The first annual Bahamas International Film Festival launched last night and Liza and I attended along with visitng friends, Scott and Conchita. The gala event included the international premiere of Ocean's 12 at the Atlantis and a champagne reception afterward. I was excited at the prospect of attending my first ever film festival and Liza was excited at the prospect of seeing stars. I think Scott and Conchita were curious why people would pay $50 to watch a movie.


So the international premiere of Ocean's 12 drew dignitaries from the Bahamian government, guests from around the world, and exactly zero stars. That's right, absolutely no one from Hollywood showed up. Not Soderbergh, not Damon, not even Elliot Gould or Carl Reiner. They couldn't even drag Sean Connery's sorry ass ten miles from his home to show up. They didn't even MENTION him when they were explaining how nice the Bahamas is for film stars (although now-expired author, Alex Haley, got a full-screen picture of himself and a short tribute). Apparently, the Hollywood premiere of the movie was the night before and I guess everyone got too stinkin' drunk to make the plane trip across the country. Julia can be forgiven, of course, just having popped a couple of children but can't the rest of them sleep off their hangovers in their jumbo star jets?


Also, the Atlantis resort, where the screening was held, has something like fourteen restaurants. The first FOUR we tried were closed (one of which was closed in preparation for the after-movie reception). The fifth was a $50 buffet. We ended up at a deli ordering corned beef sandwiches. Of course, after we ate, we passed three open ones on the way to the theatre. By the time the movie was over, we had done so much walking, we were too tired to attend the reception. Of course, Liza, Scott, and Conchita were out drinking the night before until 2am which didn't help matters.


So we paid $50 to dress up and watch Ocean's 12. But if this film festival takes off, we can say that we were there for the first event of the first festival.