Hello December! We feel you! For us, temperatures lower at night, the ocean is brisker, cold fronts start looming on our weather apps, our beaches become speckled with travelers, and downtown starts to bustle with taxis and tourists. We start pulling our winter layers off the back of the shelf, sweaters and knit caps that contrast sharply with the shorts, sundresses and beach wear of our vacationing visitors who can’t get enough of our sun, sand and sea.
December also brings the annual Bahamas International Film Festival (BIFF), this year in Harbour Island, December 5 – 8, and Nassau December 9 – 11. Founder and Executive Director, Leslie Vanderpool started this nonprofit organization in 2004 to spread cultural and educational film experiences, as well as programs and forums, to the Bahamian community and international visitors.
Over the years the festival has premiered literally thousands of films that have been made not just by international talent but by Bahamian filmmakers as well. This year there are 95 films that will be showcased in Nassau and Harbour Island, Eleuthera. Not just a celebration of the arts and talent of individuals, the festival has become a key event that promotes the beauty of the Bahamas through film.
This year, among the films from 26 countries, look out for “The Black Line” featuring the Bahamas’ very own Olympian swimmer, Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace. Watch how director Stan Jakubowicz highlights Arianna and other Caribbean athletes, as they rise to the challenge of breaking the stereotype that “black people don’t swim”. The Black Line is just one of many films on BIFF’s line up this year that shines a light on issues of social construct, ever-changing opinions, personal stories and public debates.
There’s something for everyone this year as the festival includes 31 featured films. In addition, there are short films vying for jury votes in different categories, all hoping to take the winning spot. We all like the excitement of seeing as many films as we can, picking our own winners, and giving our opinions as to which talent, films, actors, or directors, might become the entertainment world’s next big star.
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