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Bermuda Film Blog

Bakatown short film festival

Take a look at a new short film festival that our friends at Chewstick are putting together in Bakatown. Details below:

The Chewstick Foundation in its commitment to breaking down social barriers and celebrating storytelling in all its forms will be holding their 1st Annual Bakatown Short Film Festival starting Thursday, January 26th and continuing through to Saturday, January 28th. The 1st edition of the Bakatown Film Festival promises to be one of the best ever, as Chewstick will host a series of events celebrating local film culture, storytelling and production, culminating with a showing of short films from around the world, screened at Liberty Theatre on Saturday, January 28th. This is a project developed in conjunction with the Future Shorts Film Festival based in England. The Future Shorts Festival allows anyone, anywhere to host a screening of the Future Shorts programme – a feature length programme of the award winning short films from around the world.
The Bakatown Short Film Festival is a celebration of the art of film making. It encourages and supports independent filmmakers from Bermuda and around the world, by bringing to Bermuda a dazzling array of short films from a select group of directors. The Bakatown Short Film Festival promotes understanding of diverse cultures by displaying the passions and unique vision of these filmmakers, and promises to both entertain and educate viewers. The Chewstick Foundation is very happy to have received sponsorship from the Economic Empowerment Zones Agency and Digicel whose support is graciously appreciated as we collaborate to revitalize the Bakatown area and dispel the misinformation that challenges its vitality. Gavin Djata Smith, Executive Director of The Chewstick Foundation explains that “Apart from Chewstick’s primary aim to be an avenue for personal growth, our secondary aim is to be a positive force in Bermuda generally and “Back of Town” specifically; constantly embedding our youth, arts, cultural and community programs in the heart of this region. In this vein we are proud to re-envision this area by embracing the “Back of Town” legacy and reintroducing it as “Bakatown”; to both celebrate the deep cultural history of the area while at the same time marking a new chapter in its history as a revitalized center of Bermudian history, culture and pride. The Bakatown Short Film Festival is our first introduction of the theme that we aim to be a major game changer for the North Hamilton Community and Bermuda as a whole. And Future Shorts creates a unique opportunity to embark on this new path”.

Future Shorts ( is the largest short film network in the world, since 2003 they have worked to develop a platform for filmmakers to engage people from across the globe, through film. Future Shorts is an amazing company whose pop up film festival, The Future Shorts Festival is the largest of its kind; the goal is to encourage an international screening network to show films that cross, cultural and geographic boundaries, to create a global community. The Chewstick Foundation are honored to have become part of this network and to have found a partner organization to help The Chewstick Movement change the world, break down barriers, and celebrate and empower storytelling in all its forms. Thanks to the generous sponsorship of the Economic Empowerment Zones Agency we are able to hold the festival events free of charge with the exception of the Liberty Theatre Future Shorts screening, which will be $30 (20$ for Chewstick Members).

The Bakatown Short Film Festival will take place over three days starting on at The Chewstick Neo-Griot Lounge on Thursday, January 26 at 6pm with a screening of local submissions followed by a discussion on the filmmaking industry in Bermuda. Panelists include local filmmakers Al Seymour, Milton Raposo and Donald ‘Detrimental’ Robinson, also Asha Ludwig, director of one of the films submitted will participate. This event will provide an opportunity for filmmakers to network, inform and inspire each other about their passion. This is an free event that will also be streamed live and archived at Panelists will share their experiences and perspectives on the history and future of film in Bermuda and this will be a great opportunity to ask questions of icons in Bermudian filmmaking, with decades of experience and a plethora of knowledge for those interested in the industry.

The second event will take place on Friday, January 27th at 9pm, with a Local Music Video Launch Party at The Chewstick Lounge. This novel event will showcase local artists and music video filmmakers in a celebration of music video filmmaking, which has become the most prolific of the filmmaking industry in Bermuda. The entire party will be entertained via video DJ with local music videos being projected 12ft x 8ft on the new screen at The Chewstick Lounge. The Music Video Launch party will feature music videos from local artists such as; Twanee’ Butterfield, Prof-A-C, Jelani, Fiyah Marshall, all the way up to international local artists like Heather Nova, Collie Buddz and Mishka! Entry is free and local artists are encouraged to attend to see their video on the big screen. Snacks and refreshments will be available with donation graciously accepted to support The Chewstick Foundation.

On Saturday, January 28th will be the main event, featuring the Future Shorts Films at Liberty Theatre, this will be a 250 person event, screening the world class Future Shorts ( collection of film shorts. There will be an opening reception to kick-off the event which will take place from 6pm in the Liberty Theatre Lobby and will feature a selection of local performers and cocktails and refreshments for sale and a chance to mingle with fellow film enthusiasts. At 7pm the shorts will start in the main theatre. The collection is a series of six films that range from 6-20 minutes and display genres from real life dramas to stop-motion, and animation. Each film has received industry awards and the collection boasts winners from The Oscars, SXSW, BAFTA and the Sundance Film Festival to name a few. The relatively new Future Shorts Film Festival has made great strides at celebrating the short film medium around the world and we are proud to be listed as one of the host countries and the first in the Caribbean region to partner with Future Shorts. Please click here for further details on the individual Shorts.

The screening will end at about 9pm and will be followed by a wrap party at The Chewstick Lounge, where guests will have a chance to mingle with filmmakers, event organizers, and volunteers as they dance to the musical stylings of an array of hot fire dj’s, with inspiring visuals on the big screen while celebrating local culture and storytelling in Bakatown. This will be an amazing opportunity to experience the best that Bakatown has to offer, and lends itself to The Chewstick Foundation’s endeavors to recognize yet another facet of the tremendous stories we all have to share as citizens of the world. Entry to the wrap party is free thanks to the sponsorship of the EEZA. Please call the Chewstick Foundation at 292-2439 if you have questions or would like to volunteer for this epic event.

Tickets for the 1st Annual Bakatown Short Film Festival Liberty Theatre event (all other events are free) will be sold for $30 and are available at The Chewstick Headquarters on Court Street, or by contacting Chewstick at 292 2439 or emailing Chewstick Members please contact Chewstick directly to receive your membership discount.


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