Second Annual Film Festival is Here

Bert KirchnerAntigua, St John’s - Lights… cameras …and …action! Antigua is rolling out the red carpet again starting on November 18th to host the Antigua & Barbuda International Film Festival.

Due to the high interest of last year’s festival, the setup has been adjusted to accommodate more people. For six consecutive days ,workshops related to the film industry will be held at the Townhouse offices, with an extended limit of 40 persons per workshop.

The gala premier is no longer restricted to invitees, as VIP tickets can be purchased for EC$500 by those who wish to rub arms with the big names in movie productions. The traveling cinema will bring a selection of international film productions to different locations around the island, and even Barbuda is not left out and gets a screening on November 27. With big names like Mekhi Phifer, Joe Pantoliano and Omar Benson Miller, the Film Festival is off into its second year.

The popular workshop for secondary school students is scrapped from the program, as movie buff Channsan Berry is financing a Film Academy right here in Antigua. “We hope to be operational within a year,” says Bert Kirchner, President of the Motion Picture Association.

The adult seminars, which attracted a big crowd last year, are hosted by an impressive selection of individuals. On Sunday November 18 Olyne Latchan, make-up specialist, with connections to both Antigua and Trinidad, will host the Film Make-up seminar. Monday the 19th is reserved for acting and facilitated by Phonse Rosenfeld and Elaine Spires. Rosenfeld, formerly known as Alphonsia Emanuel, was born in Dominica, grew up in England and is both a film and stage actress appearing alongside acting greats such as Jeremy Irons.  Elaine Spires is a writer, actress, producer and director. She resides between Antigua and the UK.

The Sound seminar by Steve Jackson of Pelican Studios takes place on the Tuesday.  He has recorded countless greats such as Michael Jackson and Duran Duran. The camera and lighting seminar is the following day and David Udress, Media Facilities Manager at Browne University, and Shab Kirchner of Wadadli Sound Studios will be teaching that one.

On Thursday the 22nd, Production will be taught by the brothers David and Michael Udress, who both work at Brown University. The last seminar, which is Screenwriting, is facilitated by Professor Jamal Joseph from Columbia University School of Arts Film Division and Dr. Noel Howell, Antiguan-Barbudan screenwriter and film director. The workshops will be held from 2 until 5 pm.

The traveling cinema contains a selection of best animations, best music videos, best feature, short, documentary, regional and student films submitted from all over the world. On November 18 it kicks off in Jolly Harbour. Shirley Heights Lookout hosts on the 19th, Deluxe Cinemas on the 20th, Parham Anglican church on the Wednesday, Tree Tops in Coolidge on the Thursday and Deluxe Cinemas again on the Friday. Barbuda will get their public screening on November 27th. With the exception of Barbuda, which starts at 5 pm, all screenings start at 6pm and finish just before midnight. For tickets visit www.iffab.org

The best is always saved for last, and the red carpet gala promises to be even more spectacular than last year’s. “The theme set for that night is medieval 17th century,” says Bert Kirchner. “We will be giving out star awards again to the celebrities, but also awards to the best of the student summer program.”

At 10 pm the doors open to the public and the party will break out in full. Macca Jumbies, John Bull, Calvin S’s ‘Beautiful People’ mass troupe, a fashion show, dancers from the Alpha Group, performances by Fruta Della Manga, Art Halperin and Friends, and Itchy Feet with several local performers, will all be entertaining the crowd. The night closes off with fireworks and after that … it’s a wrap!

For more information on tickets and screening visit www.iffab.org

It’s a wrap!

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