The Bahamas are usually a winter getaway for many tourists in North America and other non-Caribbean areas. But, while most individuals flock to the island nation for sun and sandy beaches, another major attraction is the Bahama International Film Festival (BIFF), which annually draws major films, actors and actresses.
The festival, which will run from December 6 to 9, will screen short and feature length films from around the world. Programs include a Caribbean Spotlight, New Visions, Self Discovery, Shorts, Spirit of Freedom Documentary, Spirit of Freedom Narrative and World Cinema. The closing night film will be “The Sapphires”, an Australian version of “The Supremes”. The opening night film is scheduled to be “Quartet”, a comedy about retired opera singers.
But, every year the festival awards an actor or actress of its choosing, which can help draw in more attendees.
“Nobody embodies the spirit of BIFF’s Shining Star Award more than Sydney Tamiia Poitier,” Leslie Vanderpool, founder and executive director of the festival, said in a press release announcing this year’s winner. “She is one of the most gracious, exciting and multi-talented performers who excels in film and TV, and we know the Bahamian community will embrace her and help us celebrate her past, current and, most certainly, future success.”
Poitier graduated from New York University and was listed by People Magazine as one of the “50 Most Beautiful People in 2001.” She won the best actress award for her role in “Nine Lives”, a thriller also starring Clint Eastwood, at the Lorcarno International Film Festival and was nominated for Best Ensemble Cast at the Gotham Awards. Her latest leading roll was in Quentin Tarantino’s cult film, “Death Proof”, released in 2007.
With the announcement of Sydney Tamiia Poitier’s award as well as the lineup for the event, organizers can expect a large turnout of locals as well as tourists escaping the winter weather for warmer Caribbean waters and an international film festival. As such, outdoor showings may be needed to comply with this rise in attendance, which can be done with an inflatable movie screen.