In 2009 BIFF showcased 87 films from 26 different countries, including 54 features of which several are world or international premieres and nearly all Bahamian premieres.

Competition Categories:
Spirit of Freedom: Narrative 

LA SOGA 2009 winner


Spirit of Freedom: Documentary



New Visions

 MORENITA 2009 Winner


Short Films

GAINING GROUND 2009 winner

Maria Cataldo

Short Film

Maria Cataldo is a New York City based filmmaker and theater artist.  As a film editor her credits include RAIN, which premiered at the 2008 Toronto Film Festival, and CHILDREN OF GOD, this year’s opening night film at BIFF.  Further credits include her work through The Weinstein Company where she assisted and coordinated the post-production on films such as Bobby, Factory Girl, Dedication, The Protector, Penelope and The Dixie Chicks’ Documentary Shut Up and Sing.  Additionally, Maria's theater and experimental video have been presented in NYC through St. Ann’s Warehouse, HERE Arts Center, The Looking Glass Theater, The Tank, and elsewhere including The Blue Theater (New Orleans), and The State Theater (Ithaca, NY).  Over the past several years, while holding a recurrent writing residency through the Arts Conservatory at Choate Rosemary Hall, Maria wrote and developed a series of scripts for young actors, and in 2008 she became a member of the Brooklyn Writers Space.  Maria is currently at work editing the feature film WIND JAMMERS on location in Nassau.

Kate Cohen

Short Film

Ms. Cohen began her career in the entertainment industry at the age of 17 in Los Angeles. She has been successful in a variety of areas in fashion and film.  She has been a PR consultant for several high-end designers such as Prada, Jewel, Mark and Estel, and Chrome Hearts, creating publicity events and assisting in successfully launching their products into the marketplace. During her tenure as a PR consultant, she developed numerous high level relationships in the entertainment industry. Her effectiveness and relationships led to her being asked to raise capital for a variety of film projects by the age of 23. As a result of her successes she developed her own creative projects;  the latest of these was contributed to Straight Up Films when she came on board, “Boarding  House”, starring  Mira  Sorvino and Nick Stahl. The project is being co-produced by Terry Leonard, who worked on the award winning “Stephanie Daley”. In October of 2008, Kate joined Straight Up Films and partnered with Producer Marisa Polvino. Kate currently has 6 projects in various phases of development, some with A-List casts attached.  “Fool Proof”, a thriller which she is producing with Philip Noyce (The Bone Collector, Rabbit Proof Fence) and to be directed by award winning Dutch director Christoffer Boe (Reconstruction); “The Berkeley Connection”, a buddy comedy by Marshall Brickman (Annie Hall, Manhattan) starring Dennis Hopper; and “Callas”, the wrenching tale of one of opera’s most talented and beautiful, yet tragic figures, the enigmatic Maria Callas.


Kate has also shown a flair for writing, and her productions reflect a discerning eye for material with award-winning potential.  With her in-depth relationships across both the entertainment and finance industries Kate has the ability to bring multi-dimensional resources to complete projects with a high level of success.

Nancy Colette

Spirit of Freedom-Documentary

Nancy Collet’s experience in the film industry spans over 18 years.  With her extensive knowledge of working with studios and film festivals, she founded Cinema Collet in 2007.  Her company offers a variety of services to film festivals, filmmakers and distribution companies.  Her clients include The Toronto International Film Festival, The Middle East International Film Festival, Goteborg Film Festival, Heartland Truly Moving Pictures, Whistler Film Festival, Gasparilla International Film Festival, Malibu Celebration of Film, Telefilm Canada and Sharmill Films.  Her services include festival start-up, festival strategy, programming, event management, VIP/Industry, marketing and PR. 


Collet has regularly attended the major film festivals and markets since 1997 and also served as a juror and panelist for numerous film festivals, including the HBO Aspen Comedy Arts, Cleveland International Film Festival, American Film Market, Ashland Independent Film Festival and Kansas City Film Festival.


From 1997 to 2007, Collet worked for the American Film Institute’s AFI FEST.  She was promoted to Director of Programming in 2000 and produced seven editions in this capacity.


Nancy is a 1989 Magna Cum Laude graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School and has a dual degree in Marketing and Psychology. 

John Cox

Short Film

John Cox was born in Nassau, Bahamas in 1973.   Cox attended the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, Rhode Island, where he received a BFA in Illustration ('95) and an MAT in Art Education ('96). 


Cox is a mixed media artist whose works focuses on the “everyday”.  He is known for large format paintings, found object assemblages, collage and non-traditional printmaking.  During his time at RISD Cox was described by a Harvard University critic/poet as an unsophisticated artist that produced sophisticated art.  His work often references distant places and ideas but is executed with familiar and ordinary materials.  Cox has exhibited and participated in exchanges in France, Italy, Germany, Hong Kong, the United States and the Caribbean.  


Cox taught in the Art Department at the College of the Bahamas (COB) for six years before working in Education at the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas for four years.   Currently Cox teaches art at COB in addition to owning and directing Popopstudios – Center for the Visual Arts in Nassau, Bahamas, an artists cooperative with emphasis on contemporary visual art. 


David Greenbaum

New Visions

David Greenbaum is the Vice President of Production and Development at Miramax  Films.  He is currently overseeing the production of THE DEBT (starring Helen Mirren, Tom Wilkinson and directed by John Madden) as well as the development and upcoming productions of THE WONGA  COUP (written by Steve Knight), SPECIAL TOPICS IN CALAMITY PHYSICS  (being adapted and directed by Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden), and TELL NO ONE (written by Andrew Dominik) among others. Greenbaum was recently listed by the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER in their annual NEXT GENERATION issue as one of the top 35 entertainment executives under the age of 35.


Prior to living in New York he was based in London as the Director of Production and  Development at Miramax where he oversaw the production of BREAKING AND ENTERING (directed by the late Anthony Minghella) among other international projects.  


Greenbaum started his film career working as the Executive Assistant to Harvey Weinstein, then  Co-Chairman of Miramax.  He is a graduate of Cornell University and  Oxford University.


Sheila Hailey

New Visions

Sheila Hailey is the widow of Arthur Hailey, international best-selling author of 11 novels and 12 television plays.  Eight films were produced from his books and plays.


Arthur and Sheila were married for 53 years. She was an editor for a London book publisher in the late 1940’s, a writer and editor for Canadian magazines in Toronto in the 50’s, and had a four-year stint as a Canadian television writer and commentator in the 60’s. This experience gave her the ideal background to become her husband’s first editor for all his books and plays.  


Her lifelong passions have been the theatre, cinema and the spoken word.  Sheila was always her husband’s sounding board ever since “the golden age of television” when he wrote his plays for live TV in the era of Paddy Chayefsky, Reginald Rose, and Rod Sterling. 


She has written and published two books, one of which was published in six languages; and she is a member of the Bahamas Women's Forum. 

Jamie Kantrowitz

Spirit of Freedom-Narrative

Jamie Kantrowitz has been at the heart of the digital media and entertainment industry since 1999, having built a diverse perspective through her work in music and entertainment, politics and non-profit organizations, and most recently through the phenomenal growth of social networks and Web 2.0 for the last 4 years at and Fox Interactive Media.


Until July 2009, Jamie served as Senior Vice President, Strategy and Global Marketing for MySpace Music, a joint venture formed by Myspace in 2008 with UMG, Sony, EMI and WMG. There, Jamie was brought on to build the strategy for expanding MySpace Music’s content partnerships and original programming, consumer and product marketing initiatives in the US and internationally. While there, she oversaw the first-ever 360° News Corp artist marketing campaign, partnering with Fox TV and The Family Guy to release Eminem’s recent album “The Relapse”.


Prior to this role, Jamie was based in London and served as MySpace’s Senior Vice President, International Marketing and Content.  She played an integral role in overseeing MySpace’s expansion into 30 international territories and was the first international employee at the company. She relocated to London from MySpace's Los Angeles headquarters, where until February 2006 she served as VP of Marketing and Communications. In her role, Jamie pioneered relationships with record labels, entertainment properties, and lifestyle channels to expand the company’s pop cultural reach. During her tenure, Myspace diversified it’s verticals, growing out the Myspace Film and Comedy channels from their already successful Music platform.  Prior to moving to London, she chartered deals in the industry with networks including NBC, Fox and Bravo to include exclusive content and groundbreaking multi-platform marketing programs from The Office, Nip/Tuck and Project Runway.


Out of London, Kantrowitz built and led an international marketing team in over 20 countries that continues to innovate MySpace’s global branded entertainment and drives the strategy for its lifestyle channels, such as MySpace Music, MySpaceTV, Film, and Comedy in Europe, Asia and Latin America. Internationally, Myspace has been a a pioneer of branded and multiplatform entertainment, launching groundbreaking concepts such as “Faintheart”, the world’s first user-generated feature film, and “Beyond the Rave”, the web’s first original drama series released globally in 16 countries. In Germany, Australia, Italy, Spain and the UK, Myspace was the first company to bring original web and social content to the forefront of the media landscape.


For her work at MySpace Jamie has been placed on Billboard Magazine’s 2005 “30 under 30 to watch” list and was honored in Ad Age’s Top 50 Marketers of 2005. She also serves on the advisory board of the Creative Capital Fund, an equity fund that helps talented entrepreneurs in London’s creative industries and SeedCamp, a program created to jumpstart the entrepreneurial community in Europe by connecting next generation developers and entrepreneurs with over 400 mentors from a top-tier network of company builders.


A native of Los Angeles, Jamie is a graduate of Emory University where she received a BA in International Relations.

Delroy Lindo

Spirit of Freedom-Narrative

Delroy Lindo has had memorable film roles in David Mamet’s “Heist,” ; and as Mr. Rose in The Cider House Rules.  Lindo garnered critical acclaim for his role as Rodney in Spike Lee’s drama Clockers, and also worked with Lee on,  Crooklyn and Malcom X, (earning an NAACP Image Award nomination, for his work as West Indian Archie). He was most recently seen in the hit film, This Christmas, also serving as  Executive Producer. 

  On TV, Lindo starred in the NBC series,  Kidnapped.  He’s also  featured in Lackawanna Blues (HBO) and in The Exonerated ( Court TV).  He appeared to critical acclaim in the CBS drama Profoundly Normal, starred as US Supreme Court Justice, Clarence Thomas in the Peabody Award winning drama, Strange Justice, (Showtime); and received critical acclaim playing baseball legend Satchel Paige in HBO’s stirring drama, “Soul of the Game.”  Delroy also starred as Arctic explorer Matthew Henson in “Glory and Honor” (TNT) and appeared in “First Time Felon” (HBO). Also for TV, Lindo conceived, produced, hosted, directed and co-edited documentary interviews featuring Spike Lee, Charles Burnett and Joan Chen.


 In Theatre, Lindo was most recently seen in the title role in Agmamemnon at the Getty in Los Angeles. Prior to that, he appeared in the London stage production of ‘The Exonerated’.

On Broadway, Lindo featureed as Herald Loomis in August Wilson’s, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, receiving Tony and Drama Desk Award nominations; and Master Harold and the Boys,  (Broadway & National Tour); and as Walter Lee in the Kennedy Center and Los Angeles productions of A Raisin in the Sun (Helen Hayes Award Nomination and NAACP Image Award, Best Actor).  Lindo has also worked Off-Broadway; and extensively in regional theatres throughout the United States and Canada.


Theatre directing credits include critically and commercially acclaimed productions of Joe Turner’s Come and Gone (Fall 2008), and a new play, Blue Door; both for Berkeley Rep. Theatre. Additionally,  Lindo won a 2006 Los Angeles Theater Weekly Award for his work directing the Vietnam era drama, Medal of Honor Rag.

Tivi Magnusson

Spirit of Freedom-Narrative

Tivi Magnusson started working with film in 1962, taking a film education at Laterna Studios in Denmark. He graduated in 1965, and after 10 years in the fashion industry, Tivi Magnusson returned to film as President of HTM Film (1975-1984)


In 1984 he became President for Metronome Production, and was names Head of DR Television International in 1988.


From 1990-1994 he was Executive Vice President in Egmont Audio Visual Group.


In 1994 Tivi founded M&M Productions, where he is still President.


Tivi has produced more than 50 films and TV-series, and has won numerous prizes and awards. Among others – 2 Oscars, 5 Emmys, 2 Silver Bears and numerous Danish Academy Awards “Robert”.


He is a voting member of both The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, USA and The European Film Academy, and is a member of several film boards, ranging from funds to festivals.

Pam Poitier

Short Film

Ms. Pamela Poitier is an Adelco Award awarding winning actor of theatre, television and feature films. Pamela Poitier has appeared in many plays Off and Off Off Broadway as well as on Broadway in The Gospel of Colonus with Morgan Freeman, an award winning ABC After School Special, and several feature films such as scenes in Stir Crazy with the late Richard Pryor, and Ghost Dad with comedian Bill Cosby; both films directed by her father Sir Sidney Poitier.  As a Writer/Producer Ms. Poitier has published a book of Poetry “A Woman’s Soul” and has created and written several television shows, most recently in the Bahamas, Bahamian Spirit Good News Bahamas for ZNS, The National Broadcasting Corporation of the Bahamas.  Ms. Poitier also produced and created the Cat Island Rake & Scrape Festival.  As a former teacher at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute in New York, Pamela has taught acting & movement in Los Angeles, Atlanta and New York.  

Giovanni Stuart

New Visions

Giovanni Stuart, an aspiring filmmaker, is a reporter/anchor at the broadcasting corporation of the bahamas - ZNS TV 13…

Before joining the National Broadcast Service, Mr. Stuart served full-time as a noted freelance strategic multimedia marketing manager and public relations agent.

The queen’s college and clark atlanta university graduate is a state recognised recording/literary artist who has defined his contribution to the bahama media landscape by his affinity to corporate bahamas and the cultural arts.

Mantra: Bahama Brilliant

Debra Zimmerman

Spirit of Freedom-Documentary

Debra Zimmerman has been the Executive Director of Women Make Movies, a non-profit feminist media organization since 1983. During her tenure, the organization has grown into the largest distributor of films and videotapes by and about women in the world. Women Make Movies is known for discovering and distributing the films of new and innovative filmmakers, including Sally Potter, Jane Campion, Gurindha Chadha and Julie Dash. Its Production Assistance Program has assisted such features as Boys Don't Cry and Love & Diane, a recent WMM theatrical release.


Zimmerman is in great demand as a lecturer on women's media and media distribution and fund raising throughout the world, has been a grants panelist for government and private foundations and served as a jury member for numerous festivals.