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Paradise 48 Film Festival

On Saturday the Paradise 48 Film Festival took place at Antilles School in the Prior Jollick
Hall, showcasing an abundance of talent. Attendees made a striking impression with their show-stopping outfits and creative attire. Every individual present at the festival dressed in their finest garments, adding to the overall ambiance of the event.

Dressing to the nines for the red carpet event. (Photo by Joshua Crawford Barry)

The festival commenced promptly at 6 pm and continued until midnight. As the clock approached 8 pm, eager attendees filled the parking lots, vying for limited spaces in anticipation of the highly anticipated film showcase.

Throughout the evening, live music permeated the air, encompassing a diverse range of genres from soca to jazz. Vendors were also present, offering a variety of local drinks, including alcoholic beverages, as well as delectable treats like Johnny cakes, pates, and goat water.

Jamming out to some familiar tunes. (Photo by Joshua Crawford Barry)

As the night progressed and the screening of films drew closer, people began to fill the PJ Hall, realizing that this year’s festival would be significantly different from the previous one. Unlike last year, when many seats remained unoccupied, this time every seat was filled. The turnout was astonishing, reaching a point where organizers had to turn away additional attendees due to the lack of available space.

Once settled in their seats, the hosts of the event captivated the audience as the lights dimmed, signaling the start of the film screenings. The first movie, titled “Maria” and created by the group Key Visuals, gripped the venue in a tense silence.

As the film concluded, it became apparent that the festival would live up to its expectations. “Maria” offered a gripping narrative filled with twists, turns, and a shocking ending, setting the stage for an exhilarating cinematic experience. The audience came to appreciate the remarkable talent present in the Virgin Islands.

Each film group had the challenge of incorporating specific elements into their creations, including a religious figure, recognizable steps, a thatch broom, and the saying “Who don’t hear does feel.” The groups showcased their creativity by uniquely integrating these elements, resulting in diverse films with their own twists and flavors. Laurika Jude, the director of the event, expressed her amazement at the growth displayed by certain teams compared to the previous year.

Jude observed that the teams had a great time working together and were highly supportive of one another. She mentioned that other islands in the Caribbean had reached out, indicating the potential for future festivals to become even larger and more spectacular.

Following intense deliberation by the judges, the winners in various categories were announced. The winners were: “Hitch” by Luminari Productions for Best Editing and Fan Favorite, “Rose” by Phillips Philms for Best Score, Best Cinematography, Best Screenplay, and Best Picture, “Fisherman’s Wife” by Story Over Standards for Best Director, and Yashamay David and Jalani Rivers for Best Actress and Best Actor, respectively.

The Phillips family celebrating their win for the Best Picture. (Photo by Joshua Crawford Barry)

The Film 48 Festival at Antilles School in 2023 proved to be a resounding success, showcasing the extraordinary talent within the Virgin Islands. The event celebrated the creativity, passion, and dedication of the participating teams, leaving the audience captivated and eagerly anticipating future editions of this remarkable festival.

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