THE Bahamas’ High Commissioner to London, Eldred Bethel, hosted a private screening of ‘Passage’, a short film by Bahamian writer/director Kareem Mortimer at Bahamas House in London on Wednesday, March 12, 2014.
Bahamian nationals, friends of the Bahamas and representatives from the London Diplomatic Community, the Commonwealth Secretariat and Commonwealth Foundation attended the screening which was followed by a question and answer session with the writer/director and a reception hosted by the High Commissioner.
Mr Bethel welcomed guests to the Nassau Theatre in London and offered congratulations to Kareem and encouraged him and all the other young Bahamian film makers to continue to tell the stories of the Bahamas.
“Tonight I want to paraphrase the words of St Paul, if one Bahamian suffers, all suffer together; if one Bahamian is honoured, all rejoice together. And so tonight we rejoice with Kareem,” stated Mr Bethel.
‘Passage’ was one of five short films commissioned by Commonwealth Writers which premiered at the Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival in Bristol, UK, in September 2013. The films, four dramas and one documentary, are the culmination of the Commonwealth Shorts scheme to develop the craft of emerging film makers.
The films focus on the themes of relationships and explore migration, indigenous rights, barrel children, and same-sex relationships. The filmmakers, from the Bahamas, Barbados, Canada, Kenya and New Zealand, have created work highlighting issues that affect them and their communities and will find striking parallels worldwide. Their films are produced in partnership with B3 Media and The Commonwealth Broadcasting Association/Worldview.
‘Passage’ is the story of a 20-year-old Haitian woman, Sandrine and her 13-year-old brother Etienne who are being transported from Haiti to the Bahamas in the hold of a dilapidated wooden vessel filled with several other immigrants in search of a better life. When her brother takes ill, she must use her intellect and strength to prevent him from being thrown overboard and save his life.
Over the past five years, Kareem Mortimer has won more than 25 awards for his previous three film projects. Kareem has made short music documentaries for the syndicated show Hip Hop Nation: Notes from the Underground, and has written and directed the short film ‘Float’ that has won 5 festival awards and distribution in North America, Germany and Austria. ‘Float’ received a US Broadcast premiere on LOGO. Moving Pictures Magazine crowned ‘Float’ as one of five short films to look out for and Kareem a writer/director to watch. Subsequently, he has directed the documentary ‘I Am Not A Dummy’ and a debut feature film ‘Children Of God’. ‘Children of God’ has won 18 awards, distributed in 24 territories, a theatrical release in the US and is currently airing on SHOWTIME. ‘Children of God’ was also named by BET as one of the top 10 movies of the year and one of the top features to watch by The Independent Magazine.