Acclaimed Bahamian Filmmaker Makes Debut at the 27th Annual Miami International Film Festival

MIAMI – Critically acclaimed Bahamian filmmaker Kareem Mortimer will present his narrative feature, Children of God, at the 27th Annual Miami International Film Festival on March 13-14, 2010 at Regal South Beach Cinemas and the Tower Theatre in Little Havana. It is the first Bahamian film to be presented in the history of the Miami International Film Festival.

Children of God was shot last summer entirely in the Bahamas, both in Nassau and Eleuthera. Mortimer, who wrote, directed and produced the film, said “it is a subtle and haunting look at race, sexuality and religion in the Bahamas which makes it a very timely and important film and also an extremely gorgeous one to look at.”

Set against the backdrop of a nation grappling with violent homophobia, the film tells the story of Jon, a white Bahamian artist who faces losing his scholarship at a local university and Lena a conservative religious woman who is struggling with a crumbling marriage. Both escape city life in Nassau to the island of Eleuthera, where their worlds collide in a fashion that will surprise audiences. The film’s cast includes: Van Brown, Johnny Ferro, Mark Ford, Margaret Kemp, Stephen Tyrone Williams and a many other Bahamian actors.

Mortimer began his career in film at 17, when he wrote and produced the Bahamas Games documentary in 1998. He studied filmmaking at the Miami International University of Art and Design, and graduated in 2001. Since then, he returned to his home in Nassau and directed five films, four of which he wrote in addition to directing. His films have won numerous awards in North American, Germany, and Austria. Recently, he was listed as one of The Independents “10 to Watch in 2010.”

Bahamian filmmaker Kareem Mortimer
Kareem Mortimer, director of Children of God.

The 2010 Miami International Film Festival will showcase 115 films from 45 countries, including five world premieres, 22 North American premieres and 14 U.S. premieres and will showcase at venues all over the city. This year’s competition categories include Ibero-American, World, DOX, Cutting the Edge and Shorts. Special sections unique to MIFF include Cinema 360˚, Encuentros, REEL Education Seminar Series, Florida Focus and the inaugural Diesel Online Shorts Competition.

“This year’s program is all about quality in filmmaking and storytelling. We’ve gone out of our way to search the world for the best pictures, including some nominated for Academy Awards, and that’s why we have a smaller, more intimate program,” added Tiziana Finzi, artistic director for MIFF.

In a scene from Children of God, Jon (Johnny Ferro) and Romeo (Stephen Tyrone Williams) embrace.

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