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First Bahamian film screens in Cuba
Published on December 28, 2013 Email To Friend    Print Version

Trinidadian filmmaker Juliette McCawley, Austrian producer Alexander Younis, Barbadian filmmaker Lisa Harewood, Kareem Mortimer, and Trinidadian filmmaker Luke Paddington. Photo: Juliette McCawley

NASSAU, Bahamas -- Three-time award-winning film Passage, a short film by Kareem Mortimer, became the first Bahamian film to screen in Havana, Cuba, at the International Festival of New Latin American Cinema in the festival’s 35-year history.

Passage tells the story of a young woman and her brother fighting for survival while being smuggled into the United States on a fishing vessel. The film was featured in a showcase presented by the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival (TTFF) entitled “Caribbean Calling.” The showcase included four feature length films and five short films, all of which screened at this year’s TTFF, where Mortimer’s Passage won best short film.

Passage was included in our Havana presentation as it is a moving, well-crafted film that is particularly resonant for our region," stated Annabelle Alcazar, program director of the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival.

The films featured in “Caribbean Calling” represent a wide cross-section of the non-Spanish-speaking Caribbean and come from countries such as Aruba, Barbados, Martinique and Trinidad and Tobago.

“I have traveled to Cuba several times as a filmmaker and the honour of Passage having a place at such a vibrant, exotic festival that is a must for any serious filmmaker making content in Latin America and The Caribbean is a dream come true,” stated Mortimer.

Passage was one of five film proposals chosen by the Commonwealth Foundation’s Commonwealth Shorts, beating out thousands of applicants from around the Commonwealth in 2012.

Premiering in Auckland, New Zealand in February 2013, the film has received critical acclaim in the festival circuit winning Director’s Choice at the Portland Maine Film Festival, Best Short Film at the Trinidad & Tobago Film Festival and an Open Category winner at Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival Grand Bahama this year alone.

Passage will screen in Nassau, Bahamas, in January, followed by several festival dates in France and the United States in 2014.
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