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BIFF Names 2007 Festival Award Winners

“In The Valley of Elah” “I’m Through With White Girls” “Rose” and “Iron Ladies of Liberia” Take Home Top Prizes

Local Bahamian Filmmaker Gustavius Smith Wins $10,000 From Festival Filmmaker Residency Program



Nassau, Bahamas – December 9, 2007 – Competition winners were announced today at the awards ceremony, sponsored by Chopard, for the 4th Bahamas International Film Festival, held at the Atlantis Hotel & Resort on Paradise Island in Nassau. The announcements were made by Festival Founder and Executive Director Leslie Vanderpool with special presenter, actor Anthony Mackie.

The Festival showcased 88 films from 26 different countries, including 54 features of which several are world or international premieres and nearly all Bahamian premieres. The four competition categories at BIFF are Spirit of Freedom: Dramatic; Spirit of Freedom: Documentary; New Vision; and Short Film.

Below are the official competition winners at this year’s Bahamas International Film Festival:


New Vision

The New Vision Award sponsored by Hard Rock Café was awarded to the romantic comedy “I’m through With White Girls” from Director Jennifer Sharp.

Spirit of Freedom: Dramatic
The Spirit of Freedom: Dramatic Award sponsored by Chopard was awarded to the drama “In The Valley of Elah” from Director Paul Haggis.

Spirit of Freedom: Documentary
The Spirit of Freedom: Documentary Award sponsored by Chopard was awarded to “The Iron Ladies of Liberia” from Directors Daniel Junge and Siatta Scott Johnson.

Short Film
The Award for Best Short Film, sponsored by Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch was awarded to “Rose” from Director Hoku Uchiyama.

Capping off the ceremony was the announcement that BIFF’s Filmmaker Residency Program, jointly sponsored by Ansbacher, will award $10,000 to local Bahamian filmmaker Gustavius Smith for his project BUILT FOR LOAD. An honorable mention was given to Jason Darcy for his project ADAM’S QUEST.

BIFF’s newly installed Filmmaker Residency Program was established to award a significant cash prize to a deserving independent Bahamian and Caribbean filmmaker vying for funding on his or her project. The prize money will go directly towards the development and production of the film.

The esteemed group of Filmmaker Residency Advisors presiding over this year’s program and evaluating the candidates included Shoreline Entertainment CEO Morris Ruskin, filmmaker Lawrence Konner (“Mighty Joe Young”), producer Norman Golightly (“Ghost Rider”), veteran film festival director Nicole Guillemet, and writer/director Susan Jacobsen.

About The Bahamas International Film Festival:
The Bahamas International Film Festival is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing the local community and international visitors with a diverse presentation of films from around the world. In addition to offering films that might not otherwise be released theatrically in the Bahamas, BIFF will provide a unique cultural experience, educational programs, and forums for exploring the future of cinema.

For more information please visit www.bintlfilmfest.com.

Sponsors for the Bahamas International Film Festival include:

Atlantis, The Ministry of Tourism, Ansbacher, Aura Nightclub, Bacardi, Bahamas Ferries, Bahamas Tourism Channel, Best Buy Furniture, Bristol Wine and Spirits, British Colonial Hilton, Chopard, Green Parrot, FedEx Express, Fireworks Unlimited, Floral Arts, Galleria Cinemas, Hard Rock Café, Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch, Royal Bank of Canada, Saturn Films, The Director’s Cut, Versace, Wendy’s and thank you to our donors and patrons of the film festival.

About the Winning Films:

I'm Through With White Girls
USA / 2006 / 109 mins
Language: English
Director: Jennifer Sharp
Producer: Phyllis Johnson
Screenwriter: Courtney Lilly
Principal Cast: Anthony Montgomery
Genre: Drama
New Visions Drama
The only black guy in his indie-rock social scene, Jay Brooks(30 going on 21) is witty and opinionated. A story board artist by trade, and sci-fi junkie, he is quite the sexual overachiever in his indie rock world. Still, Jay feels unfulfilled as he watches Drake, a high school buddy, preparing for marriage.

In The Valley Of Elah
USA / 2007 / 144 mins
Language: English
Director: Paul Haggis
Producer: Laurence Becsey
Screenwriters: Mark Boal, Paul Haggis
Principal Cast: Tommy Lee Jones, Charlize Theron, Jason Patric, Susan Sarandon
Spirit of Freedom
A career officer (Jones) and his wife (Sarandon) work with a police detective (Theron) to uncover the truth behind their son's disappearance following his return from a tour of duty in Iraq.

Iron Ladies Of Liberia
USA / 2007 / 97 mins
Directors: Daniel Junge, Siatta Scott Johnson
Producer: Henry Ansbacher
Genre: Documentary
Spirit of Freedom
In November 2005, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf became Africa?s first elected female president. A former finance minister known as the Iron Lady, Sirleaf quickly appointed a team of strong women around her, including the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Commerce, and the Chief of Police. Iron Ladies of Liberia follows these women over the course of their turbulent first year in office ? a year which will determine the future of their country.Iron Ladies of Liberia is a unique look behind the scenes at the rebirth of a nation and democracy in action, under the steady hand of women determined to make history and move their country forward

Rose
USA / 2006 / 34 mins
Language: English
Director: Hoku Uchiyama
Producer: Michael Silberman
Screenwriter: Hoku Uchiyama
Principal Cast: Phillip Rogers, Kathryn Robinson, Blaine Miller
Shorts
Little Travis lives for one day a year, the day he goes into the woods to meet his best friend Rose... Rose, however, doesn't even know his name. The ghost of a murdered teenage girl, Rose returns to the woods once every year to relive her final hours. Each year Travis joins her, not warning her of her fate. Loving and losing a girl who will never remember him takes its toll on Travis. Now a young man, he realizes he not only has the power to intervene but that he should, even if he risks losing her forever.



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