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Jul 12, 2011

Reel and red carpet roll out for Belize International Film Festival

Duets opens tonight and that will be followed by the grand opening of the annual film festival at the Bliss on Friday. This year a number of new activities have been incorporated so if you are a moviegoer, a writer, lover of comedy or you want to venture into film production; there’s something for you at the festival. News Five’s Jose Sanchez has a preview.

Jose Sanchez, Reporting

The sixth edition of the Belize International Film Festival begins this week. Festival Director Suzette Zayden says that it actually inspires creativity in the industry. The festival has three  industry events, three entertainment sections and of course, movies.

Suzette Zayden

Suzette Zayden, Director, Belize International Film Festival

“The festival kicks off at Friday six-thirty p.m. with the red carpet arrivals at the Bliss; it’s the Opening Night Gala and that has several activities associated with the opening night. Arrivals begin between six-thirty and seven-thirty and then seven-thirty to eight-thirty, there is an opening ceremony. We have some live performances during that time as well. Performances by Carlos Perrote, by Nelita Castillo, Clive Myers and the Belize Dance Company. At eight-thirty is the opening film, it’s called Road to Demascus and the director of that film, Ross Jordan will be here to present it as well. Saturday and Sunday, there are film screenings from three until midnight at two spots in Belize City: here at the Bliss and at the Government House. So we are showing four films on Saturday here at Bliss and four at the Government House—a total of eight films per day. Monday night, after the industry symposium, we’ll be screening a special selection of films from Belizean filmmakers. It’s called Belize Filmmakers—a Cinema in Development. And we looked at the fact that there is a fair amount of people who are creating films now specifically with the idea that the film festival exists as a place they can showcase their films. We applaud their efforts and we created this category so that we can look at these films from promising Belizean filmmakers.”

Javier Molina

Another section of the Festival includes a video competition for high school students sponsored by Belize Audio Visual Industry Association.

Javier Molina, President, BAVIA

“The reason we’re doing this is to give the young people who are interested in this sector a chance to show us what they have which is why the competition is called ‘Show Me.’ Because we realize that there is talent out there; there are a lot of people who are interested in this sector. So we want to tap into that. We want to show them that there is an institution, an association that is here for that particular industry. So we wanted to see what they have, what they are capable of and a showcase for them to put out what they can do.”

Filmmaking workshops and a comedy show round up the scope of the festival.

Suzette Zayden

“A workshop called script to screen. This is a two-day intensive workshop with a professor from the University of the West Indies, Yao Ramesar, who is here to give us an overview of the entire film process—from having an idea to the final product and sellignt he final product. This is open to anyone who is interested and it will be at the House of Culture Wednesday the thirteenth and Thursday the fourteenth starting at nine a.m. So it is a two day intensive—it’s from nine to four for two days—so when you register, we would like you to come for the both days. The third event that happens before the festival is one of our entertainment lineups. It’s called the Belize comedy tour presented by one of our biggest sponsors, Break Through Stars in association with Triumphant Pictures. What they’ve done, they have brought in four international comedians and they are having a comedy show at the Bliss on Thursday night with two performances—one at seven and one at nine. The four comedians are pretty huge in the U.S. market. They names of those comedians are Faizon Love, Tony Roberts, Damion Williams and Rodney Perry. Rodney Perry some people may know from the Monique Show, Damion Williams appears on Saturday Night Live and Faizon Love is an actor who has appeared on comedies such as Couples Retreat and Elf.”

Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.

On Monday the eighteenth the festival will host an audiovisual film symposium. The awards ceremony will be held on Tuesday.

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