The Cayman Documentary Festival showcases local and international films

“The Great Disconnect” screened at the Camana Bay Cinema when it was first released. – Photo: Amy Strzalko

Awards season is officially underway in the US, with the Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild events already in the rearview mirror, and the BAFTAs and Oscars fast approaching.

With films already high on the minds of fans, what better time to hold a mini-festival in Cayman, focusing solely on documentaries covering topics ranging from mental health and the environment to crypto- currency and music.

The Cayman Documentary Festival will be held at the Camana Bay Cinema from March 16-21, with five feature documentaries and five panel discussions on the program. There will also be other local articles included, such as Cayman Current’s “Island Jobs: From Classrooms to Careers” and Compass’ special report on the housing crisis, produced by Alvaro Serey and James Whittaker.

According to a press release from the organizers, “The Cayman Documentary Festival will bring a selection of local and internationally acclaimed films to the big screen… [It] aims to spark dialogue in the community, especially among our youth, about some of the most relevant challenges facing society today and to promote the art of documentary filmmaking.

Ana Russell-Omaljev, creative director and content programmer for the festival, explained why she chose the titles she chose.

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

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

The festival is a non-profit initiative and will benefit local charities such as Plastic Free Cayman, Cayman Islands Crisis Centre, Alex Panton Foundation, National Children’s Voluntary Organization and Cayman Arts Festival. Tickets for all screenings are $25.


March 16 at 6:30 p.m.
‘TINA’ (2021)
Panel Association: CI Crisis Center
This film traces Tina Turner’s rise to fame, her personal and professional struggles, and her return to the world stage as a worldwide phenomenon in the 1980s.
Discover a wealth of never-before-seen footage, audio tapes, personal photos and new interviews with Angela Bassett, Oprah Winfrey, journalist Kurt Loder and others, as well as the legendary singer herself.

March 17 at 6:30 p.m.
“I am Greta” (2020)
Panel combination: Plastic Free Cayman
In August 2018, Greta Thunberg, a 15-year-old student in Sweden, started a school climate strike. She sat in front of parliament to make a point to the politicians, essentially stating that if they didn’t care about her future on Earth, why should she care about her future at school? Within months, his strike grew into a worldwide movement.
Greta, a quiet girl from northern Europe with autism, is now a world-class activist. The team behind ‘Greta’ started following her from day one of her strike. Film critic Matt Fagerholm of said, “‘I Am Greta’ warrants a recommendation solely on the basis of Thunberg herself, whose tremendous passion and disarming humanity shine through in every frame.”

March 18 at 6:30 p.m.
Association of the panel: Alex Panton Foundation
We live in a time that has been described as the age of loneliness. Statistics reveal that over the past few decades, the number of people deemed lonely has doubled. While it’s true that this isolation affects us psychologically and emotionally, what many of us don’t realize is the negative impact it has on all aspects of our health and well-being.
Wellness expert Tamer Soliman tries to address these issues by visiting cities across North America, with a team of Caymanian videographers and crew.

March 19 at 6:30 p.m.
‘CRYPTOPIA: Bitcoin, Blockchains and the Future of the Internet” (2019)
Panel Association: Blockchain Association of the Cayman Islands (Charity organization: NCVO)
Bitcoin has been called one of the most disruptive technologies of our time, threatening banks by building an alternative, decentralized monetary system. Despite this potential, Bitcoin is experiencing high price volatility and the community is facing a bitter “civil war”. Join filmmaker Torsten Hoffmann (“Bitcoin: The End of Money As We Know It”) on his journey to better understand this technology and the promise of Web 3.0.

March 20 at 6:30 p.m.
“Summer of the Soul” (2021)
Panel Association: Cayman Arts Festival
For his acclaimed debut as a filmmaker, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson presents a powerful and moving documentary – part musical film, part historical record – created around an epic event that celebrated history, culture and fashion. blacks. Over six weeks in the summer of 1969, just 100 miles south of Woodstock, the Harlem Cultural Festival was filmed in Mount Morris Park. Images have been largely forgotten…until now.
This film won the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for an Oscar.

March 21 at 6:30 p.m.
‘ROADRUNNER: A film about Anthony Bourdain’ (2021)
Association of the panel: to be announced
Filmmaker Morgan Neville examines the unusual life of chef, writer and icon Anthony Bourdain, who lived his life without shame.

| Tickets for all screenings are $25. Buy your tickets online at

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Darcy J. Skinner