Movie makers and celebrities will flock to Cayman’s film festival in future years, according to some of the stars of this year’s event.
CayFilm director Tony Mark says the long term ambition is to make the festival, “Cannes in the Caribbean.”
And the celebrities that attended the three-day event are equally optimistic about its future.
“I think it is the best festival I’ve ever been to. I’ve been to Cannes and I can tell you, I’d rather be here,” said Robert Watts, a producer who worked on the Star Wars and Indiana Jones movies.
“I think the festival has been fantastic, it has been beautifully organized, it’s been so broad, so many films, so many events and such a wonderful place,” he added.
Mr. Watts and Gary Lucchesi, the producer of “Million Dollar Baby,” won lifetime achievement awards at the festival’s closing night gala on Monday.
Mr. Lucchesi said he would be back next year. He believes CayFilm can attract the biggest names in Hollywood.
“Anyone who has been to the Cayman islands is talking about coming back, why wouldn’t it be the same for people in the entertainment business? Why wouldn’t they want to come here?” he asked.
Both producers talked enthusiastically about the idea of a Cayman film institute, linked to a U.S. film school, as well as the prospect of shooting movies on island.
“I know one of the goals is to have a film institute here and I can’t imagine people not wanting to come here to teach,” said Mr. Lucchesi.
“You have a medical school here, you have a law school, why not a film school?”
Mr. Watts said he would love to bring a project to the Cayman Islands. He said, with a bit of infrastructure, Cayman could aim high.
“You could get a James Bond film here, I did “Thunderball” in the Bahamas,” he said. “You have got such fantastic ocean and beaches.”
He said he was personally interested in bringing an underwater project to the Cayman Islands.
Victor Rasuk, one of the stars of Frank E. Flowers’s homegrown movie “Haven,” who went on to star in “Godzilla” and “Lords of Dogtown,” believes many of the stars he has worked with would want to come to Cayman.
“I just did ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ with Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan. I think if they had the opportunity, they would be out here in a heartbeat. I think this festival has been really special and it is great to be involved in one of the early ones.”
One actor who already knows a lot about the charms of the Cayman Islands is Alexander DiPersia.
The rising star, who featured in “I am Legend,” said he had been coming to the islands, where his family has a home, for 20 years. He pulled some strings with Warner Brothers to have the premier of his new movie, “Lights Out,” shown at CayFilm on Saturday.
“This year, from what I saw, was amazing. This one has been awesome and there is so much room for it to grow. You’ve got all these wonderful people here and it is just in the second year. It will definitely attract new people, without a doubt.”