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This year's Turks and Caicos Fest jury recognized winners both Latin cinema and Bollywood

The Third Annual Turks & Caicos International Film Festival (TCIFF), which celebrates the fusion of cinema and music, came to a successful close on Sunday, October 21, 2007.

The Festival, organized by Executive Directors Jasmine Guy and Terrence Duckette, ran from October 16-21, screened 6 features, 12 documentaries and 11 shorts at both The Regent Palms Theatre and the outdoor beach screen at the Alexandra Resort, the Festival’s host hotel. Program Director, Karolyn Ali scheduled the Best of the Fest Sal Del Mar winners on Sunday, October 21 and closed with “Shorts on the Beach,” a package of the Festival’s short films.

A special jury of international film critics reviewed all the eligible films screening during the Festival and announced the jury prizes at the Sal Del Mar Awards Night Gala on Saturday, October 20, 2007 hosted by “Access Hollywood’s” Shaun Robinson at the Beaches Resort. This year’s jury winners recognized both Latin cinema and Bollywood with this year’s selections which include:

  • Best Documentary: Lalo Guerrero The Original Chicano (USA)
  • Best Director: Dan Guerrero & Nancy De Los Santos, Lalo Guerrero The Original Chicano
  • Best Song: “Veijo” by Lalo Guerrero from Lalo Guerrero The Original Chicano

Lalo Guerrero The Original Chicano is a documentary about the career and songbook of the legendary “Father of Chicano Music” guides the viewer through seven decades of Mexican-American/Chicano history. The film uses rare photographs, historic footage and performances to bring his musical tapestry to life. The film features appearances by Linda Rondstadt, Los Lobos, Edward James Olmos, Cheech Marin and Paul Rodriguez.

  • Best Film: Guru (India), directed by Mani Ratnam
  • Best Score: Guru - Music Director A. R. Rahman

Guru is the Bollywood epic about Gurukant Desai who dreams of setting up his own business in Mumbai. The film chronicles the obstacles he meets, his rise and the backlash he receives when it is revealed that he used unethical means to rise in the business circuit. The film stars Mithun Chakraborty and Aishwarya Rai.

  • Best Actor: Marc Anthony, El Cantante (USA)

El Cantante is the life story of Hector Lavoe who started the salsa movement in 1975 and brought it to the United States. The film also stars Jennifer Lopez and is directed by Leon Ichaso.

Also announced were the Festival honorees Amanda Bynes, who attended to accept her Rising Star Award; Mos Def received the Tour de Force Award, which was presented and accepted by Gabrielle Union, Marc Shaiman received the Composer’s Excellence Award which was presented and accepted by Nikki Blonsky and Mani Ratnam received the Director’s Excellence Award. Other celebrity presenters included Michael Clarke Duncan, John Singleton and Essence Atkins. This year’s jury members were Eleonora Granata-Jenkinson, Producer & Programmer for the Venice Film Festival, Tambre Leighn, award winning filmmaker and Cheryl Boone Isaacs, President of the Academy Foundation.

The Festival hosted a series of activities for guests to participate in. A Film Finance Panel sponsored by Our Stories Films on Thursday, October 18 and Music in Cinema Panel on Friday, October 19. First Lady LisaRaye McCoy Misick hosted Youth Arts Day, where local high school students where invited out to experience the Festival. Amanda Bynes, Michael Clarke Duncan, John Singleton and Executive Director Jasmine Guy spoke to the children about their experiences in the industry. Evening events included a concert performance by Damon Cooper and Soirees at the Somerset.

The Festival also inaugurated the TCIFF Footprints in the Sand at the Alexandra Resort. Celebrity guests including the First Lady, Jasmine Guy, Nikki Blonsky, Amanda Bynes, Michael Clarke Duncan, Kimberly Elise and Shaun Robinson were invited to leave their footprints in a sandbox, which will be displayed on the beach in honor of their attendance at this year’s event. Festival filmmakers that attended this year include Julio Caro, producer El Cantante, Richard Kraft, director Finding Kraftland, Dan Guerrero, director Lalo Guerrero, Carolyn McDonald, director P.N.O.K. and Sonya “Sonny” Tormoen, director The World’s Most Dangerous Polka Band.

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

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