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The Australian film TOOMELAH directed by Ivan Sen won the Best Feature Length Narrative, and THE ABOMINABLE CRIME directed by Micah Fink won the award for Best Feature Length Documentary at the 2013 Belize International Film Festival held in Belize, Central America, from July 11th – 15th, 2013. MAROONS: AFRICANS ON THE MOVE directed by Michael Flores won the prize for Most Notable Belizean Film (in the Festival).

Starring Dean Daley-Jones, Daniel Conners, Michael Conners, Danieka Connors, Christopher Edwards, TOOMELAH is set in a remote Aboriginal community, 10-year-old Daniel yearns to be a “gangster” like the male role models in his life. Skipping school, getting into fights and running drugs for Linden, the main drug dealer in town, Daniel is well on his way to accomplishing his goal. When a rival drug dealer returns from prison, a violent showdown ensues. After Linden and his gang are taken off to jail, Daniel is suddenly alone and vulnerable. Can he make a choice for the better?

THE ABOMINABLE CRIME, is described as a story about a mother’s love for her child and an activist’s troubled love for his country. It also gives voice to gay Jamaicans who, in the face of endemic anti-gay violence, are forced to flee their homeland. Told first hand as they unfold, these personal accounts take the audience on an emotionally gripping journey traversing four years and five countries. Their stories expose the roots of homophobia in Jamaican society, reveal the deep psychological and social impacts of discrimination on the lives of gays and lesbians, and offer an intimate first-person perspective on the risks and challenges of seeking asylum abroad.

The Belizean film MAROONS: AFRICANS ON THE MOVE takes a look at African cultural similarities and African cultural continuity among the people known as the Maroons and the Garifuna, and others in the African Diaspora, featuring accompanying town Jamaica – home to Jamaican Maroons, established under Kudjo, and Nanny, his sister.

The complete list of winners of the 2013 Belize International Film Festival CONCHSHELL AWARD

Best Feature Length Narrative
TOOMELAH (Australia, 2011) Dir: Ivan Sen

Special Jury Mention:
HOME AGAIN (Canada, 2012) Dir. Sudz Sutherland

Best Feature Length Documentary
THE ABOMINABLE CRIME (Jamaica, Holland, UK, Canada, 2013) Dir. Micah Fink

Special Jury Mention:
SEPARATED (Australia, Spain, 2012) Dir. Natalie Halla

Best Short Film
CEBU (Cuba, 2012) Dir. Pablo Belaubre

Best Short Documentary Film
AGAPE: Story of a Dream (Spain, Thailand 2012) Dir. Carlos Quiles

Most Notable Belizean Film (in the Festival)
MAROONS: Africans on the Move (Belize 2013) Dir: Michael Flores

Best Music Video
Winner #1: COME AWAY by Dir. Ben Hudson
Artist: Melonie Gillett / Label: Metamorph Creatives, Starbase Films

Winner #2: EX-BOYFRIEND by Dir. Carlo Habet
Artist: Tanya Carter / Label: I Am Music / BiG Pikcha Films

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