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The Team

Cayman Documentary  Festival

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Tina Turner and crisis centre

I also coordinated panel discussions featuring six local charities and other stakeholders, recruited and supervised volunteers, secured sponsorship from industry, liaised with six charities, and coordinated all print, radio and digital marketing.

The festival was a runaway success: six local charities benefited financially, Crisis Centre, Plastic Free Cayman, Alex Panton Foundation, NVCO, Cayman Arts Festival and Meals on Wheals.

Around a thousand of people saw six thought-provoking documentary films and participated in lively discussion panels with representatives of charitable, voluntary and statutory agencies (including police and social services) and, on two occasions, the President of the Cayman Islands himself.

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Cayman Documentary Festival Programme

March 16th, 6:30 pm - Rising From Abuse


Featuring never-before-seen footage, audiotapes, personal photos and interviews,

this documentary explores the life and career of legendary singer Tina Turner.

Through the highs and lows, the film is a testament to Turner's resilience and an

important look at the dangers of abusive relationships.


Panel in association with the Crisis Centre Cayman

MODERATOR: Mikhail Campbell, Royal Cayman Islands Police Service

Mariesha Spencer, CICC Outreach Coordinator

Carol-Anne Fordyce, CICC Representative

Karlene Bramwell, Gender Affairs Unit


March 17th, 6:30 pm - The Environment

I am Greta

This documentary highlights how Swedish high school student Greta Thunberg

inspired a global movement around climate change and became an international

leader in the fight for the future of this planet. 


Panel in association with Plastic Free Cayman

MODERATOR: Daphne Ewing-Chow, Journalist at Forbes and Loop Cayman


Chloe Bentick-Lalli (Protect Our Future Leader)

Cassandra MacDowell (Mangrove Ranger)

Brody Thomas, CayOcean


March 18th, 6:30 pm - Mental Health

The Great Disconnect

Join wellness expert Tamer Soliman as he journeys across North America

to try and answer the question: is it possible to overcome our modern culture

of disconnectedness and rediscover how truly essential we are to one another?

Local Short: Island Jobs: From Classroom to Careers, Cayman Current


Panel in association with Alex Panton Foundation

MODERATOR: Kayla Young, Cayman Current

DR. Shari Smith, Alex Panton Foundation

Monina Thompson, APY Youth Leader

Delores Thompson, Preschool Director, NCVO,

Laura Watler, Life Couch


March 19th, 6:30 pm - Technology & Finance

Cryptopia: Bitcoin, Blockchains and the Future of the Internet

Come to meet the firm director Torsten Hoffman who directly flew from London

for this evening. Discover the history of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency and the evolution

of blockchain technology in this illuminating documentary. 


Panel in association with Blockchain Association of Cayman Islands

MODERATOR: Chairman of the Blockchain Associtioan of the Cayman Islands, Petri Basson

Ramona Tudorancea, Managing Director, JupiterBlock

Torsten Hoffmann, Film Director

Adam Lambert, Digital Cayman


March 20th, 6:30 pm - Music & Heritage

Summer of Soul

Over the course of six weeks during the summer of 1969, thousands of people flocked

to the legendary Harlem Cultural Festival to celebrate Black history, culture, music and fashion. 


Panel in association with the Cayman Arts Festival.

Moderator: Vicky Weaton, Cayman Compass
Natalie Urquhart , Director of the National Gallery  

Badir Awe, Awe Productions,

Stuart Wilson, musicians and producer,


March 21st, 6:30 pm

Roadrunner, a Film about Anthony Bourdain

Roadrunner is an intimate, behind-the-scenes look at how Anthony Bourdain went from

anonymous chef to world-renowned cultural icon.

Short local documentaries: ULTRA-K and Living on the Margins


Festival Drinks

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The excerpt from Cayman Compass, leading local newspapers: Ana Russell-Omaljev, creative director and content programmer of the festival, spoke about why she picked the titles she did.

“In today’s world, documentaries are a powerful tool in the realm of educational entertainment. I have chosen the five documentaries featured in this festival based on their positive values and their ability to unite communities,” Russell-Omaljev said.

According to a press release from organisers, “The Cayman Documentary Festival did bring a selection of internationally acclaimed and local films to the big screen… [It] aimed to spark dialogue in the community, particularly amongst our youth, on some of the most relevant challenges facing society today and to promote the art of documentary filmmaking.”

In order to create an interactive element for the audience, there was a panel discussion immediately after each film, hosted by local community leaders.

The festival was a not-for-profit initiative and did benefit local charities such as Plastic Free Cayman, Cayman Islands Crisis Centre, Alex Panton Foundation, the National Children’s Voluntary Organisation and Cayman Arts Festival.

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The Roadrunner, Summer of soul and I am greta

Oscar-winner Summer of Soul spoke of civil rights movement and deprivation in 1960s Harlem, and the evolution of soul and gospel music. The Great Disconnect warned of the dangers of social media for teenagers, and I am Greta, showcased environmental issues. The Roadrunner told of celebrity-chef Tony Bourdain’s struggles and suicide and made us stop and think about mental health. Caymanians care deeply about each of these subjects, and CDF hopes to encourge more recognition, and open discussion.


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Hoffman Torsten and cryptopia

Cryptopia de-mystified cryptocurrencies and blockchain, and the filmmaker Torsten Hoffmann flew in from London especially to answer questions from the audience.


The films featured in CDF, and the panel discussions between passionate panellists and brave audience members who participated, have meant that CDF was truly an opportunity for learning and broadening of understanding.

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