BIFF 2018 (2)

A post by Peter Jordens:

The second edition of the Barbados Independent Film Festival (BIFF) took place from January 9 to 14, 2018. The Festival provides a platform for independent films from around the world that embrace the power of storytelling to inform, inspire and entertain.

The following Caribbean films/filmmakers received awards at BIFF 2018:

– Carmichael Award for Exceptional Storytelling: Green Days by the River by Michael Mooleedhar (Trinidad and Tobago, 2017)

– Sir Trevor Carmichael & Jennifer Smith Founders Award: Poetry Is an Island: Derek Walcott by Ida Does (Suriname/Netherlands, 2013)

– Best Local Filmmaker: Abiola by Rommel Hall (Barbados)

– Trident Award for Achievement in Film: Shakirah Bourne (Barbados)

In addition, Barbadian soca artist Alison Hinds received the BIFF Award for Artistic Excellence at the start of the Festival.

Tre Greaves of Barbados’ Nation News reports that BIFF 2018 was a success, exceeding the expectations of its founders. Co-founder Jennifer Smith-Bent, speaking at the Awards Ceremony and final screening, said: “I think it went exceptionally well. We were a little bit more ambitious than we were last year with our programmes. This year we really tried to integrate local food, culture and I think it exceeded our expectations.”

In addition to the 35 films shown, there was a Cine Cuisine event featuring the work of local chefs Eddie ‘Classic’ Irani, Mark ‘Moo’ de Gruchy and Rhea Gilkes. While Smith-Bent said there was room for more local culture to be incorporated into the events, she said some of their challenges including getting the word out and volunteers. “As we grow, the Festival can only exist through voluntary efforts. We are all non-paid individuals who dedicate our time. If anyone is interested in being a part of the initial planning stages or [helping] during the week of activities, we welcome them,” she said.

She said the Festival remained a great platform for local and international film-makers to network. “By attending the events, the international film-makers get to learn about what’s happening in Barbados and the Caribbean. But equally so there is a lot local film-makers can get from interacting with those from abroad, some of them who are Oscar nominated,” she added.

For the complete, original news article, go to

Also see the BIFF website,

[The photo shows BIFF co-founder and co-director Sir Trevor Carmichael (photo from the BIFF website and credited to Amleya Clarke).]

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