Categorized | Featured, National News

Sir Sidney Calls For More Focus On Arts


Academy Award winning actor Sir Sidney Poitier is urging the government to place more focus on the arts in order to develop that industry in The Bahamas.

The 85-year-old, who has been dubbed by Prime Minister Perry Christie as the “most famous Bahamian in the world,” made the charge during a news conference at Atlantis Paradise Island.

“I think that it is essential that we develop art circumstances. We are in a world, which we see on television the exquisite execution of dancers, actors and singers, painters and many other gifts. We have the responsibility to behave in an artistic way that reflects on the growth of our country,” Sir Sidney said.

“For instance, in The Bahamas you have very few filmmakers and you should have more. The good government that you have is willing to listen. There ought to be some creative filmmakers and ultimately The Bahamas would not have to send from abroad to Canada, Miami, New York or California to get the imitations of whatever we put out there to invite people to come to The Bahamas. I believe it costs you a great deal of money to do those things. Our children should be doing those things.”

He added that up and coming filmmakers cannot make it without government assistance.

“If you have two men who are gifted in filmmaking they can teach young children. They are going to need that help,” he said.

During his 60-year film career, Sir Sidney has acted in or directed 50 films.

Some of his more famous films include, “Lilies in the Field”, “Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner” and “To Sir With Love.”

In 1999, the “American Film Institute” American Film Institute named Sir Sidney among the Greatest Male Stars of All Time, ranking 22nd on the list of 25.

Sir Sidney has directed a number of popular movies such as “A Piece of the Action (film)” A Piece of the Action”, Uptown Saturday Night”, “Let’s Do It Again” and Stir Crazy” starring Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder.

In 2002, 38 years after receiving the Best Actor Award, Sir Sidney was chosen by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to receive an “Academy Honorary Award” Honorary Award in recognition of his “remarkable accomplishments as an artist and as a human being.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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