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Jul 16, 2021

Belizean Film Makers Receive Grants

Katia Paradis

When COVID-19 hit, many industries were hit hard and continue to suffer as a result of the economic shock and the health restrictions. One of those industries is the entertainment industry – where productions had to be shut down. In the region, the creative industries also took a hit. But a group in Mexico wanted to get some help for those productions led by minority groups in the region and so they partnered with Netflix to create a fund of about two hundred and fifty thousand U.S. dollars to support indigenous and Afro-descent filmmakers. Projects from Belize, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador applied to the fund and three film crews were selected for funding of about fifteen thousand Belize dollars each.  Film Consultant Katia Paradis tells us more about those in Belize who got the grants:


Katia Paradis, Filmmaker & Film Consultant

“The decision to create an alliance together to help support the film sector especially for the filmmakers from indigenous communities and afro-descent communities. So the fund was created and they named it Miradas and it was basically to try and save projects already in production when the pandemic hit.

Four projects applied to the fund and three got selected and so that is how Belizean projects were included in that initiative. Those three projects that were selected was interesting to see because one was a fiction film from Felene Cayetano shot in Hopkins; one project was a documentary short film also shot in Hopkins from Jeremy Lewis and one was an animated film from David Smith and his crew Tecuani and Duende. So, it was interesting to see that we could find projects in a different kind of filmmaking. What this means is also for these threw crews supported it gives them the certainty that what they are doing is important. Because when you get international funding for something then it “bigs you up” and someone is telling you that you are on the right track; you are doing something interesting. And you are part of a global film community, regionally speaking as well, so all those connections; all those links help, I guess, to create a sort of an exchange between our neighboring countries.”


And in some exciting news about other Belizean filmmakers, the award-winning short film, My Father Belize was screened today at the seventy-fourth annual Cannes Film Festival in France. The film was written and produced by Leon Lozano and Ron Sierra, members of the Belizean diaspora who wanted to make a film in Belize. You can find the trailer on


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