This year’s Belize International Film Festival will be taking place from November 6 to November 10. This is the fourteenth edition of the festival, and to promote it, Suzette Zayden, the founder, held a press conference today. The next few days will be brimming with activities, and she gave a break down of what Belizeans can expect.
Suzette Zayden, Founder Belize International Film Festival: “We start tomorrow with two films, with an opening short called ‘My Father Belize’ which will start promptly at 6. After that there will be a half hour during which there is an intermission, a red carpet cocktail, and at 7 we start the ceremonies inside the Bliss after which it will be followed by the opening feature from Taiwan called ‘On Happiness Road’. On Thursday we feature the Green Globe category which is an environmental section that we have been working with Belize’s environmental community, that is two screenings at the Bliss for schools and anyone who is interested at 9:30am and 1:30 and there are a few films about environmental issues that will be screened at that time. At night at six o’clock will be a panel discussion on issues of importance to Belize’s Environmental Community and what should be important to us as Belizeans as well which is three panel discussions on topics such as Sargassum what’s happening with Sargassum, the issue of the ban on styrofoam and single use plastics it hasn’t been enacted yet so what’s going on and what’s the next move there, as well as the last topic will be the new coral disease that is happening right now and affecting our reef. On Friday we have a film at the Princess at 7 and 9 as well and we have the Film Industry Mixer, we’re speaking with the Commonwealth Foundation, there is a representative from the Commonwealth Foundation Writers Conference that will be here, they want to talk to you guys who are making films, all of you here and anyone from the Caribbean about providing funding for your next initiative for people who are writing stories, short stories and people who want to turn those stories in to short films. On Saturday we are at the Princess again starting from about midday with the films so you could make a whole day of film watching. In the morning there is going to be a screenwriting workshop that will be lead by the Commonwealth Foundation. We close on Sunday with a concert here at the Bliss with the Belize Youth Orchestra.”
Also, in Belize is Taiwanese filmmaker, Mark Ang. Ang is an organizer of his own film festival, Formosa Festival of International Filmmaker Awards, and his goal is to introduce Taiwan to the world through films. He spoke more about his trip here to Belize.
Mark Ang, Taiwanese Filmmaker: “I’m really happy that the embassy kept recommending and invited by the Belize International Film Festival so I could have a chance at how the film making industry on the other side of the planet. So it’s a good chance that I can talk to film makers, local film makers from Belize so I’m really looking forward to coming to the workshop and the conversation that will be happening tomorrow. After I was awarded like 56 times in Film Festivals around the world I started to become interested in operating a film festival so I started to share the Taiwanese films to the world whenever I go to attend the festival event and whenever I was there in the city I would open up screenings and invite people to watch Taiwanese films. So gradually little by little when I go over cities one by one I started to become a hub of Taiwanese films that many film festival directors were organizers they started asking me to recommend some films from Taiwan to their festival. So that just gave me an idea of why not just open up a physical film festival, so I just established my VFA which is for most International Film Festival awards in 2016. Compared to the fourteen years of a Belize International Film Festival I’m just a kindergarten student.”
We will bring more highlights from the festival in the upcoming days.