Hollywood executives, producers, actors, media professionals and investors gathered with members of the Belizean Diaspora last weekend to network and build bridges between the two countries at the 3rd Annual Belize Film Commission Luncheon. Hosted by Belizean Americans Dr. Yvonne Goff and her husband, attorney David Fairweather at their well-appointed home in Pacific Palisades, attendees enjoyed good food, stimulating conversation and most important, exchanged strategies aimed toward building relationships and expanding the film industry of this beautiful Afrocentric country, with its vibrant Caribbean culture.
Among those in attendance were Belize’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture, Hon. Patrick Faber; the Consul General of Belize in Los Angeles, Roland Yorke; Director of the Belize International Film Festival, Suzette Zayden; and ABC World Morning News Anchor, Kendis Gibson. Gibson, who was born in Belize, is a former reporter and part of the launch team for San Diego’s FOX local newscast and has pledged his commitment to promoting ways to connect the Hollywood and Belize film industries.
Highlights of the afternoon included a virtual reality experience by Ryan Moore, CEO, Experience 360° using VR headsets, a screening of “Yochi,” the winning short film at the 2016 Belize International Film Festival, as well as an unveiling of a painting of the Deputy Prime Minster of Belize by artist John Barge III.
From Director of Photography, Robert Dugan:
"This just happened -- Roland Joffe, the director of The Mission, with Robert DeNiro and Jeremy Irons (one of the best shot films of the '80s, in my opinion), just retweeted the Yochi Kickstarter and complimented my cinematography. I'm elated. This film and Ilana Lapid keep getting me into the most unexpected scenarios. So excited!"
Go to: http://lascrucesbulletin.nm.newsmemory.com and navigate to Editions: Sept 2, pages A52-53
"In her latest short film, “Yochi,” New Mexico State University Creative Media Institute (CMI) Assistant Professor Ilana Lapid brings together her interest in making socially relevant films with the beauty of the Belize jungle and pine savannah."
"Lapid said she hopes that, in addition to entertaining, "Yochi" will be screened for educational purposes and will encourage dialogue about pressing conservation issues and the illegal wildlife trade."
"Their performances are so natural and fit so well, at times I felt like this is a real window into, not only life, but it has this really classical feel to it. While it’s set certainly in a very specific place and time, it’s also a very universal story and really resonated with me and drew me back to some children’s classics and coming of age stories from the 40s and 50s."
"This is one of the most beautiful films I think people will see this summer. It's just not only a beautiful film, but a beautifully shot film. [...] It has such has such a beautiful rhythm to it."