Star Wars cast and crew lined up for July event
Cast and crew from the “Star Wars” movie franchise have been lined up for this year’s film festival in Grand Cayman.
Tony Mark, director of the CayFilm Cayman International Festival, said it was a major coup to get such big names to the event in its second year.
He added, “We’re keeping the names of the individuals coming under wraps for now, but we will say that some of the names will be totally unbelievable.”
One name that has been confirmed is that of producer Robert Watts, who worked on all three of the original movies. Mr. Watts, who also worked on the “Indiana Jones” franchise, will receive a lifetime achievement award at the event over the July holiday weekend.
The “Star Wars” connection is a timely boost for the festival, given the popularity of the latest edition of the franchise, “Episode VII, The Force Awakens,” which has been a box-office smash since just before Christmas.
Mr. Mark said, “The setting here is more intimate than what you would find at big film conventions or premieres. We are a small island and that makes for a much more up close and personal experience with individuals who have worked on seven of the most successful films of all time, either in front of or behind the camera.”
He said he was shocked at how quickly CayFilm had grown and the stars it was able to attract.
Mr. Mark said he received more than 100 film submissions for this year’s festival on the first day of the application process and 250 in the first week.
Another day has been added to the festival weekend to accommodate all the events, including daily film screenings, question-and-answer sessions with filmmakers, panel discussions, workshops, a movie premiere and two celebrity gala events. Opening night will be July 1, and the closing gala will be on July 4.
For local filmmakers, Mr. Mark said, the festival provides an opportunity to showcase their work and to learn from some of the best in the business, including some of the crew who worked on the billion-dollar “Star Wars” franchise.
Loren Carpenter, the co-founder of Pixar Animation Studios, responsible for “Toy Story,” “Monsters Inc” and “Up,” among others, will be returning to the festival this year.
Cinematographer Adam Kane, who worked on hit television series including “Heroes” and “Grey’s Anatomy,” is also lined up for a panel discussion on the movie business.
For filmmakers seeking some publicity for their work, Mr. Mark said international film buyers will also be attending the festival.
“The exposure at CayFilm is invaluable for young talent,” he said. “It truly is a great opportunity to get your film seen by a potential buyer. For young local filmmakers, especially, who are going through the process of submitting for festivals, it is good practice for the road ahead.”
Submissions for the 2016 CayFilm Cayman International Film Festival can be made on Film Freeway at www.filmfreeway.com/festival/CayFilm.