The 2009 Bahamas International Film Festival (BIFF) presented the esteemed Bahamian underwater Director of Photographer Gavin Mckinney with their first Bahamian Tribute Award at this year’s Festival on December 15th at the College of the Bahamas performing arts theatre. Friends and family and visiting filmmakers came out to support McKinney on the special occasion.
‘We are so honored to recognize one of our very own Bahamian industry professionals who is making a name for himself all around the globe within the film world,’ said Leslie Vanderpool, Executive Director and Founder BIFF who is also a personal friend of McKinney and his family.
Presenting the award was Mrs. Robin Symonette, wife of the Bahamas Deputy Prime Minister . It was Mrs. Symonette who helped influence Vanderpool to award McKinney with the tribute.
A montage of McKinney’s underwater work was presented with his voice over explaining his passion for his work. Afterward a Question and Answer session took place.
McKinney is the son of Bahamas National Trust founding member, J.A. McKinney and is clear about his desire to continue to educate about conservation through his work.
Gavin McKinney has been involved in underwater film making since 1973 when he worked as a diver on the feature film Day of the Dolphin and has spent over 20,000 hours underwater making films. He offers over thirty five years experience filming underwater and has provided full production services for underwater shoots, including personnel, logistics, locations and marine services.
He has worked on over fifty feature films and television shows, including 5 James Bond films. The Spy Who Loved Me, For Your Eyes Only, Moonraker, Never Say Never Again and The World is not Enough, and in addition to working behind the scenes with logistics and planning he was the Bond underwater double in For Your Eyes Only, and The World is not Enough.
Gavin, thinks he is the only person in the history of the film industry to have been run over by a car underwater in The Spy Who Loved Me. He spent four months working on The Abyss in 1988. Since 2001 he has also co-produced and filmed three highly successful three dimensional underwater films for the Imax theatres. Ocean Wonderand 3D, Sharks 3D and Dolphins and Whales 3D. These films have been seen by over eleven million people worldwide to date.
Gavin’s current project is Ocean World 3D. A Full length 3D documentary due for release summer 09, which premiered at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival in May, is a fictitious story of a turtle’s voyage around the world.
About the Bahamas International Film Festival
The Bahamas International Film Festival (BIFF) is a nonprofit organization committed to providing the local community and International festival goers with a diverse presentation of films from The Bahamas and around the world. In addition to showcasing films that might not otherwise be released theatrically, BIFF provides unique cultural experiences, educational programs, and forums for exploring the past, present & future of cinema. BIFF aims to raise the level of filmmaking, participation and education throughout The Bahamas and the world.
For more information visit http://www.bintlfilmfest.com/.
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