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Bahamas Fest opens with latest J. Sayles film


THE BAHAMAS ONE WORLD FILM FESTIVAL, taking place from November 13 – 17 in Nassau/Paradise Island, The Bahamas, will host the Americas Premieres (first showing in the Caribbean, Central and South America) of 35 Feature Films and 20 shorts from a dozen countries at its inaugural event.

The Festival opens on November 13 with CASA DE LOS BABYS by director John Sayles. Sayles will receive a Vision In Film Award for Contemporary Filmmaking at a Gala Awards Ceremony to be held on Saturday, November 15 at the Wyndham Resort and Casino.

Melvin Van Peebles, the writer/director/producer of such classics as SWEET SWEETBACK’S BAADASSSS SONG and CLASSIFIED X, will be honored with the Vision In Film Award as a Film Pioneer. The award will be accepted by his son, writer/director Mario Van Peebles.

Also receiving honors that evening is indie distributor Palm Pictures, set to receive the Vision In Film Award for Distribution. The company is being toasted for its artistic vision and its commitment to bringing a wide gamut of international and independent films into the theatrical marketplace. Head of Distribution Ryan Werner will accept the honors.

PALM PICTURES is the subject of a 7-film salute at the Festival, with the Cannes Film Festival Camera D’Or winner (and Danish Oscar nominee) RECONSTRUCTION set as the Festival Centerpiece Film. Other PALM PICTURES making their debuts include Icelandic Oscar hopeful NOI ALBINOI, Claude Chabrol’s THE FLOWER OF EVIL, Venice Golden Lion Winner SPRINGTIME IN A SMALL TOWN, the Pang Brothers’ cult horror film THE EYE, steamy Spanish hit SEX AND LUCIA and Claude Berri’s THE HOUSEKEEPER.

WHALE RIDER, New Zealander Niki Caro’s Oscar contender, is the Closing Night Gala Presentation. Other films to be screened include two entries from the Sundance Film Series
(Michael Winterbottom’s Berlin winner IN THIS WORLD and Emilio Martinez-Lozaro’s musical comedy romp THE OTHER SIDE OF THE BED), IFC Films’ A DECADE UNDER THE INFLUENCE, Toronto Audience Award winner GO FURTHER (with Woody Harrelson), Ernest Dickerson’s OUR AMERICA and Greg Marck’s 11:14 (with Hilary Swank).

Fifteen dramatic and documentary feature films will compete for the Independent Focus Audience Award, including Daniel Zirillo’s THE STONECUTTER, Patrice Johnson’s KINGS COUNTY, Adrian Carr’s MIND GAMES, Tyrone Dixon’s 8 WHEELS and Hank Saroyan’s 5 CARD STUD.

The Festival will also present a special sidebar entitled Music On Film, including TOM DOWD AND THE LANGUAGE OF MUSIC (Mark Moormann), SCRATCH (Doug Pray), ANATOMY OF BURLESQUE (Lindalee Tracey), AFRO PUNKS (James Spooner), ONE GIANT LEAP (Jamie Catto and Duncan Bridgeman) and a compilation of music videos and short films from celebrated directors Spike Jonze, Michel Gondry and Chris Cunningham.

Special guests expected to attend include director Brett Ratner (Red Dragon), Ernest Dickerson, Mario Van Peebles, model/actor Tyson Beckford and music video directors Erik White and Chris Robinson. Seminar panels on a variety of subjects from marketing and distribution to the evolution of music videos will be held with industry experts on tap.

“This Festival is a unique opportunity to celebrate film in an exotic and beautiful setting”, Monica Cooper, the Festival’s Executive Director declared. “With the support of the Bahamas Film and Television Office, we will demonstrate that not only is The Bahamas a beautiful place to shoot one’s film, but it also is a beautiful place to appreciate international film culture.”

“We’ve tried to take some new approaches with this inaugural Festival”, Festival Program Director Sandy Mandelberger stated. “We’ve decided to honor not only filmmaking talent, but those hard working people who bring diverse films to the marketplace. The people at Palm Pictures are the kind of unsung heroes in our business whose hard work, skills and trust in the audience significantly expands the film experience.”

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