[NASSAU, The Bahamas] – An Asian film festival has awarded the 2022 Best Television Award to Bahamas-produced Goombay Kids. The show is making rounds in festivals from Canada to England to Russia. An American film festival reviewer ranked the origin of Junkanoo episode five out of five for highlighting culture. The honors are a first for a Bahamas television production.
The groundbreaking educational show was created by Stephanie Nihon who was ecstatic to share the news on New Year’s Day. Nihon, who films the show on location, presenting Atlantis, The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas, and the Pirate Museum. In addition to stunning islands and even Junkanoo to the world.
Supervising producer of Goombay Kids is Rowena Poitier-Sutherland, niece of legendary Bahamian-American actor Sir Sidney Poitier. She is also the force behind the leading film and acting school in the Caribbean, Bahamas Artist Movement and the former Executive Director of Ministry of Culture. Serving as senior producer is Leslie Ellis-Tynes known as the star and producer of the hit Bahamian talk show The Stew.
This is truly beyond our wildest expectations,” said Nihon. “We knew we had a hit but it’s just a new level of excitement when international bodies recognize the talent, effort and work we put into it. So much so that they present us with this award. We are absolutely honored and this shows that The Bahamas can create a dynamic product that can be appreciated across the world. It is meaningful to be awarded in India because we actually featured India on the show in Season 2 as well as had Indian Bahamian actors on it ”.
Best TV Series Winner
Goombay Kids was the Award Winner of Best TV Series at the 2 11 17 International Film Festival in Tamil Nadu, India. The show was also a finalist in the St. Petersburg Television and Film Festival. Plus, a finalist for Best TV or Web Series. Many founders and members of the jury on the panel work in the leading areas of cinema, TV and Streamers in Russia.
KIDS FIRST! Film Festival
The show was the official selection at the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival for Best Episodic in Hawaii. The festival, now in its 30th year is one of the largest children’s content festivals in the USA. In addition, it partners with 50 venues worldwide to screen KIDS FIRST! curated content. It is owned by the Coalition for Quality Children’s Media.
The London Indie Short Film Festival, being named an official selection at the Multi Dimension Independent Film Festival. Moreover, a quarter finalist in the Vancouver independent film festival as well as the rounded off the accolades for 2021.
“The show is great and funny,” said KIDS FIRST! reviewer Tom W. “I like the creativity part of the show where the kids themselves make costumes related to the culture. The historical backstory of the culture is also impressive. To make it more realistic, it was told by the goddaughter Godfather of Junkanoo, which makes it more appealing. I enjoyed the lighthearted music throughout the background, which makes the movie more enjoyable.”
Now in its third season, Goombay Kids airs on OurTV (Ch 212) in The Bahamas. Additionally, it streams on several internet platforms including YouTube. The show has been praised by The Bahamas Film Commission and is gaining interest to be aired in other countries. Among last year’s highlights, Irish newspaper, The Independent featured a spread on Madison Knowles, the Bahamian actress who plays Anne Bonny in the 18th-century pirate’s hometown. The third season was launched with a full red-carpet premiere in New Providence where it airs on OurTV Channel on Cable Bahamas.
Nihon continues to provide opportunities for creatives. Utilizing a local cast and crew including actress Leah Eneas (Beneath The Blue, Miracle at St. Anna), child actor Javien Rankine (Netflix’s Mighty Express) and director/filmmaker Lanthro Munroe (Coco Studios, Tyler Perry Studios).
Through Goombay Kids these Bahamian actors, comedians, and filmmakers are now positioned to create portfolios. As a result, it can lead them to more international opportunities and awards.