The CayFilm Cayman International Film Festival, a celebration of film, food and fashion from June 30-to July 3, will screen Michelin-starred Chef José Andrés’s documentary “Undiscovered Haiti,” which delves into the dynamic culture, people and stunning landscape of Haiti.
As a chef and humanitarian, Andrés believes people can change the world through the power of food, and understand a culture by exploring what, when and how its people eat.
In “Undiscovered Haiti,” the cameras follow Andrés into the heart of the country. Through its unique cuisine, viewers will discover the history and culture – and see into the future – of a proud people.
“Chef José Andrés has visited the Cayman Islands several times for the Cayman Cookout and is very supportive of our islands’ culinary and film community,” says festival director Tony Mark. “We spoke at length about his documentary during this year’s Cookout, so when we announced this year’s film festival’s focus on food, I reached out as I knew that we should include this film in our celebration.”
In the documentary, Andrés experiences the authentic traditions and rituals of Haiti, from making cassava bread to midnight gatherings with voodoo priests. He also takes viewers to ancient waterfalls and untouched coastlines, hunts for land crabs and mythical mushrooms in its lush forests and tastes local specialties on the streets of Port-Au-Prince. Viewers learn the history behind some of Haiti’s historic sites, such as the Citadel, and follow Andrés on a tour of a 150-year old rum factory.
Friends such as former U.S. President Bill Clinton and Chef Mario Batali also join Andrés along the way.
In addition to “Undiscovered Haiti,” CayFilm will feature three of the American Master Series documentaries and welcome celebrated chef and television host Eric Ripert to the festival for a Q&A and a Chef’s Dinner at Blue by Eric Ripert, at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman.
“We are very excited to be showcasing the Cayman Islands at their best and welcoming world-class and award-winning members of the culinary world to this year’s festival,” says Mark. “The Cayman Islands is a unique location for celebrating food; our residents and guests are very discerning in their tastes, and we think the festival can offer them a very unique experience by celebrating the Cayman Islands as the culinary capital and destination of the Caribbean while showcasing some of the best chefs in the world.
“We are very excited about this new addition to CayFilm, and we hope that it will attract a new audience.”
The festival is an annual multi-day event designed to create new interest and excitement about the Cayman Islands as a world-class filming destination.
The festival will include daily film screenings, question-and-answer sessions with filmmakers, panel discussions, workshops, premiere screenings, and two celebrity gala events. The organizers hope to open up the Cayman Islands to the film industry around the world while opening up the world to Cayman’s young and aspiring filmmakers.
The festival team is also working to develop a Cayman Media Academy to offer youth classes related to career fields within the industry. This will be run throughout the year with the eventual goal of having a full-time degree program available at a purpose-built facility. Under the plans, young children will have their own specially designed programs to inspire and give confidence about their abilities as filmmakers.
Chef José Andrés
Named one of Time’s “100 Most Influential People” and “Outstanding Chef” by the James Beard Foundation, Andrés is an internationally-recognized culinary innovator, author, educator, television personality, humanitarian and chef/owner of ThinkFoodGroup. His avant-garde minibar by José Andrés earned two Michelin stars in 2016 and with that, Andrés is the only chef globally to have a two-star Michelin restaurant and four Bib Gourmands. Andrés’s awards include the 2015 National Humanities Medal, one of 12 distinguished recipients of the award from the National Endowment for the Humanities. ThinkFoodGroup is the company behind Andrés’s 27 restaurants in cities including Washington, D.C., Las Vegas, Miami, Los Angeles, Mexico City and more.
VIP and General Admission tickets are on sale at www.cayfilm.com. Special travel discounts are available.