Competition Categories:


New Visions competition a showcase for emerging artists, providing festival audiences with the opportunity to discover the next generation of visionary filmmakers. A Grand Jury Prize will be presented to the New Vision film category.  


Since 2004 Spirit of Freedom is BIFF's themed category. Each film in this program explores the potential of the human spirit and how freedom affects - or is absent from - our lives.   


A short film is 31 minutes or less. Film Festivals are one of the few venues where multiple short films can be seen. A Grand Jury Prize will be presented to the Short film category.

Screenwriters residency program

Mentorship program with Writers and industry professionals


New Visions Juror - Matt Goldman Grand Jury

Manager / Producer

MATT GOLDMAN - Matt has been a talent representative for over 15 years, first at the Gersh Agency and then moving into management, working at Leverage, The Collective, and Silver Lining Entertainment. Most recently he launched Ethos Entertainment, a talent management company with partner Christina Gualazzi. Matt is also a partner at Picture Farm Productions, where some of his credits include the Emmy nominated HBO special RAISED IN THE SYSTEM and the Vice TV series BLACK MARKET, with numerous projects in development at various studios.

Spirit Of Freedom Juror -Marcus Peterzell, Grand Jury


Marcus is the CEO of Passion Point Collective, a leading entertainment marketing agency which has guided more brand funded films than any other boutique agency. A true industry leader in pop culture marketing, he has successfully built and led award winning agency teams both independently and within Omnicom, one of the largest advertising holding companies. Production Executive for over 20 TV series/specials including the first cable strip to feature Larry David and Joy Behar on Lifetime, and the Emmy award winning A&E series Biography. Guided The Cure in North America to their first number one album and single. Created dozens of award winning music campaigns for major brands and artists including Ariana Grande, Little Big Town, Bon Jovi, and Sara Bareilles. Executive Produced 25 brand funded feature films including “Farmland” directed by Oscar Winner James Moll, as well as the short form video “Trading Places” featuring Roger Federer and Lionel Messi, the most watched tennis video in YouTube history. Married HPE with feature film “Star Trek Beyond” and created the launch of Independence Day 2 and Hershey’s. Moderated over 50 major industry panels on entertainment marketing including the big stage 2017 Cannes Lions panel with Oscar Nominee Laura Dern live streamed across the globe. Former President of T.J Martell Foundation Board and for over a decade served as chairman of their Family Day event engaging music super-stars including The Jonas Brothers, Train, Pitbull, Jason Mraz, Ariana Grande and Ed Sheeran.

Short Film Juror - Deidre Bevans, Grand Jury

United Nations Representative

Ms. Deidre Bevans, a native of New Providence, The Bahamas was educated at Queen’s College. She started her career as a Trained Teacher after completing her first degree in Education. She also holds a Master’s degree in Organizational Management & Christian Leadership. Ms. Bevans has also worked in the Special Education Unit and Schools Management Section of the Ministry of Education. She is currently posted at The International Relations Unit/UNESCO as the Secretary General of The Bahamas National Commission. Ms. Bevans has also been z part of many civic organizations. She is a Distinguished President of the Kiwanis Club of Cable Beach. Ms. Bevans has a passion for children and the underprivileged. She is of the view that every child has a gift that can be developed.

New Visions Juror - Tad Daggerhart, Grand Jury


Tad Daggerhart has worked for Cracked Studios and written films for Millennium, including the upcoming Expendables 4, with Sylvester Stallone and Jason Statham. His crime thriller Black Lotus, starring Dutch kickboxing champion Rico Verhoeven, premiered April 2023 in Amsterdam.


Prior to receiving his MFA from USC’s writing for Screen and Television Program, where he wrote the award-winning short film, Traffic Cone, and was awarded the prestigious Annenberg Fellowship, Tad grew up in the Carolinas, where he gained a solid work ethic, appreciation for creativity, and a few informative bumps and bruises skating half-pipes, performing theater, working construction, tending bar, and operating a steamroller.

Short Film Juror - Natasha Wilson, Grand Jury


Natasha quantum leaped into her television career after having starred as series regular in Marti Noxon's Emmy Nominated series UNREAL, as “Maya” opposite Shiri Appleby and Constance Zimmer. 

Having filmed back to back Romantic Comedies this year (2022), Natasha stars as “Emma” in Lifetime’s Christmas Feature DESTINATION CHRISTMAS (2022) in which she plays a displaced east coast corporate executive who finds love where she least expects it, and as “Rebecca” in BEST VERSION OF LOVE (2022) in which she plays the “it girl” child star turned self help guru, accidentally falling in love with a famous - engaged - client.. whoops!  Managing to squeeze a thriller in, Natasha stars as the hero “Ellie” (spoiler alert!) in feature film, HIGH SCHOOL REVENGE (2022) while we watch the wild twists and turns of an unexpected revenge plot unfold. Celebrating the recent completion on principal photography, Natasha stars in the ultra fun, family comedy feature film directed by Mick Davis, TRUST IN LOVE (2023) filmed exclusively in Malibu, California with cameos from Academy Award and three time Golden Globe nominee, Eric Roberts, and Jim Morrison’s legendary guitarist, Robbie Krieger from The Doors. Irony and humor envelope a household facing compounding pressures. Natasha stars as “Sophia” and stretches to the brink of madness to  balance the high stakes of her role as a successful music producer’s high society wife while reigning back in the primary importance of love. This one is sure to warm your hearts and laugh at the trials and tribulations of family difficulty. She’s currently shooting her next romantic comedy in Vancouver, Canada (2024). Recently shot projects include, CRAZY, RICH & DEADLY (2020), CRIMSON POINT (2022), and DANCER IN DANGER (2022). Her TV Credits include ONCE UPON A TIME for ABC, CONTINUUM for SyFy and Showtime’s Emmy Winning series HUFF acting opposite Oliver Platt. Natasha has also played Raquel Welch’s daughter and Barry Watson’s wife as series recurring on UpTV’s “DATE MY DAD”. Natasha’s primary residence is in Los Angeles.

Writers Residency Program - Jib Polhemus, Manager / Producer Source | Management +Production

Jib Polhemus started his career in the contemporary art business working from New York and Los Angeles. He then transitioned into the entertainment business where he has worked since the 90's. In 2015 Jib founded the literary management company, Source Management + Production where he represents cutting-edge screenwriters and directors.

In addition, Jib is President of Simon West Productions where he produces Film and TV with British director,  Simon West  (Con Air ,  Lara Croft: Tomb Raider ,  The Expendables 2 ). As President of Simon West Productions, Jib has developed and sold numerous high profile projects to Warner Brothers, Universal, Fox, Paramount, Sony and others including Black Hawk Down  directed by  Ridley Scott .

In 2022 Jib's producing credits include Taurus , directed by  Tim Sutton and starring Megan Fox , Colson Baker, The Last Son,  directed by  Tim Sutton and The Blacklist script by  Greg Johnson  starring  Sam Worthington  ( Avatar )  Colson Baker  and  Heather Graham  and  Zone 414  directed by  Andrew Baird  and starring  Guy Pearce ,  Travis Fimmel  and  Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz  for Saban, Highland and Universal.

Other notable projects Jib has Produced include  The Legend Hunters  for Wanda Studios. In 2018 he Produced  Skyfire  for Meridian and BaseMedia. In 2017, he Produced  Gun Shy  starring  Antonio Banderas  and  Olga Kurylenko  and Executive Produced  Stratton  starring  Dominic Cooper  and  Connie Nielsen . He has Executive Produced  Wild Card  starring  Jason Statham  and  Stanley Tucci  for Lionsgate. He Co-Produced blockbuster  The Expendables 2 , starring  Sylvester Stallone ,  Arnold Schwarzenegger ,  Bruce Willis , and Executive Produced  Stolen  starring  Nicolas Cage . In 2011, Jib co-produced  The Mechanic , starring  Jason Statham  and  Ben Foster , and also Associate Produced Paramount's mega-blockbuster  Lara Croft: Tomb Raider , starring  Angelina Jolie .

In television, Jib has developed and sold shows to most of the top networks including CBS, NBC, FOX, ABC, FX, TNT, WB, e1, Lionsgate, and Fox 21.

In his free time, Jib Polhemus is on the advisory board of The Bahamas International Film Festival and judges UCLA's Masters Screenplay Writing Program. He resides in Los Angeles, CA.

Writers Residency Program - Marie Claude Poulin, Producer

Marie-Claude Poulin has a well-established reputation in the film industry. With some 25 years of experience, she worked for Malofilm, Lionsgate, TVA Films and Equinoxe Films before co-founding the production company Item 7 Inc. in 2009. Seven years later, she created her own company, MCP Productions, with the ambition of producing world-class films and television for a wide audience, a goal she has achieved brilliantly.


Over the years, she has teamed up with other local and international producers to bring to the screen unique stories told by emerging and established directors. Her feature films have garnered multiple honours, including an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign language film , a Genie Award and a Jutra for best picture for Kim Nguyen’s Rebelle (War Witch), as well as three Oscar nominations — including Best Picture — for John Crowley’s Brooklyn. She also produced Café de Flore (Jean-Marc Vallée), Death of  a Ladies’ Man Matt Bissonnette) and Tempête (Christian Duguay).

Ms. Poulin has been at Sphere since 2021, where she continues to build on her success. By showcasing the vision of highly talented filmmakers, she is making the company shine even brighter. Among her recent projects Le Plongeur (Francis Leclerc) an adaptation of a popular Quebec novel released Feb. 22, 2023, and the biographical film Ethel (Aisling Walsh).


Writers Residency Program - Mick Davis, Writer

After moving to Hollywood from Scotland, throughout the years, Davis has developed, written and directed stars such as Pierce Brosnan, Mickey Rourke, Al Pacino, Mel Gibson, Richard Harris, Geena Davis, Tim Allen, Wesley Snipes, Brittany Murphy, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Amanda Plummer, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Sir Ian Holm, Samuel L. Jackson, John Cleese, Emile Hirsch and Andy Garcia.Davis also worked on rewrites for the academy award nominated movie, Elizabeth, on behalf of director Shekhar Kapur. He also wrote the cult supernatural movie, The Invisible.Davis created, wrote and exec-produced the CBS/Warner Bros tv show Eleventh Hour, for Jerry Bruckheimer, starring Rufus Sewell. He was also a producer on the Netflix movie, The Saint.Davis directed the Christmas comedy, ‘My Dad’s Christmas Date‘ starring Jeremy Piven and Joely Richardson.Davis just completed the biography of music producing legend Jack Douglas, who produced John Lennon, Aerosmith.He just wrapped the heartfelt comedy, ‘Trust in Love‘.Next year he will direct, from his own script, The Sculptor, a feature based on the last weeks of Constantin Brancusi.

Writers Residency Program - Tim Sutton, Writer, Director

TIM SUTTON  is the writer and director of numerous critically acclaimed feature films.  Pavilion  was an opening night selection at SXSW 2012, had its New York Theatrical Premiere as a New York Times Critic’s Pick and was a selection of the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Emerging Visions 2012. His second feature,  Memphis , was the winner of the inaugural Venice Biennale Cinema grant in 2013, had its World Premiere at the 70th Venice Film Festival and North American Premiere at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, was theatrically released in 2014 by Kino Lorber and was named to The New Yorker Magazine’s Top Ten Films of 2014.  Dark Night , loosely based on the Aurora Cineplex massacre, had its World Premiere at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival and International Premiere in Competition at the 2016 Venice Film Festival.   Donnybrook , produced by David Lancaster ( Drive , Whiplash ) and starring Jamie Bell, Margaret Qualley, Frank Grillo, and James Badge Dale, had its World Premiere as the opening night selection of the Platform Competition at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival and won Best Picture at Fantastic Fest. It is distributed by IFC Films. His fifth film,  Funny  Face , starring Cosmo Jarvis and Johny Lee Miller, had its World Premiere in Competition at the Berlinale 2020.  During the pandemic he made  The Last Son , a western saga starring Sam Worthington and Heather Graham and the LA-based music opus  Taurus  with Machine Gun Kelly which premiered at the Berlinale 2022. He has enjoyed retrospectives of his work at Copenhagen's Film Institute and the Filmoteca in Barcelona and is the founder of Video Kid Brooklyn. NYC-based, he is repped by Anonymous Content and Granderson Des Rochers .

© 2023 Bahamas International Film Festival

All rights reserved.