For the past seven years, CaribbeanTales International Film Festival (CTFF) has done what no other Caribbean film festival has: created a spotlight for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) content. This programming is now a cornerstone of the Festival, showcasing CaribbeanTales’ commitment to provide a platform for all of the many intersecting voices of the Caribbean and Caribbean Diaspora.
2017 is the 12th Annual CaribbeanTales Film Festival, and the LGBT-focused night, branded #INTERSECT – QTPOC (queer and trans people of colour), has been chosen for the Closing Night and Award Ceremony, slotted for September 21, 2017 at the Scotiabank Cineplex Cinema, 259 Richmond Street W, Toronto.
“It is remarkable to be able to say we’ve been doing this for seven years,” says Frances-Anne Solomon, CEO of CaribbeanTales. “When we first started, we actually had sponsors and partners in the community who would ask us not to mention our queer programming. These last few years have been a huge and beautiful change. We couldn’t be more proud of the audiences we have brought to this work, to be showcasing this work, and to be telling these stories.”
The word “intersect” draws attention to the intersection of identities that this night celebrates. It explores the diversity that makes up the Caribbean and Caribbean Diaspora populations. It emphasizes that the stories of the many intersecting groups, people of the Region and the Diaspora share a common journey towards greater self-actualisation and freedom.
The September 21st screening will showcase two beautiful and moving shorts. A Broken Appointment, directed by Jamaican-American Kaleb D’Aguilar, is a poetic picture exploring the often toxic dynamic of closeting within a young gay relationship, while offering optimism for the ability of queer Caribbean relationships to rise in spite of it all. E Yobida di Ayera, directed by Armand Simon from Aruba, follows Monica as she seeks to find enough courage to tell her best friend that she is in love with her.
These beautiful short films precede Bahamian filmmaker Maria Govan’s Play the Devil. The Trinidadian-produced film is a deeply moving coming-of-age story — a young man’s journey to discover himself. Gregory struggles to find balance in his life between the hopes and dreams of his grandmother for his future and the desires and encouragement of an older man whose new and exciting friendship has the potential to tear both their world’s apart.
A short Award Ceremony for CTFF2017 will also be held that night, honoring the films which have shown throughout the last two weeks. Awards for Best Feature, Best Short, Best Actress/Actor, and Caribbean Spirit, among others, will be given out. By centering LGBT programming on a night when CaribbeanTales invites their diverse partners and friends to celebrate their shared stories, CaribbeanTales makes a powerful statement about the intersection of Caribbean and Diaspora struggles and demonstrate their commitment to an intersectional Caribbean media.