11th Annual Bahamas International Film Festival

I spent the last five days at the 11th annual Bahamas International Film Festival. Special thanks to Rob Adler, AdlerImprov, and Leslie Vanderpool, BIFF, for making this happen.

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Dec 5

You Have His Eyes – A documentary that chronicles the search for Lionel Scott, a Jamaican track runner and national record holder who abruptly disappeared one day from existence, by his biological son. Pretty moving. Catch it if you get a chance.

The Barefoot Bandit – A documentary that explores the circumstances related to Colton Harris-Moore, the child burglar turned airplane thief who eluded the FBI. Very reminiscent of Catch Me If You Can. Recommend.

Opening Night Film

Like Sunday, Like Rain –¬†A struggling musician becomes a 12-year-old musical prodigy’s guardian for a summer. Features Debra Messing, Leighton Meester and Billie Joe Armstrong. Here’s the trailer. Enjoyable flick. The interaction between Meester and Julian Shatkin, who is really incredible in the film, is enjoyable to watch. And while Debra Messing is only in the film for a short period, she’s mesmerizing. Enjoyed it.

After the film, there was a Q&A with Messing. She’s an actor’s actor. She discussed Will & Grace and the conversations over drinks that went on behind the scenes before she accepted the role. She wanted the character to be more than a support character like many of the females in comedy roles at the time. She said she takes roles that she can dig into or relate with in some way. And she said it took her a long time to make it in Hollywood. She seemed pretty damn genuine.

Dec 6

Rob Adler’s Master Class – Rob had approximately 50 people of all levels come out and experience the power of play and games. One thing about Bahamian actors – they’re so free, open and joyful. You can feel their energy and passion and it’s contagious. Truly a fun and wonderful time.

Sun Belt Express – A film about immigration that explores the tensions of the borderland, the surrounding communities and those often divisive lines – through humor. Highly recommend.

Battered – TV stars, pro athletes, ex addicts, and two racist hicks from the South end up under one roof in a botched extortion attempt. It’s a dark comedy. Highly recommend. For more, click here.

I met the executive producers, Charles Porter and Candice Tab, on the shuttle ride over to the theater. Charles has a very interesting story. A former DI football player at Duke that got injured his senior year and passed on the NFL. He’s an actor and producer as well as a stage 4 cancer survivor. We happen to have two mutual Chicago connections.

Dec 7

Lake Los Angeles – Follows Francisco, a middle-aged Cuban immigrant working at a holding house, and Cecilia, a 10 year old Mexican girl who ends up there¬†with no family members to fend for her. Through navigating what was supposed to be both Francisco and Cecilia’s promise land, they find a common hope in each other while journeying through the hauntingly beautiful and desolate world that is Lake Los Angeles. Really enjoyed this film. Johanna Trujillo, who plays Cecilia, is captivating. A bright future ahead of her.

Short Films

La Donna – One night. A couple. One guest. A table immersed in alcohol, singing, play. Seduction. Decline. Emptiness. Loved it.
La Gallina – Very dark. Wasn’t my cup of tea.
Man Since Long Timeits short documentary about sexual suppression problems with guys in Egypt they cant make adult relation because its great sin and big shame. Hilarious.
Hotel Y – A married man connects with a mistress, but breaks it off after he finds out she’s sleeping with others.
Bodies In Irreversible Detriment – Horatio, a sufferer of Body Integrity Identity disorder – a disorder in which people seek to amputate a body part to make themselves feel whole – joins a group for people with the affliction. At the group he meets Sarah, a quirky BIID sufferer. Both lives get intertwined to find themselves, happiness, and love, while making sense of their affliction and those around them. Trailer. Really intriguing. Recommend.

Closing Night Film

Big in Japan – A struggling Seattle Rock band, Tennis Pro, take one last shot at making it big as they embark on a comical musical odyssey in Tokyo with hopes to prevent their day jobs from becoming their careers. For more, click here. A fun film. Directed by the same

Dec 8

Ocean, water slide, inner tube, snorkel day at the Atlantis Resort.

Dinner with Rob, his girlfriend Annie, two fellow AdlerImprovisers, Caedyn and Acela, and Roger Guenveur Smith. Roger performed his solo shows, Frederick Douglass Now and Rodney King, at the festival. Very timely given the incidents in Ferguson and New York. Great actor and person. Definitely catch his show if you get a chance. One of the most dynamic and engaging actors I’ve ever seen.