19TH ANNUAL BERMUDA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL KICKOFF

Let’s do the joke now and get it out of the way, shall we? Going to the Bermuda Film Festival? You’re going to see a lot of shorts! That said, the island’s boutique film fest, now in its nineteenth year, does field an impressive array of international short films vying for top honors in an Oscar-qualifying competition.

With standouts such as writer-director-provocateur Alex de la Iglesias’ new film My Big Night, BIFF ’16 also offers a carefully curated program of predominantly independent features, screened under one of five headings:

 

  1. World Cinema

A selection of the latest art-house and documentary releases from around the world.

 

  1. From The Onion Patch

A celebration of filmmaking from the region, including Respice Finem: The History Of The Berkeley Institute, a Bermudan documentary about the founding the islands groundbreaking educational facility.

 

  1. Gala Presentations

Films marking gala events on the opening and closing nights of the festival, this year the Julie Delpy written-and-directed Lolo and Xavier Giannoli’s Marguerite, loosely based on heroically bad opera singer Florence Foster Jenkins, the subject of an upcoming Stephen Frears biopic starring Meryl Streep.

 

  1. Special Presentations

Pre-release sneak peaks of high-profile movies.

 

  1. After Hours

“Films of a darker and more risqué nature befitting their late-night screening times,” according to the festival guide. Which sounds intriguing, although we’re probably not talking Dirty Grandpa here. Let’s hope not, anyway.

 

Other events include a master class from producer Christine Vachon (whose 2015 Oscar-nominated film Carol starring Cate Blanchett is screening at the festival) and the BIFF Film Academy, comprising the Books to Film initiative, aimed at encouraging an enthusiasm for books via their movie adaptations among primary school kids, and Reel Talk, a documentary screening/discussion group targeted at high school students.

The Bermuda International Film Festival runs from 4 to 11 March, 2016

– Simon Braund

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