BIFF and BUEI fall out over film
A clash between two charities has threatened the Bermuda International Film Festival’s private screening of an island film.
But producer Brooke Williams said the movie Maternal Secrets would have its private screening as scheduled tomorrow night at the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute.
The Triventure Films screening, however, will go on without the BIFF banner.
The news comes after BIFF got into a row with the BUEI, which said it wanted to use its premises to develop its own brand of films.
The film group asked the BUEI last month to donate time for a screening of Maternal Secrets, produced and directed by Ms Williams and Lucinda Spurling, for today and tomorrow night.
But sources close to the group claim that the BUEI has moved from its original purpose to a profit-seeking enterprise.
A November 6 e-mail seen by The Royal Gazette from Mel Ferson, director of BUEI and husband of Ginny Ferson, the Deputy Governor, said: “It is not a good fit for BUEI to work with BIFF”.
The institute was said to want to build its own film brand, and Mr Ferson advised that the BUEI had to raise funds from the hire of its rental spaces — and that giving space free was “extremely rare”.
The film charity was advised that Ms Williams had contacted BUEI and that the waterfront venue was prepared to look at whether the film could be shown under its own brand — but not under the BIFF banner.
Maternal Secrets, a thriller shot in Bermuda under the working title of Babymoon, has been sold to MarVista Entertainment for distribution next year.
The charity’s licence agreement with Triventure Films, who produced the movie, would not allow them to charge guests to attend the screening.
BIFF director Patrice Horner said film group had a “long history of rentals for the BUEI meeting rooms” as well as its Tradewinds Auditorium.
Ms Horner said she had contacted Mr Ferson hoping to “right the ship” after “an abrupt change last year” in their relationship.
BIFF was advised by BUEI chairwoman Faith Conyers in a November 10 e-mail that the two organisations were at present unable to work together — and that the matter was “closed”.
A spokesman for the underwater exploration institute said: “BUEI’s Tradewinds Auditorium has been booked for a private rental on December 14.
“As far as we know that rental still stands.
“The Bermuda International Film Festival is not the organisation which has taken the rental.”
The spokesman added: “BUEI is not currently in a position to accommodate BIFF’s requirements but does look forward to continuing to work with the organisation in the future as we do with all organisations.”
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