For immediate release
11 December 2019

2020 Barbados Independent Film Festival Goes Global

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – The 2020 Barbados Independent Film Festival (BIFF) will once again be host to filmmakers from around the world during its 4th Edition this January 14 -19, 2020. But it too is going global and has forged a festival partnership overseas with the newly formed Block Island Film Festival, on Block Island, Rhode Island, USA. (See related release)

“We believe in bringing the world to Barbados and now we truly will be bringing Barbados to the world,” BIFF Co-Founder Sir Trevor Carmichael said of the new partnership. “Our film selection for this coming festival is thrilling and attractive to audiences from Barbados and beyond, as this new partnership with the Block Island Film Festival (also BIFF) indicates.”

BIFF 2020 will hold its opening night gala celebrating the Red Carpet Premiere of JOSEPH by local filmmaker Marcia Weekes. The drama was shot in Jamaica, Barbados and Ghana – and details the story of a successful Jamaican doctor in search of his African heritage despite his family’s misgivings. A truly international film, it stars Jamaica’s Kevoy Burton, Ghana’s Mawuli Kavor, and Barbadians Alison Hinds and Shontelle Layne.

The BIFF 2019 Collaboration Grant film will also premiere at the Opening Night Gala. This year’s film will tell the very personal story of the forgotten bastion of Barbadian cricket. Filmmakers Dan-Jamal Weekes and Susanne Rostock are the two collaborators.

Additionally, the festival is honored to present its Founders Award as an Icon in the Performing Arts to British filmmaker Gurinder Chadha. The award will be presented following a special Walled-Garden-Theatre screening of her worldwide sensation: BLINDED BY THE LIGHT.

BIFF 2020 marquis events include:

  • Cinecuisine – the extremely popular dining and film night at the Copacabana Beach Club. The evening features specially prepared, sustainably-sourced dishes from Barbados’ top chefs under the curatorial eye of Slowfood Barbados, the new Copacabana restaurant “Lola”, and One Tree for Every Bajan. This year’s film, WOMAN AT WAR, is a hilarious comedy with environmental overtones from Iceland. In addition to being selected for the Cannes Film Festival, the film has garnered more than 25 best film awards from around the world. Special guest: Filmmaker Benedikt Erlingsson.
  • Caribbean, Red Carpet Premiere: A KID FROM CONEY ISLAND – the story of NBA basketball player Stephon Marbury with special guests, co-directors Coodie Simmons and Chike Ozah. The film features Stephon Marbury, God Shammgod, Chauncy Billups, Ray Allen, Fat Joe, and Cam’ron. Produced by Forest Whitaker and Nina Yang Bongiovi, the film details the inspiring story of player Stephon Marbury. Great family entertainment!
  • HOORAY FOR HOLLYWOOD, a musical tribute to some of the most famous songs from Hollywood films, featuring the international singer Melinda Hughes, violinist Lizzie Ball and pianist David Shenton. The Walled Garden Theatre will be transformed into an intimate music club for this special evening.
  • A CONVERSATION with CUBAN FILMMAKER GLORIA ROLANDO. Renown for her documenting the stories around the re-settlement of various cultures in her native Cuba, Ms. Rolando will screen one of her favorite films and talk about her career as one of the leading filmmakers in Cuba.
  • SHORTS ON THE BEACH and FINAL FESTIVAL FILM – TOO LICKRISH will close the festival on Sunday evening at the Southern Palms Hotel.

Other festival highlights include:

  • THE TRUTH ABOUT MARRIAGE (USA) and DESRANCES (Burkina Faso & Côte D’Ivoire), a Wednesday Night double feature at Limegrove Cinemas;
  • REGGAE BOYZE (Jamaica/USA) and CABARETE (Dominican Republic), a Thursday night double feature at Copacabana Beach Club;
  • The family-friendly WILDLIFE EXTRAVAGANZA (Africa). Five short films from National Geographic and emerging young filmmakers – geared to inspire young and old audiences alike to care about our precious habitat (Saturday afternoon at EBCCI);
  • The thrilling documentary UNCIVILIZED by Dominica filmmaker Michael Lees (Saturday, EBCCI).
  • And we are thrilled to announce the Barbados premiere of SWEET BOTTOM (directed by Gladstone Yearwood), Saturday, January 18, at EBCCI.

BIFF strongly believes in its mission to help develop the creative industries in Barbados and again will host film professionals to give Master Classes geared to emerging filmmakers. BIFF2020 Master Classes feature:

  • Ed Neumeier, the writer and producer of ROBOCOP, STARSHIP TROOPERS, is returning to BIFF to give a screenwriter workshop;
  • Lone Scherfig, the award-winning Danish/English director and screenwriter will hold two classes geared to student filmmakers on producing, directing and acting for the camera;
  • Renown editor and director Susanne Rostock will return to hold her popular two-hour Master Class on film editing;
  • Blueprint Creative will hold a Master Class on brand development.

For a complete schedule and more information about BIFF films, masterclasses and events, please visit www.barbadosfilmfest.org . Tickets are on sale now through the website and are available at the Barbados Museum and Historical Society and the Copacabana Beach Club.

Notes to Editor