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Leslie Vanderpool

Bahamas International Film Festival / BIFF
Founder & Executive Director
Born in Nassau, The Bahamas, of a Bahamian, Dutch, Syrian father and an American Indian, Ukrainian, Polish mother, Leslie is the first Bahamian woman to create an international film festival in the Bahamas at a young age.

Leslie Vanderpool is the Founder and Executive Director of the Bahamas International Film Festival (BIFF), which is celebrating 15 years. BIFF is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing the local community and international visitors with a diverse panorama of films from around the world. As an executive director for more than fourteen years, she has extensive knowledge in the planning and development of film festivals.

Vanderpool received a Bachelor's Degree in International Relations before going on to pursue her passion for theater and filmmaking, which has consumed her life for the past 25 years. She studied at Lee Strasberg Acting Institute and Shakespeare at Balliol College, Oxford University, Oxford, England, where Alan Rickman, Fiona Shaw and many more honed her skills and helped to develop in her a deep love for the art and for sharing it with others.

In 2004 Vanderpool launched BIFF, which has showcased over 1000 films from 150 countries. Many of the films subsequently have won Academy Awards. http,//bintlfilmfest.com/news/press_item/77. During these film festivals, she has paid tribute to outstanding A List Celebrities through Career Achievement Awards and Shining Star Tributes. These celebrities included Johnny Depp, Nicholas Cage, Grace Jones, Laurence Fishburne, Danny Glover, Debra Messing, Heather Graham, Alan Arkin, Sir Sean Connery, Roger Corman, Daryl Hannah, and Sophie Okonedo, Anna Faris, Naomie Harris, Zoe Kravitz, Sydney T. Poitier, Michael K Williams, Rae Dawn Chong and many more. http,//bintlfilmfest.com/news/press_item/76

Apart from showcasing 1000+ local and international films, the Bahamas International Film Festival is a very important cultural event that is pioneering the education of Bahamians to become Cine literate. BIFF has introduced the Bahamian culture to more than one million film professionals and enthusiasts from around the world. Additionally, BIFF has injected an economic impact of over $25 Million dollars over 14 years into The Bahamas.

Prestigious worldwide publications have featured BIFF including CNN, Variety Magazine, Hollywood Report Vanity Fair, MovingMaking Magazine, Travel and Leisure, Moving Pictures Magazine, Premier Magazine, New York Times, Financial Times, Travel & Leisure, Screen International, Entertainment Tonight, Hello Magazine and London Times, RAI TV, Sky TV, Hello Magazine and many more.

Vanderpool has been innovative, over the 15 years of its existence; BIFF has reached further in its outreach to young Bahamians by conducting film development workshops in the public and private schools throughout The Bahamas and senior citizens and correctional facilities. Vanderpool has taught the art of acting, script writing, cinematography, editing and other aspects of filmmaking.

Working with over 1000 Bahamians students of varying ages to develop an interest in filmmaking and to impart filmmaking skills Vanderpool is working with the Office of the Prime Ministers of The Bahamas to create a program with the Over The Hill Development Partnership Initiative to create films that showcase and focus on themes such as The Environment, Social Development and Tourism.

Vanderpool is an entrepreneur with a strong background in marketing, branding, film production, and sponsorship. She has hosted numerous Golf Tournaments, Film Series, Art Auctions and other artistic events for fundraising and has extensive knowledge in negotiations of contracts nationally and internationally for distribution of films and film festivals.

Vanderpool has raised millions of dollars and has a wide range of networks around the world. She delivers on schedule and on, or under budget. More importantly her attention to detail and quality are evident in the success of the Bahamas International Film Festival for 15 years.

She spends her time advancing the Film industry, while partnering with startups and producing. Vanderpool has created unique cultural experiences throughout The Bahamas, such as Summer Films In The Square and Theater In The Park. She is happy to play a positive role within the country and more widely the Globe.