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Nov 5, 2019

The 14th Edition of the Belize International Film Festival

The fourteen edition of the Film Festival opens this Wednesday and we will be airing the event here on this station.  A long list of films will be screened, including local films, as a push is made to market Belize as an idea film location. Mark Ang, a Taiwanese filmmaker, is the guest speaker for Wednesday’s opening which will be hosted by Belizean born, Kendis Gibson who is now with the MSNBC network. Here is News Five’s Duane Moody with a sneak peak at what to expect. 


Duane Moody, Reporting

The 2019 Belize International Film Festival opens on Wednesday night at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts and will feature both Belizean and international films from across the region including Cuba, the U.S., entries from the Commonwealth and more. The films will be screened at venues across the city including the Ramada Belize City Princess, the Mexican Cultural Institute and the Bliss.


Suzette Zayden

Suzette Zayden, Director, Film & Media Arts Unit, ICA

“We are about to start the fourteenth edition of the Belize International Film Festival.”


Guest speaker at the opening ceremony of the fourteenth edition of the film festival will be Mark Ang. The Taiwanese filmmaker and screenwriter is the founder of Formosa Festival of International Filmmaker Awards and the C.E.O. of the fifty-eighth Asia Pacific Film Festival. Ang has won fifty-six awards since 2014 for his short film entitled, “Replace,” and his goal is to introduce Taiwan to the world through his audio visual work. Through the Spotlight Taiwan Programme, the idea is that Belize will be able to tap into the Asian industry.


Mark Ang

Mark Ang, Taiwanese Filmmaker

“I saw a lot of Belize locally produced films or music videos. I find actually that all of them are very maturely produced—no matter the quality or the editing. So I think there are many talented filmmakers here; I think the only lack is financial support because it also happens in Taiwan. The only difference is that the base in Taiwan is so big. The history of the movie industry has been one hundred years in Taiwan and we have at least two hundred to four hundred pieces, short films, produced every year from all the filmmaking schools in Taiwan. And then we have a lot of companies willing to support and we have a lot of subsidy from the government. However, we also have a period of time that we lack resources, even now; we have to make films by ourselves. But I think because it is in the very beginning in Belize of this industry, one of my message, suggestion is that internet is a very useful tool for nowadays.”


The opening ceremony will include an opening short film, My Father Belize at six p.m. There will also be a red carpet cocktail. Following the official event, an opening feature from Taiwan, entitled “On Happiness Road.”


Suzette Zayden

“It is an animated feature that has been winning a lot of awards in Taiwan and comes highly recommended. It is not as you would imagine a children’s movie, when you hear animation. It is a very personal look at have we become the adult that we’ve wanted and it is a personal journey that someone took on the way to adulthood. So I am sure there are a lot of things about this film that we could all find to engage in.  On Thursday, we feature the Green Globe category which is an environmental section which we have been working with Belize’s environmental community. That is two screenings at the Bliss for schools and anyone that is interested. And there are a few films about environmental issues that will be screened at that time. The movies start on Thursday at the Princess; seven and nine. On Thursday also is our film market and we have three members of the Location Managers Guild of America that will be here. They are looking to market Belize heavily in coming here as a film location. So they will be available for doing some panel discussions.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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