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An Interview with Festival Co-Director Jasmine Guy

Monday, October 9---With just one week to go until the start of the 2nd Turks & Caicos International Film Festival, Sandy Mandelberger, the Festivals Editor for FEST21.COM, sat down with Festival Co-Director Jasmine Guy to discuss this year’s event.

Jasmine Guy is an actress, director and producer who began as a child star in Hollywood. She has received several Image Award nominations for her television performances in such series as DEAD LIKE ME (2003), AMERICA'S DREAM (1996) and MELROSE PLACE. In 1994-1996, she won the prestigious award for her lead role in the comedy series A DIFFERENT WORLD.

Sandy Mandelberger: The origins of the Festival and how it came about?

Jasmine Guy: I met Chief Minister at an awards show last year. He made a presentation at the awards show, and then extended an invitation for us to attend his beautiful country. These are the visions he has for his country. His ideas actually reach down to the common people, which is unique in that region. He asked if there was a way of bringing more people to the islands, and we came up with an idea of having a festival there.

SM: What is your niche in the festival world?

JG: The Chief Minister wanted to make it a very international festival. I always wanted to salute performers who made an impact both in the film and music worlds, like Queen Latifah, Will Smith and Harry Conick Jr. From that idea, we decided to focus on music-themed films or films that have unique music in them. I was a little concerned that we were too specific and wouldn’t find enough films, but that hasn’t turned out to be the case.

SM: Once you were able to get help from the Ministry, how did you find the films that made up the program?

JG: My husband, who also makes up the business component of the Festival, was running the film aspect. Reaching out to other festivals, submissions, and recommendations from various people. Nearly 200 films were submitted but only 30 films have been chosen to be screened. While we have been looking, we got many recommendations….every film has its own little story of how we found it.

SM: What are some of the special events that you will be presenting this year?

JG: There will be an awards competition that finishes the Festival We are honoring two people with the Sal de Mer Award (Salt of the Sea Award) since that is the major export product of the Islands. We are honoring the composer John Debney, who composed the original music in the film IDLEWILD, starring the duo Outkcast; and Tupac Shakur, one of the first musicians to cross over to the film world.

Outkast in IDLEWILD

SM: What are your goals for this year? What are some of the things you are hoping will happen this year?

JG: This year I want it to be something that people will remember, and a chance to meet some very cool people in the film and music worlds. I find Sundance and other big festivals a little isolating…so it is nice to be involved with an event that will be much more intimate, where people can really get a chance to network and meet one another. I wanted to have a “we are in it together


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About turksandcaicosff

Online Dailies coverage of the 3rd Turks and Caicos International Film Festival, October 16 to 21, 2007

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