‘Goombay Kids’ wins Asian film award

An Asian film festival has awarded the 2022 Best Television Award to Bahamas-produced “Goombay Kids”.

“Goombay Kids” was the award winner of Best TV Series at the 2 11 17 International Film Festival in Tamil Nadu, India.

“This is truly beyond our wildest expectations,” said show creator Stephanie Nihon.

“We knew we had a hit but it’s just a new level of excitement when international bodies recognize the talent, effort and work we put into it, so much so, that they present us with this award. We are absolutely honored and this shows that The Bahamas can create a dynamic product that can be appreciated across the world. It is meaningful to be awarded in India because we actually featured India on the show in season two as well as had Indian-Bahamian actors on it.”

The educational show was created by Nihon, who films the show on location, presenting Atlantis, The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas, the Pirate Museum, stunning islands and even Junkanoo to the world.

The show is also making rounds in festivals from Canada to England to Russia and an American film festival reviewer ranked the origin of Junkanoo episode five-out-of-five for highlighting culture.

The show was also a finalist in the St. Petersburg Television and Film Festival for Best TV or Web Series where many founders and members of the jury on the panel work in the leading areas of cinema, TV and Streamers in Russia. The show was the official selection at the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival for Best Episodic in Hawaii. The festival, now in its 30th year, is one of the largest children’s content festivals in the United States and partners with 50 venues worldwide to screen KIDS FIRST! curated content. It is owned by the Coalition for Quality Children’s Media. The London Indie Short Film Festival, being named an official selection at the Multi Dimension Independent Film Festival and a quarter finalist in the Vancouver independent film festival as well as the rounded off the accolades for 2021.

“The show is great and funny,” said KIDS FIRST! reviewer Tom W. “I like the creativity part of the show where the kids themselves make costumes related to the culture. I also like the historical backstory of the culture and to make it more realistic, it was told by the goddaughter ‘Godfather of Junkanoo’, which makes it more appealing. I also like the lighthearted music throughout the background, which makes the movie more enjoyable.”

Supervising producer of “Goombay Kids” is Rowena Poitier-Sutherland, niece of deceased legendary actor Sir Sidney Poitier. She is also the force behind the leading film and acting school in the Caribbean, Bahamas Artist Movement, and the former executive director of the Ministry of Culture. Leslie Ellis-Tynes serves as senior producer.

In its third season, “Goombay Kids” airs on OurTV (Channel 212) and streams on several internet platforms including YouTube.

The show has been praised by the Bahamas Film & Television Commission and is gaining interest to be aired in other countries. Among last year’s highlights, Irish newspaper, The Independent, featured a spread on Madison Knowles, the Bahamian actress who plays Anne Bonny in the 18th-century pirate’s hometown.

Nihon continues to provide opportunities for creatives, using a local cast and crew including actress Leah Eneas (“Beneath The Blue”, “Miracle at St. Anna”), child actor Javien Rankine (Netflix’s “Mighty Express”) and director/filmmaker Lanthro Munroe (Coco Studios, Tyler Perry Studios).

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