Film shot in Bermuda wins top award
A film shot in Bermuda has won top awards at an international film festival.
Mother of all Secrets claimed two prizes at the California Women’s Film Festival.
Director Lucinda Spurling has been amazed by the achievement of winning.
She added: “I just feel gratitude that we were able to get some recognition for all the people that worked really hard on the movie.”
The picture claimed the Best Feature and the Best Director honours at the awards ceremony in Los Angeles.
It was also nominated in three additional categories — Best Actress, Best Actor, and Best Supporting Actress.
The movie, shot last year, features several Bermuda attractions and resorts.
The cast included Emmy award-winner Kate Mansi, Top Gun star Kelly McGillis, Real Housewives of New York star Luann D’Agostino, as well as Bermudian performers, including The Royal Gazette’s Owain Johnston-Barnes, who plays a police officer.
The thriller follows a young couple on vacation in Bermuda before the birth of their first child.
The trip takes a sinister turn when the father-to-be disappears.
Ms Spurling said that the Bermuda Arts Council had helped to fund the film’s entry in the festival, which was held last weekend.
Ms Spurling said she was unable to attend the awards ceremony.
She explained: “I knew that we were going to get the best feature award, but I only found out about that a week before.
“That didn’t give me enough time to get all the way out there, unfortunately.”
The competition is open to films that have at least one woman in a key production position such as director, writer or cinematographer.
Films produced or directed by men are accepted if there is a lead female protagonist or the story is based around women.
Ms Spurling said: “It also puts a magnifying glass on the issue of gender parity in our industry.”
She added she was on a search for a production company for new screenplays.
Ms Spurling said: “I was still quite shocked at how many companies there are out there that are totally run by men.”
She added that festivals designed to recognise women in film were “really important”.
She explained: “There is an audience out there. Movies by women, for women, actually make more money.
“There’s a whole viable financial model which is not being widely used.”
Ms Spurling said that an additional festival announcement for the film was in the works, but that she could not reveal more.
She added it would provide a “great opportunity” for the movie.
Ms Spurling said she was also in the early stages of a new comedy-drama project called Me and Jezebel.
The film will focus on American film star Bette Davis going into hiding in 1985 to avoid the media after the publication of a tell-all book by her daughter.
Ms Spurling added: “It’s about how she bonds with her biggest fan and kind of turns this suburban family upside down, but then, eventually, more right side up.”
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