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Nov 8, 2017

International Film Festival Welcomes Lynn Whitfield as Judge

Lynn Whitfield

The Belize International Film Festival officially opens on Thursday. Apart from screening films from all around the world, there will be an award show to recognize the best submissions. This year, twenty-eight films and fifteen music videos are competing for awards, and one of the faces on the jury panel for the best short films is Lynn Whitfield, the star of OWN TV series, Greenleaf.  The Emmy award-winning actress with credits in films such as Madea’s Family Reunion, A Thin Line Between Love and Hate, Eve’s Bayou and The Josephine Baker Story, is in Belize and met the press today. Whitfield told the media that she made the connection with Belize through Debra Fairweather – a Belizean-American who travels the world working on costumes in the TV and film industry.

 

Lynn Whitfield, Emmy Award Winning Actress

“I am thrilled to be in Belize. I have never been to your country. I am so excited to absorb everything here, culturally, to get a sense and the essence of the people; to meet the artists who will be here. I am very proud to be on the jury for short films to see what is in the offing. I guess I call myself a culturalist. I am from Louisiana, myself, so I call myself an island girl, too. Culture is so important to their food, their beliefs, and I have to make an admission. We were shooting in the cold, it was freezing in Atlanta and we work together – Debra is in my trailer every morning and I said, ‘Debra, you just have a smile on your face every time you talk to Belize can you please find a way to get me there as soon as possible? Why I am so excited to be here is this is an opportunity for us to celebrate other filmmakers, for us to celebrate our stories because stories mirror life and stories can change life and make it better; sometimes program it to ways that are worse. But, here, I am excited to be able to be by the sea and to share art with people. I am just honored to be here and I am really looking forward to the next four days.”

 

Debra Fairweather

Debra Fairweather, Costume Designer

“I am a hard worker and that is definitely a Belizean trait. With my heritage, a lot of times I felt, when I first left Belize, of course you are a foreigner and you are at a disadvantage in some way. I’ve been a foreigner for a long time in a  lot of places and not being able to speak the language, I took the opportunity to learn many languages , so I think being from someplace like Belize and having that to come home to really strengthens me because I carry that with me everywhere. I would always talk about Belize. I tell her that it is lovely and you are gonna love it too. So, wherever I go on this planet, I am a Belizean and I can tell you that in five languages; that is important to me. It is because of the women here in Belize, when I come home and I listen to you and talk to you, I take that with me and that is important to me as a woman; to be solid in that and to be grounded in my womaness as a Belizean woman.”

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