Five films with a Bermuda connection will make their world premieres at the 10th Bermuda International Film Festival of world cinema, March 16-24.

Sculptor Bill Ming is profiled by director Andy Mckay in Bill Ming: Stories of Wood, Wind and Fire. Bermuda resident James Martin, meanwhile, directs The Meaning of the 21st Century, a documentary about the challenges the earth faces in the century ahead.

Biologist Choy Aming has made a 30-minute documentary, My Backyard, about life beneath the ocean. The filmmaking team of director Vicky Zabriskie and husband Christian have the latest instalment of their short film horror series, Beacons, and Mandela Fubler makes his second festival appearance with the short film, Jokers Are Trumps.

Film synopses

supplied by BIFF

Bill Ming: Stories of Wood, Wind and Fire

(d. Andrew Mckay, United Kingdom, 60 minutes)

In 2004 and the aftermath of Hurricane Fabian, the Bermuda Government decided to commission a memorial to those "Lost at Sea". The subsequent competition for the island's first piece of public art was won by Bermudian born and internationally renowned sculptor, Bill "Mussey" Ming. While the central narrative of this film documents the techniques, trials and considerable tribulations associated with the creation of the commission - an 18-foot, 12-ton bronze sculpture entitled "Figurehead" - it paints, also, a vivid picture of Bill's life. From his beginnings in the segregated society of Bermuda, to his period as a seaman, the cultural adjustment of arriving in England in 1970 and, later, surviving as an artist, Bill's story is engaging, humorous, thoughtful and inspiring. Andy Mckay gives us a fascinating profile of one of the artists who helped lay the foundations of Black British Art in the U.K. As the first piece of Bermudian public art, Figurehead and its creator have a deserved place of prominence on Bermuda's artistic stage. It is a fitting tribute to those who have been lost at sea.

The Meaning of

the 21st Century

(d. James Martin, Bermuda, 90 minutes)

Humanity is at a crucial turning point. We are facing a moment of transition unique in human history. Travelling at breakneck speed into an era of extremes, we have to make the planet workable for the massive population of the future and its increasingly wild technology. If we succeed, we have a magnificent future ahead for all of us. If we fail, we could well be headed for a new Dark Age. We have it within us to use our intelligence and technology to transform the world rather than destroy it. The film includes the opinions of top authorities who have thought about the future and the big problems ahead: climate change, water shortages, growing extremes between rich and poor nations, religious antagonism and global pandemics, to name but a few. It has been shot in Bermuda and on all six continents. While awesome in its content, it is spectacularly beautiful. This film should be seen by the world's youth because the most urgent subject of our time is the vital transition that is ahead - this is their future. There may be big problems but there are also big opportunities.

My Backyard

(d. Choy Aming, Bermuda, 30 minutes)

One man. One year. One camera. Biologist Choy Aming explores the diversity of Bermuda's marine life. The cast includes unusual reef creatures, an old Navy tower, Humpback Whales and a veterinarian who has built his own shark cage. Get up close and personal with the inch-long Flamingo Tongue and the 50-foot Humpback as Choy explores our underwater world. Featuring Neil Burnie.

Beacons

(d. Vicky Zabriskie, Bermuda, 5 minutes)

A warning to all who already hesitate to enter Bermuda's waters, having seen Jaws and heard tales of the Bermuda Triangle. Watch this film at your own risk! You may never swim or sail again. Norman Roberts and Marco Santucci star in the film. Story and cinematography by Christian Zabriskie.

Jokers are Trumps

(d. Mandela Fubler, Bermuda, 17 minutes)

Jokers Are Trumps is a jigsaw puzzle that takes you on a cinematic adventure, with a splash of island life, anchored on the Bermudian-loved game of Euchre. A group of Bermudian students, along with other card aficionados, share their unique (and in some cases painful) experiences with playing cards. The film is written by Mandela Fubler, while the director of photography is Stephan Johnstone. The film features Mandela Fubler, Javon Zuill, Paul Franks, Mischa Fubler, Nathan Swan.