Last night marked the first evening of an initiative that began almost a year ago: FLIFF on Location on the Bahamas. The Fort Lauderdale Film Festival is a globetrotting event this year, exhibiting new movies in places as far-flung as Daytona Beach, St. Augustine, Amelia Island and Grand Bahama Island. Thanks to FLIFF and the Grand Bahama Island Tourism board, I am able to report directly from the scene and blog daily about the films and events I see.This festival-within-a-festival began Thursday night with a party and screening at Taino Beach, a 15-minute boat ride from the host hotel, the Pelican Bay Resort in Lucaya. Hundreds gathered on folding chairs and bleachers – including the festival’s guest of honor, actor Dennis Haysbert – to see a movie shot on Grand Bahama Island. Beneath the Blue, the second movie in a trilogy about dolphins from filmmaker Michael D. Sellers, concerns a conflict between a group of dedicated researchers on dolphin intelligence and some elements in the United States Navy that have more nefarious plans for the adorable mammals. It turns out to be essentially “Free Willy” with a dolphin instead of a whale; Hollywood veterans David Keith and Michal Ironside appear alongside a number of locals. Bahamian stage actress Leah Eneas made her film debut in a key supporting role, and she took a few minutes to speak to me about the experience.

How did you land this role, and what was the shoot like?

I was alerted about a casting call by Sharma Entertainment and went to audition for the role of Kita. I was told later that that particular part was given to an Australian pop singer named Samantha Jade. They asked me to read for the part of Elizabeth Duvey. I got the part because they said they liked me sense of humor.

The shoot was wonderful! I was very nervous because it was my first movie, but I had moments of comfort mainly because the movie was being filmed in my own country.

How did this experience differ from stage acting?

I’ve been acting onstage since I was 9 years old, so I was used to committing three-hour shows completely to memory. Acting in the film seemed much easier, because I only needed to know one scene at a time. If you mess up, the director simply yells “cut!”, and we start again. There are no do-overs onstage.

What is it like seeing yourself onscreen?

It is very unreal. There is a wonderful feeling of having one of my biggest life goals met. I am very happy that I get to do what I love and share it with everyone else.

Is it possible to “make it” in the Bahamian film industry, or do you need to go to someplace like Hollywood or New York?

The Bahamas’ film industry is very small, and there are very few projects filmed each year. It benefits me as a Bahamian actress, because when there actually is a project, I’m the first actor someone would call. If I want to be known very well internationally, I would have to relocate to Hollywood or New York.