The Aruba International Film Festival wrapped its second edition on June 16 with a closing screening of The Guard.
The festival expanded its Caribbean Spotlight section this year, and started a competition for the series.
The Special Jury Award went to Jim Carleton’s Cuban emigration documentary Voices From Mariel, with a special mention to Fire Burn Babylon by Sarita Siegel.
The short film prize went to Felix de Rooy and producer Alydia Wever’s Muhe Frida, about Frida Kahlo.
The Caribbean Spotlight audience award, with a $1,500 prize, went to Kareem Mortimer’s Bahamas-set Children Of God.
The Caribbean Spotlight jury was comprised of journalists Noel DeSouza and Rosalie Klein and producer Emmanuel Itier.
The second Aruba Film Festival welcomed guests including actress Kim Cattrall [pictured], actor/producer Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, directors Jonathan Demme Michol Manchevski and Lech Majewski, costume designer Michael Kaplan, and actress Barbara Mori.
In addition to an expanded festival in terms of days and number of films, Aruba also inaugurated a 96-hour Film Lab for aspiring local filmmakers (with instructor Darrell Wilson of NYU). Also new was the Tolerance Day screening series, featuring Coffee: Between Reality and Imagination, The Invocation, La Rafle and Ensemble.
Films in the main programme included Oscar submission Even The Rain, Mike Mills’ Sundance hit Beginners, Colombian drama All Your Dead Ones, Gergely Fonyo’s Made In Hungary, and Dito Montiel’s Son Of No One.
The festival’s artistic director is Claudio Masenza; executive producers and founders are Giuseppe Cioccarelli and Jonathan Vieira.