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'Passage' by Bahamian Film-Maker to Premier at Encounters Short Film Festival, Bristol, 19 September, 2013

Kareem Mortimer's 'Passage'

Five film-makers from New Zealand, Kenya, Bahamas, Barbados, and Canada will screen films which highlight issues affecting them and their communities at the Encounters Short Film Festival on the afternoon of 19th September.

The films are the result of Commonwealth Shorts, a capacity building scheme to give emerging writers/directors the opportunity to make a film on the theme of relationships. The one documentary and four dramas explore migration, indigenous rights and same-sex relationships. Commonwealth Shorts is a partnership between Commonwealth Writers, B3 Media and The Commonwealth Broadcasting Association/Worldview.

'These films are the result of many months' hard work by five emerging film-makers from across the Commonwealth. As well as being accomplished pieces in their own right, each film highlights an important issue which affects its writer and their community in some way. Commonwealth Writers is excited to be able to share these films internationally to bring these new voices to a wider audience.' Lucy Hannah, Programme Manager, Commonwealth Foundation.

Bahamian filmmaker Kareem Mortimer's short film on Human smuggling is entitled Passage. The film received support from local corporations including BTC, Royal Bank of Canada, Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and the National Endowment for The Arts.

Passage is a film about a 20 year old woman being smuggled from the Bahamas to the United States in the hold of the ship who must hide the fact that her adolescent brother is ill to avoid him being thrown off.  The Commonwealth foundation held a launch of the programme in February at a private event in Auckland, New Zealand where Mortimer and five other filmmakers were introduced to the local and international film industry in New Zealand.

Mortimer has plans on shooting a feature version of this film next year and closely working with international producers to attach accomplished actors for the feature. "This project is one of global importance and ultimately a film with a great deal of integrity. It has pushed me into a world that needs to have voice and I am excited to see it go out into the world."

For further details on the Encounters Short Film Festival and to book tickets to the premier of 'Passage' please visit: http://www.encounters-festival.org.uk/