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By Ron Bernthal

The Third Bermuda International Film Festival, held in the island's sun-splashed capital city of Hamilton, ended on a high note with the First Place Jury Award going to Human Traffic, a British production about the rave scene directed by 26-year-old Justin Kerrigan.

The winner of the Audience Choice Award went to the popular Genghis Blues, which has been honored at several fests, including Sundance. Devil Doll, a one-minute short by Jarl Olsen, won top honors in that category.

The Bermuda festival showcases films in Hamilton's two charming film houses, the Liberty and Little Theatres. Workshops were held in the modern auditorium of Bermuda's Underwater Exploration Institute, located on Hamilton's attractive waterfront. There was ample opportunity for the filmmakers to mingle with the press and the enthusiastic locals aboard the festival's Bar Boat, moored alongside a dock on Front Street. This fest is not to be confused with the splashy yacht scene at Cannes, however. The low-key Bermuda event is supported by everyone on the island, from the Premier to the local restaurant workers, and these friendly and educated Bermudians truly appreciate good film.

The jury was headed by American actor George Segal. "We watched so many really good films, it was difficult to choose an overall winner," said Segal. "The photography, acting, and music was truly remarkable," Segal said.

Feature film entries included The Children of Chabannes (directed by Lisa Gossels and Dean Wetherell); I Want to Blow up Silicon Valley (Jason Ward, director); Juvies (Liz Garbus, director); and Nasty Neighbours (Debbie Isitt, director).

Human Traffic is writer/director Justin Kerrigan's first feature film, although his shorter productions have won numerous awards in Britain and at this year's Brussels Film Festival. Miramax acquired Human Traffic at last year's Toronto fest. The film has already grossed over 2.5 million pounds in the United Kingdom.

For more information on the Bermuda Film Festival, go to:

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