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Antoine Hunt wins top video award

Winning smiles: The BSOA’s video competition had every entry get an automatic submission into BIFF. The mission of the competition is to expose budding Bermudian artists on the international stage. Pictured from the left are Allison Hill — CEO of Argus, Zoe Oleksak — Premier Pro Pruze winner, Marq Rodriguez - Runner Up, Pete Coleman — Premier Pro Prize winner, Charles Anderson — President of the BSOA, Ninghza Ming — Gallery Director (missing from picture is first place winner Antoine Hunt, student winner Aliana King and honorable mention Walker Zupp)

Alcohol, rabbits and sex.

It proved a winning combination for Antoine Hunt.

He drew on all three as inspiration for 400 Rabbits, which took the top prize in the 2014 BSoA Art is Motion Video Competition.

“I was kind of shocked when [BSoA president] Charles [Anderson] called to say, ‘You won’,” said Mr Hunt. “It’s a story about having too much mescal. Tequila is the one everybody knows but it’s in the family of mescals. Mescal has a mystique to it. It is, for me, very much part of the definition of Mexican culture.

“The idea is you have this guy who has had too much mescal and he finds himself out of it and has this little adventure.”

The five-minute film was scored for violin by Bermudian Taylor Rankin.

“The film is an ode to film abstracts from the 40s,” Mr Hunt explained. “It has vivid images of Mexico. It’s very colourful. It’s a whole jumble of images that come together to tell a story with a disjointed soundtrack. It sounds almost like somebody’s pounding on the piano — randomly. It’s about chaos.”

400 Rabbits pulled in a bit of Mexican folklore but actually came about through Mr Hunt’s work on a documentary on mescal with his wife, Juliez Ritchie.

“This is an abstract, a short taken from imagery from [our documentary],” he said. “In Aztec mythology, the goddess Mayahuel rules both fertility and the maguey or agave plant. Along with the god Patecatl, she protects the maguey and its fermented sap, or pulque. One night, in a fit of passion, Patecatl and Mayahuel consummated their relationship and Mayahuel found herself pregnant.

“She gave birth to the Centzon Totochtin or 400 Rabbits, who were nurtured on pulque from her many breasts, and grew into the Gods of Drunkenness. These divine rabbits travel through the land, frequent parties and gatherings and deliver the gift of drunkenness to the people, with each rabbit representing the different ways in which a person can experience intoxication.”

Mr Hunt received a $1,500 prize for the win. 400 Rabbits will screen at the Bermuda International Film Festival next year and as part of the Bermuda Docs Weekend series alongside other winning entries in the Bermuda Society of Arts competition. Runner-up Marq Rodriguez received $750 and student Aliana King received $500. Walker Zupp received an honourable mention. Pete Coleman and Zoe Oldesak won Premier Pro software. The entries will be on exhibit at the BSoA until Wednesday.