The Belize International Film Festival ran its eighth annual edition from July 11 to 15, 2013, and giving recognition to the top films screened at the end. Opening the festival in Belize City was the critically acclaimed feature film, Home Again, which had reached number one in the Canadian film box offices for three consecutive weeks and making box office history in Trinidad and Tobago.
Over 50 other submissions, including music videos and Belizean films were screened at the Princess Hotel and Casino where a panel of judges watched, critiqued and chose the winners for each category. Sitting alongside Cuban Director, Rigoberto Lopez, the Vice President of Creative & Visual Content for Warner Brothers, Denise Williams Watts and Founder and Chair of Film London, Sandy Lieberson was American Actress, Erika Alexander.
In San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, the Belize International Film Festival screened the Cuban film ‘Hopelessly Together/Irremediablemente Juntos’ on Saturday, July 13, at the Paradise Theater. The film is a vibrant, sexy musical about love, racism and double standards. Through music and dance, the story unfolds of Liz and Alexander whose families are totally opposed to their love. This film was also part of the Havana Film Festival in New York in April of this year.
Screen shot from Cuban musical Hopelessly Together/Irremediablemente Juntos
Immediately after the movie screening, a masquerade after party followed at Caprice Restaurant, Holiday Hotel, where guests partied the night away with great music by DJ Chabo and delicious appetizers by the restaurant.
Attendants at the Film Fest afterparty in San Pedro having a great time
Among the submissions in the film festival were productions from Belize, including a tribute to the life of Lionel “Chocolate” Heredia and his fight to protect the magnificent manatees in the documentary video “Roots in the Sea” produced by Michael Desabrias. Other Belizean films included Belize Turtle Watch Project, Maroons: Africans on the Move, Jurassic Attack and Jumbie in the Juke Box.
The Organizers of the 8th Edition of the Belize International Film Festival are proud to announce this year’s winners of the BIFF CONCHSHELL AWARD in the following categories amongst films from more than 20 different countries and 15 music videos by Belizean directors:
1. Best Feature Length Narrative
Winner: TOOMELAH (Australia, 2011) by Dir: Ivan Sen
Special Jury Mention – HOME AGAIN (Canada, 2012) by Dir. Sudz Sutherland
2. Best Feature Length Documentary
Winner: THE ABOMINABLE CRIME (Jamaica, Holland, UK, Canada, 2013) by Dir. Micah Fink
Special Jury Mention – SEPARATED (Australia, Spain, 2012) by Dir. Natalie Halla
3. Best Short Film
Winner: CEBU (Cuba, 2012) by Dir. Pablo Belaubre
4. Best Short Documentary Film
Winner: AGAPE: Story of a Dream (Spain, Thailand 2012) Dir. Carlos Quiles
5. Most Notable Belizean Film (in the Festival)
Winner: MAROONS: Africans on the Move (Belize 2013) Dir: Michael Flores
6. Best Music Video
Winner #1 – COME AWAY by Dir. Ben Hudson
Artist: Melonie Gillett / Label: Metamorph Creatives, Starbase Films
Winner #2 – EX-BOYFRIEND by Dir. Carlo Habet
Artist: Tanya Carter / Label: I Am Music / BiG Pikcha Films