Two films that made their world premiere at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival will screen on the opening night of the sixth Bermuda Documentary Film Festival on Friday April 20.
Chasing Ice, which won a Cinematography Award at Sundance, tells the story of the Extreme Ice Survey, a massive photography project utilising 30 cameras over three continents to gather visual evidence of the Earth’s melting glaciers. This stunningly beautiful film, which captures the most visible sign of climate change on the planet today, screens at 6 p.m. on opening night.
It will be followed at 8.15 p.m. by Under African Skies – the story of Paul Simon’s return to South Africa for a reunion concert 25 years after his ground-breaking Graceland album united musical cultures, but divided world opinion on the boundaries of art, politics and commerce. Simon reunites with the musicians, including Ray Phiri, Hugh Masekela and Joseph Shabalala – but also has a fascinating conversation with anti-apartheid activist Dali Tambo, who shares his compelling perceptions about Simon’s breaking of the United Nations cultural boycott of South Africa.
The festival also features the world premiere of Bermudian director Lucinda Spurling’s film, In the Hour of Victory, which is based on the book of the same name by Bermudian Jonathan Smith – plus the winner of the Australian Academy Award (Mrs. Carey’s Concert), a film short-listed for the 2012 Oscar (Semper Fi: Always Faithful), a film nominated for the South African Academy Award (Robert Mugabe: What Happened?), the winner of the Audience Award at DOC NYC (First Position), the winner of the People’s Choice Award at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival (The Island President), as well as two sports documentaries – The Four-Year Plan (behind the scenes at English Premier League soccer club Queen’s Park Rangers) and Fightville (about the increasingly popular sport of Mixed Martial Arts).
Bermuda Docs takes place at the Tradewinds Auditorium of the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute, April 20-22.
Saturday’s line-up kicks off at 2 p.m. with The Island President, which won a Sustainability Award from the Sundance Institute. It tells the story of Maldivian president Mohammed Nasheed, who becomes one of the world’s leading figures in the fight against global warming because the very survival of his country – some 80 per cent of the Maldives is less than one metre above sea level – depends on it.
Screening with The Island President will be a 17-minute short film by Bermudian filmmaker Robert Zuill, Haiti Village Health, about the opening of a medical clinic in impoverished Haiti by Bermuda-based physician Dr. Tiffany Keenan. Robert Zuill and Dr. Keenan will attend the screening and take part in a Q and A.
“Chasing Ice and The Island President could be viewed as companion films,” says Bermuda Docs’ festival director Duncan Hall. “The first film delivers compelling evidence of the existence of global warming, while the second film shows how the failure to address the threat of global warming would have disastrous consequences for the future existence of an entire country.
“The festival line-up is varied, and has something for everyone. I am particularly delighted that two films by Bermudian filmmakers – Lucinda Spurling and Robert Zuill – are part of the film programme.”
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