Jennifer Smith-Bent, co-founder of the Barbados Independent Film Festival, which is now in its fourth year says although it is expensive to produce they are committed to keeping ticket prices low.
“Our budgets are low. We keep our prices really, really low. Our weakest link is our promotion and publicity,” she told reporters at a Press Meet and Greet held before the Festival’s official opening.
Smith-Bent said the planning and execution of the week of events is very taxing. She thanked all those involved.
“Imagine planning 40 international weddings in one week, that is what you are looking at. From February, we will start planning for next year’s festival. It is really a full-time job.”
The co-founder, who shares that role with Sir Trevor Carmichael, said the aim of the festival is to showcase “wonderful stories”.
“We try to bring world class films to Barbados. The films come from all over the world. They come from the Caribbean as well as other places. Our goal is to highlight wonderful story-telling that serves to inspire people, entertain people and to teach the world.”
Smith-Bent admitted that they were fully aware of the country’s We Gatherin event and so many of the films have the We Gatherin’ theme.
“On Saturday, we have a wonderful programme with a Cuban filmmaker. She has done a film called My Footsteps in BARAGUA which is about the West Indian, Barbadian diaspora. It’s a wonderful look at the diaspora and it ties in with coming home.
Of the international directors she said: “They come from all over the world and they have these stories that we think resonate with everyone and the cultural exchange is phenomenal. We have local filmmakers as well who are meeting and participating with the international [ones]. We are also having master classes and bringing really world renowned filmmakers to Barbados to interact with our filmmaking community. There is no money that you can put out for what that is worth.”
The festival which officially opened Tuesday night at The Barbados Museum runs from January 14 to 19. (IMC)