EDITORIAL – CayFilm festival: Ready to roll

The red carpets are in place, the bright lights are positioned, and Grand Cayman is set to host the Cayman International Film Festival this weekend.

The action begins this evening with an opening night gala at The Ritz-Carlton, featuring a reunion of the cast and crew of local director Frank E. Flowers’ 2004 movie “Haven.”

The next three days will be packed with films (more than 200), panels and workshops (more than 50), and, of course, celebrities.

Although CayFilm starts this evening, the island has already been graced with some positive star power. Through her close friends in the Flowers family, “Haven” actress Zoe Saldana — who has gone on to major roles in the blockbuster “Avatar,” “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Star Trek” film franchises — learned about the Cayman Islands Cancer Society’s outreach program for the Caribbean Bone Marrow Registry. She then “dropped in on” an informational meeting hosted by Davenport and the Cancer Society for staff and contractors at a South Sound development site, giving the event and the issue greater publicity.

The festival takes place across three separate venues, including The Ritz-Carlton, Harquail Theatre and National Gallery. This year’s films are coming from more than 50 countries. Cayman is well-represented by 26 local filmmakers with submissions in the festival. (You can read much more about CayFilm in today’s Cayman Compass.)

While one purpose of the festival is to promote the art of film in Cayman, we believe that, economically speaking, the festival itself is potentially the biggest boon to the country. While many may aspire to transform Cayman into a world-class venue for film-making, Cayman already is a world-class venue for event hosting. The film festival falls squarely in our area of specialty.

We would be remiss not to single out industry veteran Tony Mark and wife Jenn who have brought the festival to life through blood, sweat, tears and sheer determination. They are the soul of CayFilm, and without them, the event would simply not exist. They deserve Cayman’s applause.