Stars Hail Film Festival A Success

Bert-Kirchner-Kevin Dillon-and-Sean O'KaneAntigua St John's - The celebrity guests at the first Antigua and Barbuda Film Festival have given it the thumbs up. Actor Kevin Dillon, of Entourage, wants to come back next year and bring his brother, actor Matt Dillon.

The celebrity has already started spreading the word back home, and Bert Kirchner, president of the Antigua and Barbuda Motion Picture Association, has received promising calls from big-time producers.

“I don’t want to put out their names yet, but one company wants to come to Antigua in February to scope out the possibility to produce a movie, and a reality show has pledged to come here in January to produce a film," he said.

One attending actor, Sean O’Kane, has received an inquiry about taking part in a film shoot in Antigua from a British company. And Bill Duke’s documentary sequel, Black Girls, was successfully filmed at The Inn in English Harbor. Pre-production was done by Wadadli Film Studios, and 40 local women were interviewed. The documentary is intended to be ready by the end of 2012.

The seminars held during the event had an overwhelming response from the public, Kirchner reported. People refused to leave and Kirchner decided to allow all 40 to join - twice the planned number of attendees. Due to this enthusiasm, sponsors have stepped forward and decided to fly in teachers every three months to conduct similar workshops.

The secondary school students enjoyed their seminar too, and were thrilled to meet some of the celebrities like Duke and Quinton Aaron, who spoke to them for over an hour.

The press conference at Galley Bay was attended by at least 15 journalists from Antigua, Barbados, and New York.

“Just about everything went exactly as we planned it and even better," Kirchner said. "At our red carpet event at the Copper and Lumber Store Hotel, we had wenches and pirates to serve and welcome our guests.

We thought it was a nice touch to have staff dressed up to complement the atmosphere of the historical venue. There were photo opportunities, and the musical performances were top. We also had Moco Jumbies, John Bull, Vitas Mas Troupe, and a costume show by Ayoushi. Official police officers grazed the entrance, and we had tents with film screenings on the lawn. Champagne flowed freely."Quinton Aaron-and-Wenches

The celebrities even got surprised with a special award ceremony for their achievements in the film industry. According to Kirchner, every single actor and producer enjoyed the festival and Antigua. “We showed them a good time and even gave them a VIP island tour, including a meeting with the governor general and the prime minister," he said.

The only hiccup was some technical glitches during the screening at Deluxe cinemas. Kirchner vowed not to have similar issues next year during the second event. "The film festival circuit is a big one, and there is a tourist market for it," he said.

"All you have to do is look at how successful The Bahamas film festival is. More than 500 hotel rooms are already rented out for their next festival. I know we put Antigua on the map, because the stars are talking and we are already getting calls.”

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2 Comments In This Article   


RE: Stars Hail Film Festival A Success

#2 interesteD » 2011-12-04 14:17

Bert................ .....congratulations .....however was the government involved in this event??? I saw a poster at the airport which listed the Government as your "partner"? is this so? and which Ministry was the partner as i have not heard a word about there role!!!!!!!


Great idea. Please reschedule

#1 Antiguan son » 2011-12-04 09:16

This is an excellent idea for development of culture, tourism, arts, technology, commerce, etc.

We do however need to ensure that it is rescheduled around the established film festivals. For example, Bahamas had their huge, Hollywood supported festival this week. We should not compete directly with that. We just need to coordinate with the other festivals. This is an opportunity to cooperate with the other hosts also, because industry players will attend several of these festivals for various reasons.

Antiguan son

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