CayFilm Festival brings the stars

CayFilm, the official film festival of the Cayman Islands, will be held in Grand Cayman from June 30 to July 3. This year’s festival is offering another jam-packed weekend of films, panels, workshops and soirees under the theme of ‘Film, Fashion and Food.’

CayFilm officially launched in June 2014 with a star-studded, red-carpet affair at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman that included Oscar-nominated actor Terrence Howard and Emmy award-winning director Jon Chu.

Since then, the festival has grown rapidly, solidifying its status as a not-to-miss film event in the Caribbean.

Noted TV and movie stars and industry experts who have attended the festival over the last two years include Zoe Saldana, Anthony Mackie, Gary Lucchesi, Brian Cox, Wes Studi, Alexa and Carlos PenaVega, Nicky Whelan, Reno Wilson, Loren Carpenter, Paul Schrader, James V. Hart, and “Star Wars” cast and crew members Robert Watts, Jeremy Bulloch, Ben Burtt, Lorne Peterson and Paul Weston.

This year, in keeping with the food theme, celebrated television host and multi-award-winning Chef Eric Ripert – seafood master and co-owner of Le Bernardin in New York City and Blue by Eric Ripert at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman – will be headlining the festival.  Chef Ripert will participate in the opening and closing gala events, take part in a screening and Q & A celebrating his years as a television host and will host an exclusive chef’s dinner with CayFilm celebrity guests.

CayFilm will also be screening the José Andrés National Geographic Special “Undiscovered Haiti.” The film follows the world-renowned chef as he explores the island of Haiti, immersing himself in the culture and power of food in the country, and includes appearances from personalities such as former President Bill Clinton and Chef Mario Batali.

Local designers Isy Obi, Olivia B and Kenzie Rose will be bringing their unique styles and fashion flair to the red carpet too as part of CayFilm’s efforts to showcase one of the island’s rapidly developing industries.

The trio will host a Q&A session for aspiring fashion designers and people who are interested in the industry, and their pieces will be on display and modeled at the various festival events.

800 films were submitted for this year’s CayFilm, and more than 200 films from over 50 countries will be screened over the festival weekend. Films will be judged and awarded in the genres of Feature Films, Short Films (both Narrative and Documentaries), Animated Films, Underwater Films, Screenplay and First Films.

Other workshops and panels will be conducted by experts such as renowned photographer Vincent Versace, producers Gary Lucchesi and Lee Chambers, actor Wes Studi and live action special effects guru Dieter Sturm.
The film festival weekend kicks off on June 30 with a VIP-only welcome gala. Saturday and Sunday are full days of films and panels and the festival culminates on July 3 with a VIP-only gala closing party and awards ceremony.