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Film festival unveils new location

The rumours are correct, according to Andrew Stoneham.

Organisers of the Bermuda International Film Festival unveiled their new location in situ at Earl Cameron Theatre yesterday.

Rod Ferguson, BIFF chairman, delivered the news at a cocktail reception for donors, patrons and sponsors of the event.

He announced that all film screenings will take place on the City Hall stage, “a first” in the festival’s 19-year history.

The venue will accommodate 90 seats more than previous location, Liberty Theatre. Andrew Stoneham, the festival director, said: “There’s been a lot of hearsay. And it has been correct.”

He said they planned yesterday’s launch as a confirmation of the “rumour mill” and an opportunity to say thank you to donors.

“In this economy arts charities suffer the most,” he told The Royal Gazette.

“This is to say thank you for their support.”

He said the move to City Hall will also grant them an additional day.

The eight-day festival will run from Friday March 4 until Friday March 11.

“Patrons can expect to see another well rounded and diverse roundup of films,” Mr Stoneham said.

The BIFF Box Office will open in February to the public with a full guide and line-up published by media sponsors The Royal Gazette on February 19.

Patrons and sponsor will receive advance ticket purchase privileges. Airline JetBlue has joined as a principal sponsor to help fund this year’s enhanced format and will carry jury members, filmmakers and other special guests to the Island for the event.

Mr Stoneham said: “We are looking forward to working with JetBlue as a sponsor, as it’s the first time we have secured the support of an airline since 2001.

“We’ve put on a relatively scaled-back but successful festival in recent years to meet the challenges of the downturn economy but with this new partnership and the continued warm reception of the local community, we are primed to return bigger and better than ever.”

Herbert Siggins, JetBlue’s general manager in Bermuda, said the airline “supports the mission of the Bermuda International Film Festival and the cultural and tourism benefits it represents for the island”.

“JetBlue is celebrating ten years of service to Bermuda, and is pleased to celebrate this milestone with the local community by engaging in this special partnership,” he added.