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Bahamas Fest Bookended By “Broken Flowers” and “Matador”

Bahamas Fest Bookended By "Broken Flowers" and "Matador"

The Bahamas International Film Festival recently announced its line up for this year’s festival, which will take place December 8 – 11. In its second year running, the festival will screen 70 films from around the world, with a special focus on the Caribbean. The opening night film will be Jim Jarmusch‘s “Broken Flowers,” about an aging bachelor who seeks out his former lovers to determine who is the mother of his supposed son. The festival will close with a screening of Richard Shepard‘s “The Matador,” a film starring Pierce Brosnan as a hitman who befriends a traveling salesman (Gregg Kinnear).

This year, the Spirit of Freedom category will be presented by Versace. The winner will receive a $500-cash award as well. One award will be given to a narrative film, and the other will go to a documentary, with the criteria being that the work reveals the filmmakers’s personal ideology. Those competing for the narrative prize this year will include: Iraqi director Bahman Ghobadi‘s “Turtles Can Fly,” about how a young boy copes with the circumstances of war and terror under Saddam Hussein’s regime; Michael Caton-Jones‘s “Shooting Dogs,” based on a real-life priest and teacher in Rwanda who struggle over whether to escape from the 1994 genocide or remain in the country to help others, and Lisa France‘s “Love and Suicide,” a film based on the actual journey of a man who goes to Cuba and encounters a gypsy and a taxi driver. Films competing for the documentary prize will include: Jeff Zimbalist and Matt Mochary‘s “Favela Rising,” about a drug-dealer-cum-revolutionary who turns to music and dance in attempt to save the slums of Rio de Janeiro; Stanley Nelson‘s “Sweet Honey in the Rock,” about the life of an African-American a cappella group, and Dani Menkin‘s “39 Pounds of Love,” about a man who goes on a quest to find the doctor who predicted at his birth that he would not live past the age of 6.

Another award that will be given out this year will be the New Visions Award, to be presented by the Hard Rock Cafe, along with a cash prize of $500. Only first- and second-time directors are eligible. Among the competitors will be: John J. Young‘s “The Reception,” a film that depicts the relationship between two best friends as affected by a visit from an estranged daughter; John Schwert‘s “Among Brothers,” about a female student whose death from fire in her apartment is discovered not to be accidental, and Pablo Sofovich‘s “El Favor,” about the truths that are revealed between two people who desire to have a child.

The Touching Africa category will include: Moroccan director Jacques Doillon‘s “Raja,” about an inescapable divide that jars the relationship between an orphan and a rich businessman; South African Bronwen Hughes‘s “The Stander,” about a man who becomes a bank robber post-apartheid; Cameroonian Florence Ayisi and Kim Longinotto‘s “Sisters In Law,” about a female judge and attorney who specialize in cases of violence inflicted upon women and children, and Senegalian Ousmane Sembene‘s “Moolaade,” about the tradition of female circumcision and its effects on individual lives.

Among the Caribbean films in this year’s festival will be: Philip Burrows and Manny Knowles‘s “The Making of an Art Gallery,” a film that shows the renovation of an old villa into the National Art Gallery of Bahamas; Benito Zambrano‘s “Habana Blues,” which tells the tale of a woman planning a trip to Miami, and Andy Abraham‘s “Murder in Mesopotamia,” about a rape case topped with a brutal murder and a family out for justice.

The Career Achievement Award will be given this year to Spike Lee. He will be interviewed by the film critic Karin Durbin.

For more information, visit the festival’s website.

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