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Arriving to Nassau's Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA) at midday is a journey into chaos. What should be at worst organized chaos is just plain chaos. With too few customs officers, Bahamians and our money-laden tourists descend into mayhem when they expect to be welcomed by the easygoing flow of island life.
It is a frustrating ordeal for all involved. Customs agents meet ill-equipped residents with no receipts, Bahamians rush to reach the customs agent to avoid the lines and tourists stand dazed and confused. Of course, this is after waiting 45 minutes to find your bag on what appears to be the only working conveyor belt with at least three plane loads of people also waiting to find their bags.
Our tourists, predominately from the United States, often have never experienced a customs declaration where an individual may or may not search your bag. It is a nerve-racking experience for first-time travelers at LPIA to wonder what Bahamian officials are looking for in their bags.
While we can breathe a sigh of relief that the new arrivals terminal at LPIA may at least be cleaner and gives the appearance of the 21st century, will customs be improved for both residents and tourists?
Improvement not only comes with infrastructure changes, but also requires an improvement of service. Will customs become part of the e-commerce community? What if Bahamians could prepay customs prior to arrival and show an itemized invoiced receipt with duty payment?
The Bahamas must welcome our tourists and our residents. A first impression is a lasting impression, and the first impression arriving at LPIA is not a good one yet despite the upgrades.
It is with absolute horror that we watched the assault on innocent moviegoers unfold at the theater complex in Aurora, Colorado recently. But what is most frightful is the thought that this could happen anywhere.
The Bahamas has strict gun control measures, but clearly our borders are porous and our enforcement is weak. The Nassau Guardian reported July 17, that the Royal Bahamas Police Force removed 319 firearms thus far in 2012, a 24 percent increase over 2011. Ammunition recovery is also higher than 2011 with 5,083 rounds seized.
While we can applaud the recovery and confiscation efforts, the volume of weapons confiscated indicates a worrying trend. There are just simply more weapons out there. Police are not just collecting handguns or shotguns, there are high-powered assault weapons on our streets like the one used at the movie theater.
The night club shooting at East Bay Street and Mackey Street on May 29 that left eight shot with two dead warns of increasingly violent incidents in public places, especially in New Providence. Even more so, these incidents occur in areas deemed safe for tourists, lest we forget the daytime robbery at John Bull.
Even before the Colorado incident, Bahamians went out with increasing trepidation of becoming victims as an innocent bystanders caught between a gang quarrel or domestic dispute. The innocent are arming themselves against the violence. However, it is hard for the guns law-abiding citizens have to match up to high-powered weapons.
The innocent are tired of empty rhetoric on gun control. We must find the remedy in order to significantly reduce the flow of weapons into our country, enforce stiff penalties for those carrying illegal weapons, and teach our children and adults that guns do not solve disputes.
To most parents all summer schools are the same -- but that was not the case for parents whose children attended the Forward and Onward to College and Upward to Success (FOCUS) academic supplementary program Summer SLAM (Summer Student Learning and Achievement Mania). The Lyford Cay Foundation sponsored year-round project-based summer camp engaged the 70 student participants in academics by getting them to participate in daily activities that ranged from watching movies, viewing powerpoints on scientists and inventors, writing creatively and factually and exploring the power of group work and team effort.
For many students the unconventional summer camp encouraged them to not only see summer as a time to do more than laze around, but get a jumpstart on their schoolwork as well as ignite a new love for academics.
Because of his participation in the FOCUS Summer SLAM program, 10-year-old Teran Cash's lukewarm feelings about school has changed. The Mabel Walker Primary School student said he is now more excited to learn new things, and about school. The atypical academic summer experience has given Cash the drive to learn new things, and challenge himself to do better in his studies.
"I never had so much fun learning new things before I came to FOCUS," said the first year student. "The program is really nice and it teaches me things I would have never learned in school normally. I think being in the program will give me an advantage over other students who aren't in it. This is a really different kind of summer school and it makes learning fun. I'm really excited for school to start now because I will be ready," he said.
Program has layers
There is another layer to this student friendly program. It is also designed to assist students in the long run so they can further their academic success. After all, every student imagines going to college, fulfilling their dreams and living the life they set their minds to. But with the growing cost of attaining a higher level education such dreams seem almost unattainable and many students simply give up.
Despite the challenges, 10-year-old Margo Scarlett, a student at Oakes Field Primary knows that collegiate success can be attainable as long as she works hard for it. Through
"I like the program because I am learning a lot and my teachers said that I will get a scholarship one day if I do well," said Scarlett of the unique opportunity that sets a foundation for a bright academic future for the students who participate in the nine-year program. "That will be great for my parents so they don't have to worry about it. I like that the camp encourages us to do things together and I'm learning responsibility and things like that. It's also great that I know I will be able to do something great one day without any questions."
FOCUS is a free academic development and enrichment program aimed at transforming the lives of its participants. For teachers, it is an opportunity to be a part of an exciting process. The program provides academic support in a wide range of educational activities, counseling and mentoring to talented, but under-resourced public school students in the fifth to twelfth grades who are
performing at an average or above-average level.
Although it is structured similarly to many summer programs, facilitators stress that FOCUS is not remedial support or a day camp. They say there are many summer programs in New Providence that provide fun activities for children, but few that are solely academics based. But the most impressive aspect of the program is that beyond the fast-paced summer program it also provides ongoing monitoring and assistance throughout the school year.
Preparing them for college
Reaching out to underprivileged children and preparing them mentally and academically to get into good colleges with the promise of scholarships determined on the extent of their hard work is the key to this Lyford Cay sponsored program. For many of the children in the program the chances of getting into college are slim and for others, just getting past the typical primary school class is a challenge, so the program aims to not only teach students everyday things they need for class, but to also push them to see themselves as bigger than their environment and to excel beyond their dreams.
"We try to accomplish this annually by reaching students where they are academically and push them to learn even more through a fun project based curriculum and teach them how to be responsible in the process of each other's learning," said program director, Felicity Humblestone.
"This is more than a summer camp or after school program. We want to reach out to students holistically which is why our lessons are not typically just straightforward Math and English. We incorporate our planned summer project -- inventing makeshift instruments that can be used in a symphony into the subject lessons so they can see how things connect and start thinking more creatively."
Camp teachers and mentors give students creative history lessons to introduce them to the concept of inventions, learn about inventors and other applicable ideas they would need to make the project come to life. They also did music lessons to get them used to instruments and what models they could base the results of their project on. To get students focused in English they participated in numerous activities from writing plays or stories about inventors, inventions or musical ideas they come up with. Math was also creatively incorporated by having students do problems based on what they learned. They are focused on their project but get all their core subjects packed into one day.
Humblestone said if the program goes the way it should, students should not feel average in a classroom setting. She said they should be able to have a fun and easy-going experience that they can utilize in their future scholastic encounters. As they get older and enter high school, the program adjusts to students' needs and is more college focused to prepare them for tertiary level work.
The academic enrichment program targets students in the northwestern district of public schools and hosts an intense summer program for six weeks from the beginning of July to mid-August. To keep students a step ahead after the school bell tolls there are 15 Saturdays of academic support planned per school semester. Forty students were accepted into the program this year to join the 30 students that were already enrolled.
"We really want to get students to think bigger and do better in their every day work. We want them to be more creative thinkers and have the right mindset to continue to excel," said Humblestone. "It is important for us to start working with students as young as those in grade four because at this point in the pipeline we can work to influence them to be on the right track academically and assist them in problem areas early enough so their ability to do well later down the line is not affected."
Kenny Hall, a first-year student in the program, said the experience he had ignited his imagination about his future. The Woodcock Primary student said he now feels that growing up to be a law enforcement officer is a possibility for him and hopes the program will help him to work hard to attain his goal.
"I don't want to be just any police officer or Defence Force officer. I want to be a smart one so I can raise [through the ranks]," said the nine-year-old. "I know that I have to study really hard and work even harder. So it's good that I will have people who can help me to do well in my schoolwork and teach me new things. I want to be more creative so I'm really happy to be in the program."
Students eligible to apply to be a part of the FOCUS program have to be in the fourth grade in one of the northwestern district of schools which include Oakes Field Primary, T.G. Glover Primary, Woodcock Primary, Mabel Walker Primary, Stephen Dillet Primary, Albury Sayle Primary and Naomi Blatch Primary. They must get recommendations from their teachers as well as have their parents attend an information seminar on the program and give their approval. An application form can be filled out by parent and student. It should also be accompanied by an essay on why they want to be in the program.
Break out the popcorn. Bahamians now have the option of going to the movies like never before, without even leaving their homes.
Cable Bahamas Limited (CAB) officially launched its highly anticipated video on demand platform yesterday, completing its "triple play" suite of REVTV products.
"We're continuing to create new, convenient ways for our customers to experience entertainment and 500 REVTV on Demand does just that. Now, our subscribers have the ability to watch what they want, when they want, on demand," according to David Burrows, Cable Bahamas' marketing director.
Subscribers in New Providence, Grand Bahama, Abaco and Eleuthera that possess a digital set-top box will now have access to 500 REVTV on Demand.
"Using their TV remote, customers can navigate an easy-to-use menu and choose programs, and view at their leisure. Not only will movies be available in both standard and high definition but also concerts, over 300 karaoke titles, kids and local programming will also be available on demand," he explained. "We are very excited about the inclusion of our local content. Now film makers like Maria Govan, Kareem Mortimer and other filmmakers will have far greater reach into the Bahamian community with this platform."
Burrows revealed to Guardian Business during yesterday's launch that new titles are expected to be launched on a monthly basis and made available to REVTV subscribers. Broadband and television are now considered mature markets, according to CAB executives. Exploring new markets by enhancing its video product has been a priority for the BISX-listed company.
While NetFlix might be a competitor, CAB executives told Guardian Business that their offering should be far leaner.
More competition within the Bahamian marketplace is expected, although CAB now has a big head start.
Paramount, DreamWorks, Magnolia Pictures, Starz Cinemas, and Warner Brother's titles, along with HBO on demand, are all presently being featured on 500 REVTV on Demand.
Burrows noted that contracts have just been completed with Disney, Fox and Sony. These entities should be offering movies by the end of summer.
By year's end, Burrow estimates that at least another 100 titles will be added to the movie library.
"We are always striving to ensure Bahamians have the latest and greatest advancements in television entertainment and technology, and we're proud to announce the availability of 500 REVTV on Demand to our subscribers," according to Anthony Butler, Cable Bahamas' CEO.
"We also encourage parents to take advantage of the many parental control options our advanced digital boxes afford parents in both controlling purchases with their own access pin, and also helping them to ensure their children are viewing only what they want them to."
This announcement comes seven months after CAB launched REVOICE, a fixed-line service.
Mark Cabrelli, CAB's vice president in charge of sales and marketing, called the service a "big step in the company's evolution", as it seeks to present itself as an overall communications provider.
Nassau, Bahamas -
Join the Jung Society of Nassau as we watch this amazing film,
Adam Resurrected and hear
the comments of moderator Dr. Dominic Callahan, a Past-President of the
Center for Jungian Studies of South Florida.
We will explore the
question of trauma and destiny and ask whether Adam's destiny was
revealed through the bondage of pointless suffering or the fulfillment
of his deepest identity, what Jung termed the realization of his life
An evening of
fine dining, film and discovery...
My father passed away at 87 years old on March 11th, 2013. I'd seen him twice this year before a visit just one week prior to his death.† He was doing so well those first two times, that the last time I saw him, was when it finally sunk in that my father was actually going to die. Until then, I naively never felt it possible.
I'd always felt blessed that all of my loved ones were alive around me, while so many families deal with sudden deaths, accidents and sickness.
The whole idea of death and dying waited until now to visit my psyche.
My father lived a full and rich life. I have no regrets regarding our relationship, and have no thoughts or words left unsaid to my father, as we had a relationship...
Hey, if you hated last week's movie reviews, I'm sorry, 'cause here's more. Now, you don't have to agree with me and of course, you may think to yourself, "Why on earth does Dr. Strachan watch movies like these?" The last question is off limits. I'm a critic. I'm an artist. I'm a scholar. I must observe the world around me. And I like movies. All kinds.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part 2
A series finale is a hard, hard thing to pull off. I still remember watching the Return of the Jedi (the end of the Star Wars trilogy) with all this anticipation. I thought then and still think now that the Empire Strikes Back was the better film. Same with the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The second installment was the best. The last went on for too long. In the case of Harry Potter, "the last one" was actually two movies and close to six hours. Sounds crazy but I wish it had been one ridiculously long film. I would have appreciated it more. As it stands Part 1 kicks Part 2's butt. Still, I watched the final episode end with a certain sadness; it was like a phase of my life was over. (Melodramatic, I know). It wasn't bad; it's just I thought Lord Voldemort was defeated too easily in the final show down with Harry. Very blah, I thought. Still, fine cinema.
Cowboys and Aliens
Great cast. Silly story. And really cheesy aliens. I liked the re-writing of history, the fantasy alliance between Indians and Pale Skins against the new colonizers, but I just think Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig deserved a better story. Craig is awesome as the man with no name by the way (Clint Eastwood would be proud).
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
All the Transformers movies are dumb. And John Turturro is totally useless in all three. It's a shame because I actually love him as an actor--he can do many things well, but he can't act the fool convincingly. He's as bad at being comic relief as Patrick Dempsey is at being a villain. And why, why does Tyrese even bother showing up? He's just window dressing in this story about white boys. But then again, the white boys are just window dressing in a story about amazing living machines. But, having said that, the Transformers movies are awesome cinematic achievements from a special effects stand point. And Optimus Prime is just one of the all time coolest cartoon characters. And Dark of the Moon is certainly better than the second installment. I just felt that the young woman whose backside fills the first frames sold her soul. But that's not my problem, is it?
Sixty year old Liam Neeson is a fine actor. Sensitivity and power all at once. I'll never forget the first time I saw him in a film: Darkman, 1990 - a life time ago. He's made a shift for Oscar-worthy dramas to action flicks. Interesting. I enjoyed Taken, which is a real satisfying revenge/daddy-to-the-rescue movie. This one was a so-so brain teaser that just loses plausibility the longer it goes on. Nice try but no prize.
Awesome, awesome. The coolest wedding movie I've seen in a long time. People behaving badly and being totally shameless about it. What could be funnier? Quite a meditation on insecurity, petty jealousy, loneliness and self-absorption. Made me feel so good about myself (wink wink).
The Adjustment Bureau
What the heck was the point of this movie? It started off promisingly but it got stupider and stupider with every scene. Regrettable because the film offers us fascinating characters played by very fine actors (Matt Damon and Emily Blunt). I just wish the characters had a story and the actors had a script.
Grade: D for dumb.
I saw this film Stateside in one of those AMC palaces with arena seating. Magnifical! What animation was meant to be. The texture. The detail. The zest. The grandeur. The fun! And then the Western patron saint of Cowboy flicks makes an appearance, Clint Eastwood: Cue the angelic choir.
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
I don't know about you but I'm tired. Tired of Jack Sparrow. I can't understand how Jack Sparrow isn't tired of Jack Sparrow. Please, no more. And yet, despite myself, despite my best efforts, I was pulled in. I was rooting for this lousy hero once again. Arrrrrrrrgh!
This is a satisfying film experience on many levels, not the least of which was watching Cate Blanchet rock the house, again. Great cast. Epic coming of age story. Once again the creepy spies of Walmartland are up to no good. Such a beautiful, confused, innocent, deadly avenging angel is Miss Ronan. Bourne Identity for teen girls. Love the climactic battle in the belly of the big bad wolf.
That's it, see ya at Da Show. Don't be late, you'll miss the trailers.
IAN STRACHAN is Associate Professor of English at The College of The Bahamas.
You can write him at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.ianstrachan.wordpress.com.
Marvin Kerr, a 40-year-old boat captain, prominent masonic lodge member, and father of three, was killed in his driveway Tuesday night, six weeks after an unknown assailant shot him in the stomach outside his home.
Kerr was the owner of Kerr-2-Sea Ferry & Charter Service and the Worshipful Master of St. James Number One Masonic Lodge on Kemp Road.
Police said around 10 p.m. Kerr parked his car in his driveway on Taurus Court in Ideal Estates, off Soldier Road, and was about to enter his home when an unidentified man shot him multiple times. Kerr reportedly died immediately.
Dozens of family members, friends and lodge members gathered in and around Kerr's home as cries of despair filled the air.
At the scene, Kerr's sister, Cynthia Meadows, said he had just returned home from watching a movie with his wife when he was killed.
"He was recovering from his injuries. He just went back to work for the first time today (Tuesday)," said Meadows.
"[He] and his wife...they pulled up and came out of the car. When they came out of the car, the fellow apparently was already in here waiting on him to come, and shot him. But that's what happened the first time [he got shot].
"Whoever it was, was here waiting on him also. I don't know what to say."
The first time Kerr was shot was during the early morning hours of August 11.
Police said he was standing outside his house when a man with a handgun approached and shot him.
It is unclear if police identified a motive or a suspect in that first incident.
Kerr was the younger brother of Ken Kerr, CEO of prominent financial services firm Providence Advisors Limited.
He said Marvin Kerr was one of five brothers and part of a very large, tight-knit family.
Kerr stood awestruck amongst his surviving brothers behind police tape Tuesday night as officers processed the scene of the younger brother's murder several hundred yards away.
After police allowed the family into the yard, Kerr was among those praying with Bishop Walter Hanschell and his wife Mina Lee who came to the scene to counsel them.
As Kerr stood on the porch of his brother's home while family members comforted each other inside, he was reluctant to speak, but he said it was important for people to know that his brother was a good man, who will be missed.
"This is a difficult time for us. We're in shock and we're still not yet grasping what has happened. He was a good kid [and a] great boat captain," said Kerr as he cried.
"We're all close. There are plenty of us and we're all close. This is a difficult time for all of us."
Director of the Royal Bahamas Police Force National Crime Prevention Office Superintendent Stephen Dean said Tuesday night that police had no leads and were looking for the public's assistance in bringing those responsible to justice.
He said that police would not let murderers go unpunished.
"We want to say to the criminals: Police will find you. We will bring you into custody, wherever you might be. We want to say to family members who know of these criminals sleeping in their homes, please turn them in.
"This is no time to cloak any family members. The police will also prosecute you too for harboring [suspects] which is a very serious offense."
Kerr's death pushed this year's record murder count to 102.
Several of the regionís top authors are putting their weight behind the Caribbeanís fledgling film industry and this support is being welcomed by filmmaker and festival founder, Frances-Anne Solomon.
The Bahamas is missing out on potential jobs in the technology industry, according to a boutique architectural and interior design company.
Alex Holden, brand manager at Bahamian-owned SugarApple Studio, said the company recognized a gap in the market and decided to capitalize on it.
"There are countries like India that the rest of the world outsources cheap labor in those sectors, but I find that we are undersupplying in that regard. I feel like we could be supplying more and outsourcing more to other countries," he revealed.
The company's latest venture is an intense eight-week 3D Studio Max Training Course beginning at the end of the month. Holden told Guardian Business that the course is designed for persons who are interested in conceptual design, architecture, gaming level design, 3D
animations, film VFX and realtime apps.
"We are aiming to provide the course to architectural students at The College of The Bahamas, or anyone who is interested in video game design. It can be used for gaming, animation and for those looking to get in the movie industry," Holden noted.
He added that the $500 course will span over an eight-week period, equating to eight two-hour sessions, once per weekend.
Despite being open for only two years, Holden said business for the Fort Lauderdale-based operation has been steady. One area of business that has been booming for SugarApple Studio has been architectural projects. He pointed out that this field is already a successful industry in The Bahamas.
"So far, we have done a lot of architectural work for some big clubs in southern Miami, one in Dubai and another in Moscow. We are now undertaking major projects here in Nassau," Holden said. "We are looking to get more projects and continue to give The Bahamas quality architectural work."
Holden did admit to Guardian Business that the animation side of the business has not been nearly as successful as the architectural side. He believes that Bahamian society hinders that development, as labor is often funneled into the country's more regulated industries.
"In terms of there being a market for animation, I really don't think that it exists, but I do believe that there is a desire to have one."
He continued, "For example, if you were to talk to any 10-year-old child that has watched a Pixar animated movie, they will probably want to know how it is made and if they can do it themselves."
Holden shared that the course's primary focus is to provide a service that is drastically being undersupplied to Bahamians.
"It (the course) will draw attention to our services, so I believe it will have some positive side effects for marketing of our animation services," he added. "We saw a gap in the market and felt like we needed to supply it at a very affordable price for all."
Though The Bahamas International Film Festival is far off, film buffs can look forward to a second film festival also taking place in The Bahamas.
The Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLIFF), south Florida's festival to support and promote independent filmmakers through sharing their compelling films, will be going on location in it's 26th year for a three-day festival in Grand-Bahama.
FLIFF On-Location takes place October 27-30 at Canal House, Pelican Bay Hotel, and is an exciting opportunity for a creative cultural exchange between The Bahamas and the USA, says President and CEO of the 26th annual FLIFF, Gregory Van Hausch.
"I'm looking forward to watching our filmmakers get the opportunity to have an international audience," he says. "It will be neat to see the reaction of a different audience. That will be fun."
"On the Bahamian side, I'm hoping that it will spawn new films that we can show not only on Grand Bahama next year but stateside as well," he continues. "We're working with film offices in Broward County and on Grand Bahama Island and to have them participate and exchange, so we're hoping we can illustrate to the filmmakers that there are options for shooting films on the island."
The relationship between FLIFF and Grand Bahama began when FLIFF screened the movie filmed on the island, "Beneath the Blue." It occurred to them to screen the film on location, which they did last October. It was so successful that they began talks with the Ministry of Tourism and coordination began with the Bahamas Film and Television Commission to make it into an event with several movie screenings, workshops, and an educational component.
FLIFF On-Location often goes to other areas in Florida and even in other states, but this is the first time FLIFF On-Location has been outside of the United States.
"We have no illusions this first year that we're going to displace Cannes," Von Hausch says. "It's our first year and we've kept it small with about 20 films over the few days. But what we want to do is give a sense of what it can be--a unique space for filmmakers to have discussion and talks."
Indeed, Director of Business Development/Communications of the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism on Grand Bahama Terrance Roberts points out, the festival will be a laid-back but quality experience for festival-goers--which will also include Grand Bahama residents.
"The interest is now beginning to build," he says. "We spent a lot of time organizing and so now we're about to pull the veil off what we've organized. We're getting calls for tickets so the interest is very good, and the arts community is fascinated by the project and will support it."
Besides the approximately 20 films being screened during the three-day festival, there is a filmmaking workshop being offered by internationally acclaimed filmmaker and director, Kareem Mortimer ("Children of God", "I Am Not a Dummy", "Wind Jammers"), as well as an unusual but fascinating workshop offered by Paul Mockler for underwater cinematography.
"Paul Mockler is a resident of Grand Bahama," points out Roberts. "He's been living here for many years but people don't know how acclaimed he is internationally and that he's a leader in his field. So to have that workshop is really fantastic."
Indeed, the point, he says, is to have FLIFF On-Location involve the community in Grand Bahama which is already entrenched in the film industry, having been the host for
international film crews of various commercials and feature movies, including the "Pirates of the Caribbean". That way, Grand Bahama can benefit both creatively and economically.
"We wanted to partner with someone who knew our needs as well and to create arrival opportunities to the destination and fill hotel rooms," says Roberts.
"There are people in Grand Bahama who are interested in film development, and what we want to is complement the overall film developments in the country, so FLIFF certainly brings more attention to the islands of The Bahamas as a film location and you have great business opportunities."
In fact, both he and Von Hausch hope that the three-year agreement to host FLIFF On-Location in Grand Bahama will lead to Grand Bahamian residents making their own film festival that will complement the Bahamas International Film Festival that takes place in Nassau every December.
"We thought if we worked with FLIFF for two or three years to get a sense of how it works, if we had an appetite for it then we could certainly open it up to something we could do on a regular basis," says Roberts.
Having a film festival on Grand Bahama can indeed inspire a generation of young Bahamians to begin exploring the craft as they gain more exposure to it through the festival's screenings and events, creating a pool of compelling films and a thriving film industry on that island in particular.
That is the idea behind an important aspect of the festival that brings in developmental programming-- The Grand Bahama Youth Film Competition. This competition invites students to make and submit a short film to give one lucky winner the opportunity to screen their film both at FLIFF On-Location and at FLIFF in Florida as well.
Out of 18 submissions, the winner, Katrina Dorsett, was picked from five finalists. Yet all the submissions were fantastic and are reflective of a generation excited about filmmaking, says Co-chairman of the Grand Bahama Youth Film Competition Committee, Laurie Tuchel.
"It blew us away because really, Grand Bahama doesn't have anything to offer kids by the way of film education, so we really didn't know what we would get--but wait until you see the winning film; this girl is so talented. It's really good and of course the topic is so relevant," she says.
Katrina Dorsett's film, "Cyberbullying", stood out because of its message to take a stand against bullying. It may be used as a tool in her school to begin discussion on the topic.
Besides the screening of her film in Grand Bahama and a trip for her and her mother to see the film in Florida, the prizes--funded by Grand Bahama Heritage Foundation, Coldwell Banker James Sarles Realty, and a generous anonymous doner--include $500 and a GoPro Hero camera to Katrina, as well as Kodak VI8 flip cameras to the four runner-ups.
Tuchel hopes that after this first successful year, they can generate excitement for the second and open it up to the other islands for the third and beyond--as well as offer technical workshops to students to sharpen their submissions. Eventually, perhaps this annual film festival on Grand Bahama will in fact become a student film festival, she hopes--if not, then to have a large student-run component.
"If we can get them excited about the prospect of filmmaking and what that could do for them and the kind of people they would meet through that and the kind of voice it would give them, then I'd like to start a committee that's run by the kids as well so they can come up with ideas as well and lead us with our support," she says.
Indeed, including an emphasis on film education and development will ensure that what is beginning this year as FLIFF On-Location can become another exciting film festival for The Bahamas that will develop the potential for Grand Bahama to be a filmmaking hub for the world.
For more information about FLIFF On-Location, visit the Facebook groups for FLIFF On-Location: Grand Bahama Island and the Bahamas Film Commission: Grand Bahama.