The 4th annual Barbados Independent Film Festival got off to an excellent start last night at the Barbados Museum.
The Red Carpet event started out with patrons being serenaded by the fine singing of the St Leonard’s Boys Choir. Their acappella renditions helped to create the perfect ambience. They sang: Beautiful Barbados, Edelweiss, O Come All Ye Faithful, among others. When they were done, their performance was complemented by the sweet sounds of the steel pan thanks to the Barbados All Star Steel Orchestra.
Patrons enjoyed mingling, taking photographs on the red carpet and in front of the step as well as delectable hors d’oeuvres.
The event attracted the who’s who in society. Present were Minister of Creative Economy and Culture John King, Sir Wes Hall, Conde Riley, Andre Woodbine, Fran Wickham, Dr Kerry Hall, KB Kleen, Shontelle Layne, Vic Fernandes, Marica Weekes and Maxine McClean.
Everyone gathered at The Walled Garden for the viewing of Cricket’s Forgotten History, which was BIFF’s 2019 Collaboration Grant film. The event also saw the Caribbean premiere of Joseph.
The film is an African-Caribbean drama that aims to rebuild relationships between Africa and its Caribbean and diaspora family. It exemplifies the vision of bridging the gap between cultures.
Co-founder of the film, Sir Trevor Carmichael, said it could open doors to future linkages and stimuli between the Caribbean and Africa. He praised the film’s producer/writer/director and the executive producer.
“I am forced, however, to pay homage and respect to the two ladies who were the driving forces in this well-crafted opening night Gala production of Joseph. Two strong ladies from two different perspectives bring to bear a movie of immense class and style – Marcia Weekes and Maxine McClean,” he said.
At the end of the film Minister King briefly addressed the gathering. He praised the quality and production of Joseph calling it a great initiative and a step closer to forging links between Barbados, Jamaica and Ghana. He said the ministry will do all it can to make the film available to the most vulnerable in society.
“This has been a pleasure of monumental proportions. I am hoping the ministry can, and I think we will, along with some other partners, make it possible for some persons… that we refer to as vulnerable who probably would never get a chance to go to the movies to actually see this film, I think one of the things we’re going to do is give them a chance to see this…”
The Minister also issued a challenge to local filmmakers. “The Caribbean was going to be the next place that the entire world is gonna be looking to for their stories and we have wonderful stories to tell. Not just stories based on the experience of those of us of African descent but there are stories of Scottish, Irish East Indians… There are so many stories that we have to tell and I want to challenge our filmmakers to get out there, find these stories and tell these stories.”
The festival runs from January 14 to January 19 and approximately 15 films will be screened. (IMC)