, Others in English, Spanish, Creole and Dutch. 


Among the films representing Aruba, two have been directed by Arubans who are working and studying abroad.  Aaron Hose is Media Coordinator for the University of Central Florida, and he brings a film entitled Voices in the Clouds, the story of an Asian-American man on a journey back to his homeland in search of a connection with his indigenous heritage. This is especially poignant for the Aruban population as they struggle to preserve their own language, Papiamento. As Hose has said, "You can't imagine how much knowledge will disappear if 10,000 languages are gone." Another Aruban student in the US, Jo Henriquez, brings an award winning short film from his film studies at NYU entitled Sunday. An entire set of complicated relationships unravels during the merely 7 minute film.


Emerging filmmakers still at work on the Island of Aruba are also included. Shamira Rapaela will present her work, Salt in My Eyes, which offers a portrait of Aruban society as seen through the eyes of three teen-age girls.  Un Pida Baranca, directed by Mariangela Kijkhof, is a production that shows the social impact and consequences of the rapid development of tourism on the Island of Aruba.


The genre of drama is represented by Dutch/Aruban director Jon Karthaus; whose film Heb Het Lief chronicles the deeply troubled friendship of two men on an Island one calls Paradise.


From the Island of Curacao, Ava and Gabriel is a romantic drama dealing with racism and hypocrisy among the Antillean society of the Island during the late 1940s. It is directed by Felix De Rooy, who together with his producer Norman De Palm, are considered to be pioneers of filmmaking in the Dutch Caribbean. Boys of Summer, also from Curacao, is a documentary about a scrappy band of Caribbean boys who dream of the big time: winning the Little League World Series at Williamsport, Pennsylvania. It is directed by Keith Aumont Goldberg.  A third film representing Curacao is Zulaika, directed by Diederic Vaan Roijen.  In it the young title character, in danger of being dismissed from school for inability to pay the tuition, takes control of the family finances, showing her mother and the community how a responsible business should be conducted.


AIFF Artistic Director Claudio Masenza is delighted with the local showing, saying "I am genuinely impressed that the members of the local film community, the Caribbean Film Foundation, along with the Aruban Department of Culture, can come together to make such an important contribution to the Festival.  It shows that the development of the film industry in the Caribbean has a great future."


The AIFF Spotlight Series is comprised of the following films:


Ø   ARUBIANO, STIMA BO LAMA (LOVE YOUR OCEAN) (Country: Aruba / Director: Peter Creutzberg, Sr.)

Ø     AVA & GABRIEL (Country: Curacao / Director: Felix De Rooy)

Ø     BOYS OF SUMMER (Country: Curacao / Director: Keith Aumont Goldberg)

Ø     CALYPSO DREAMS (Country: Trinidad and Tobago /  Directors: Geoffrey Dunn and Michael Horne

Ø     DOS GENERACION (Country: Aruba / Director: Smokey Knudsen/Producer: Jonathan Vieira)

Ø     HEB HET LIEF (Country: Aruba / Director: Jon Karthaus)

Ø     OF MEN AND GODS (Country: Haiti / Directors: Anne Lescot and Lawrence Magloire)

Ø     SALT IN MY EYES (Country: Aruba / Director: Shamira Rapaela)

Ø     SHOW ME YOUR MOTION (Country: Bahamas / Director: Ian Strachan)

Ø     SUNDAY (Country: Aruba, USA / Director: Jo Henriquez)

Ø     SWALLOW (Country: Cayman Islands / Director: Frank E. Flowers)

Ø     THE LEGEND OF BUCHIFIL (Country: Curacao / Director: German Gruber)

Ø     UN PIDA BARANCA (Country: Aruba / Director: Mariangela Dijkhof

Ø     VOICES IN THE CLOUDS (Country: Aruba, USA / Director: Aaron Hose)

Ø     ZULAIKA (Country: Curacao / Director: Diederik Vaan Roijen)


On the whole, The Aruba International Film Festival will showcase over 30 films from nearly 20 different countries, featuring several international premieres and many Caribbean/South American premieres.


AIFF will open with "Hachiko" starring Richard Gere, who will open the Festival as its official host. In addition to opening the Festival, Gere will be bestowed with a special humanitarian award and participate in the Festival's "In Conversations With" series engaging the Festival audience.


Fox Searchlight's comedy "Cyrus," directed by Jay and Mark Duplass and starring John C. Reilly, Jonah Hill, Marisa Tomei and Catherine Keener, will be the closing night film.


The stars will be shining bright at this year's AIFF. In addition to legendary leading man and activist Richard Gere being in attendance, Academy Award® winning filmmaker Bernardo Bertolucci (The Last Emperor, Last Tango in Paris) will be bestowed with The Golden Aruba Award for outstanding achievement in film.


Notable guests participating in the "In Conversation With" series inclide Oscar® and Golden Globe® nominee Guillermo Arriaga ("Babel" "21 Grams"), whose highly acclaimed film "The Burning Plain" is screening in the festival; multiple Academy Award® winner editor Thelma Schoonmaker ("The Departed" "Goodfellas" "The Aviator"); Academy Award® nominated actress Patricia Clarkson ("Pieces of April" "Shutter Island" "Lars and the Real Girl"); Oscar® nominated actor Griffin Dunne ("Game 6" "My Girl" "Johnny Dangerously") and famous Indian choreographer Longiness Fernandes ("Slumdog Millionaire").


The Festival will also host a special Bollywood night, which serves to celebrate Indian cinema and attract many people of Indian descent residing in nearby islands who often to do not get the opportunity to see new Bollywood films in local theaters. A day dedicated to Indian films (Thursday, June 10th) will be capped off with a magnificent Bollywood themed party that same night. The films being shown are "3 Idiots" and "Delhi 6."


The full AIFF program is available to print online at Tickets can be purchased online or in person at the AIFF's office at Paseo Herencia. Tickets are available in a variety of price ranges, from a simple movie ticket to packages of multi-event attendance, to top accreditation tickets for VIP events.


About the Aruba International Film Festival


The breathtaking Caribbean island of Aruba provides the backdrop for the film industry's newest "must-attend" event, taking place June 4-11, 2010, with an inviting atmosphere, suited like none other, to attract actors, directors, filmmakers, and film lovers for a one-of-a-kind festival experience.


AIFF stands to further global awareness for the Island of Aruba as a center of art, culture and creativity and serve as a platform to promote the understanding and appreciation for the art of cinema and filmmaking. With participants enjoying a relaxed Aruban ambiance and a casual interaction between filmmakers and audience.


The annual AIFF will bring people from around the world to view a wide selection of films, join in discussions and attend special parties and events.


AIFF has a mission to encourage, educate and activate young Aruban filmmakers. Throughout the Festival, notable film professionals will be conducting master classes on all facets of filmmaking and the creative process.


For more information please visit the Aruba International Film Festival website at


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