Rising Star Saniyya Sidney To Attend CayFilm Festival

She may only be 10-years old but actress Saniyya Sidney has worked with some of the best in the business already, and this weekend she will attend the CayFilm International Film Festival. Sidney is probably best known for playing Taraji P. Henson’s daughter in the 2016 Oscar-nominated film “Hidden Figures”. She was also handpicked by Denzel Washington to play the character of Raynell in another Oscar-nominated film “Fences” which he directed and starred in, and for which Viola Davis won Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role.

cayfilm070117Before those breakout performances, Sidney was “Young Kizzy” in the new adaptation of Alex Haley’s “Roots”, which was directed by actor Mario Van Peeples.

She is now awaiting the release of her comedy debut where she plays comedian Kevin Hart’s daughter in the film “Kevin Hart’s Guide to Black History”. She was also cast as Lila in the feature “Fast Color” starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Lorraine Toussaint. Her next project is the lead role of ‘Amy’ in the Rigley Scott’s project “The Passage.” The FOX pilot is based on the bestselling books of the same name.

“We are so delighted that Saniyya is able to join us this weekend. She’s a busy little girl and actually filming while she’s here in Cayman so we really appreciate her taking the time to join us,” said Festival Director Tony Mark. “What she has accomplished in such a short time is remarkable and we can’t wait to see what else life has in store for her.”

Sidney will be presenting the CayFilm Lifetime Achievement Award to Pixar founder Loren Carpenter as well as the CayFilm Award for Best Animated Film.


Former Producer of Martha Stewart Show to Attend CayFilm

Producer, director and actor Calia Brencsons-Van Dyk will be attending the CayFilm International Film Festival this weekend as part of the event’s food in film theme. The two-time James Beard and Emmy Award winner joined the CayFilm Board of Advisors last year and comes to the Festival this year as a sponsor.

After attending this year’s Cayman Cookout, a celebration of the island as the Culinary Capital of the Caribbean seemed a natural flow for this year’s festival,” said Brencsons-Van Dyk who owns Calia-tivity Productions, a food and lifestyle media consulting and production company based in New York City.

At the Festival, Calia will be teaching a course on the business of show business for anyone interested in turning their passion for the arts into a fulltime career. She has taught the class at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and wants to share the information to help attendees find and create opportunities for themselves and turn those ideas into reality.

“We are delighted to welcome Calia back to the festival,” said Festival Director Tony Mark. “Along with her course, she will be moderating the discussion with Chef Eric Ripert and also join Peter Stein for a conversation about Food television. Attendees will benefit greatly from her knowledge of the industry, and we’re thrilled to have her here.”

Brencsons-Van Dyk has spent the past twenty-five years working in the entertainment industry. Twelve of those years were spent at Martha Stewart Living where she was a part of the multi Emmy-award winning team on The Martha Stewart Show for seven years. Additional credits include Martha Bakes, Martha Stewart’s Cooking School, Whatever with Alexis and Jennifer, Emeril’s Table, Mad Hungry with Lucinda Scala-Quinn, and numerous television specials and ad campaigns. As an actor, she has appeared in 38 shows in the New York City area and worked on several films. She is currently a member of the Board of Advisors for the Daytime Emmy Awards, and a member of the mentoring committee and documentary committee of the Producers’ Guild of America.

The CayFilm Cayman International Film Festival takes place from June 30th to July 3rd, and includes daily film screenings, question and answer sessions with filmmakers, panel discussions, workshops, a celebrity gala event and an awards ceremony. Both VIP and General Admission tickets are on sale and available at Cathy Church’s Photo Centre and online at


CayFilm Festival Gives Local Filmmakers 48 Hours To Make A Movie

Registration is open for the 48 Hour Film Project which challenges local filmmakers to make a short film in only two days. The competition is part of the CayFilm Cayman International Film Festival which takes place from June 30th to July 3rd at the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman. The films will all be screened at the Festival on Saturday, July 1st, and the winner will be announced at the CayFilm awards ceremony on Monday, July 3rd.

The successful film will go up against other films from around the world at Filmapalooza 2018 for a chance at the grand prize, and an opportunity to screen at the Cannes Film Festival in 2018.

Last year five teams entered the competition. They were required to write the script, rehearse, do costume, set and sound design, shoot and edit within the 48-hour time frame. In addition, each participating group was given required elements that must appear in their four to seven-minute film – a specific genre, character, prop and line of dialogue. The finished products were judged by a panel that included actress Zoe Saldana and Caymanian filmmaker Frank E. Flowers.

“Black Sheep: The Skip Sullivan Story” was Cayman’s 2016 48 Hour Film Project winner. A mockumentary about an aspiring sheepherder, the short film was directed by Brittany Kelly and featured Cassandra Shea and Caroline Neale as the lead actors. Other team members were Rawly Mars, Lori Speirs, Karlie Lovinggood, Theodore Kelly Jr. and Philip Neale-Bodden.

“I love the 48 Hour Film Project experience. It’s a great way to push yourself to make a film, and I was really excited to have the opportunity to do it in Cayman,” said Kelly. “Going to Filmapalooza to see my film screened was both inspiring and educational. Attending a festival where everyone had the same crazy, manic 48 hours to make their movie, and seeing the results, was an eye-opener. I learned that I’m definitely going to have to step up my game. I think the 48 Hour Film project is something every filmmaker should do at least once.”

“I’ve done the 48 Hour Film Project many times, and it is always a good time,” said CayFilm Festival Director Tony Mark. “Whether you’ve been making movies for years or you’re just starting out, it’s a great test of your creativity, your ability to work in a team under stressful conditions and your physical endurance. It’s just a lot of fun, and I can’t wait to see the pieces that are produced.”

Registration for the 48 Hour Film Project is CI$125 and is open until Friday, 23 June. Interested filmmakers can log on to for more information or email

The CayFilm Cayman International Film Festival takes place from June 30th to July 3rd, and includes daily film screenings, question and answer sessions with filmmakers, panel discussions, workshops, a celebrity gala event and an awards ceremony. Both VIP and General Admission tickets are on sale and available at Cathy Church’s Photo Centre and online at


Pixar Founder To Receive Lifetime Achievement Award at CayFilm

Loren Carpenter, co-founder and former Chief Scientist at Pixar Animation Studios, will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at the CayFilm Cayman International Film Festival which takes place from 30 June to 3 July 2017 at the Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman. Carpenter, who also attended the Festival in 2015, will be honoured for his contribution and revolutionary work in the animation film genre. He will also host the screening of a Pixar short film retrospective on Saturday, 1 July, and answer questions about his career in the film industry.061817cayfilm

A computer graphics researcher and developer. Carpenter is the co-inventor of the Reyes rendering algorithm and is one of the authors of the PhotoRealistic RenderMan software which implements Reyes and renders all of Pixar’s movies. In 2001, he and two colleagues were awarded the only Oscar statuettes ever given for computer science. Following Disney’s acquisition of Pixar in 2006, he became a Senior Research Scientist at Disney Research. In addition to his award-winning work in computer animation, Carpenter and his wife Rachel have explored new concepts in interactivity and computer art through their own company, Cinematrix, Inc. He retired in early 2014.

“We are proud to say that Loren is a friend and supporter of CayFilm; we are so thrilled to be able to honour him in this way,” said CayFilm Festival Director Tony Mark. “He is a pioneer and a visionary in the field of animation and the groundwork he laid at Pixar has inspired a generation of animators and computer graphics artists to think outside the box and go beyond the realms of their imaginations.”

Pixar Animation Studios has given the world such classics as Toy Story, A Bug’s Life, Toy Story 2, Finding Nemo and Monsters Inc. and more recently Finding Dory, The Good Dinosaur, Brave, Inside Out, Monsters University, and Cars 3.