Late afternoon thundershowers did not dampen plans for the inaugural staging of the Palm Bay Caribe Film Festival which opened to a full house on June 1, 2017 at the Brevard Caribbean Sports and Cultural Association (BCASCA) in Palm Bay. There was a bustle of activity on the red carpet as local dignitaries, the media and patrons gathered for the ribbon cutting ceremony, sponsored by the Greater Palm Bay Chamber of Commerce, and to have their picture taken.
The festival, which is a partnership between film production company BarriVision Films and BCASCA, screened17 films from a variety of Caribbean islands and two local films over three nights. Winners were chosen in several categories including Best Feature Film, won by Hill and Gully produced by Jamaican-American Patrice Johnson; Best Documentary, Pimento and Hot Pepper: The Mento Story by New Orleans filmmaker William Monsted with both Best Short Film and Best Cinematography awarded to Tourments d’Amour filmed in Guadeloupe by French Filmmaker Caroline Jules. Other films featured included Doubles with Slight Pepper from Trinidad, The Road through the Blue Mountains, Silent Hearts and Shoot the Girl from Jamaica, Aunty from Barbados and Hearts of Steel from Canada.
The event ended with an Awards show hosted by well-known Jamaican comedian Tony “Jamaican Paleface” Hendricks and featuring sax player Joseph Tapper followed by an After Party that lasted into the wee hours.