On July 6, 2017, the CaribbeanTales International Film Festival (CTFF) held its Media Launch and Program Reveal to launch its twelfth annual festival with an evening of community and celebration. The packed event featured the Canadian Premiere screening of Barbadian film legend-in-the-making Shakirah Bourne’s latest fantasy feature film: A Caribbean Dream. And the international release of the trailer for Toronto-based filmmaker Sharon Lewis’ fifteen-year labour of love: upcoming Afro-futurist feature film Brown Girl Begins.
Co-presented with the Consul General of Barbados, who also hosted a stylish VIP reception at Bar Volo, the night was emceed by the Honourable Jean Augustine, and featured lively speeches by Frances-Anne Solomon (CEO, CaribbeanTales), John Reid (CEO, Flow — CaribbeanTales Lead Sponsor), Nicole Brooks (VP, CaribbeanTales and Incubator Manager), Brandon Hay (Community Partner and Founder: The Black Daddies Club), and Denise Jackson (CaribbeanTales Board Member and CEO, Peeks Toronto Caribbean Carnival).
“At twelve years old, CaribbeanTales has worked to create a brand for Caribbean Cinema, not divided by country, and inclusive of the Diaspora, that brings together our separate and collective legacies, our unique, distinctive and authentic stories,” said Frances-Anne Solomon, Executive Director, CTFF. “The festival provides a platform for us to come together across all of our differences to have a meaningful conversation about who we are as a global community.”
Festival Program: Themed Legacy
With fourteen (14) feature films and thirty (30) short films, from eighteen (18) countries, the twelfth annual event promises to challenge viewers on the beauty and complexities of Caribbean legacy. This juried screening series will take place from September 6 to September 21, 2017 at The Royal Cinema, and at Cineplex Scotiabank Cinema. CTFF2017 continues its commitment to community building and engagement with community screenings during July and August in partnership with over fifty (50) community partners and sponsors.
Each individual screening during the festival will be followed by a unique and entertaining Talk-back with filmmakers, in conversation with Toronto-based cultural leaders, activists, academics and influencers. Themes will include: Bajan Excellence, Legacies of Race, Roots of Culture, Legacies of the Land, #BlackLoveMatters, CineFAM (Women in film), and #INTERSECT – Queer and Trans People of Colour.
Some of the films that will premiere during the festival include: Machel Montano: Journey of a Soca King (Trinidad & Tobago) Pimento and Hot Pepper – The Mento Story (Jamaica), Le Gang des Antillais (West Indies Gang) (Guadeloupe / France), Play the Devil (Trinidad & Tobago), and Kafou (Haiti). The full schedule is available and tickets are on sale at: caribbeantalesfestival.com
CaribbeanTales Incubator (CTI) 2017
“We want to help talented filmmakers in any way we can and enable them to reach audiences at home and around the world. Through the Incubator, we’re pleased to support the growth of our Region’s film industry and simultaneously develop compelling creative content relevant for our Region, as well as a global audience – giving viewers at home and abroad top-notch Caribbean content.” said John Reid, CEO of Cable and Wireless / Flow.
For the second year in a row, Flow is supporting CTI. The proof of the impact of this remarkable partnership is the exciting news that the three pilots funded by Flow — that emerged from CTI 2016 — will be premiered at CTFF2017. With an amazing line-up of filmmakers for this year’s CTI, Flow has made the same commitment again.
A lot of attention was on Shakirah Bourne as she was not just the feature film director, but will also be representing Barbados at CTI 2017 with another fantasy project: Visit with the Obeah Woman. She will be joined by Karen Mafundikwa, with travel documentary series TRANScribe (Jamaica), Rick Elgood and Paul O Beale with comedic drama: The Agency (Jamaica), Roger Alexis with Santana spin-off Lexo Street (Trinidad and Tobago), Janine Fung’s comedy MIX UP (Trinidad and Tobago), Leticia Tonos with zombie thriller Inframundo (Dominican Republic), Louis Taylor and Altair Pflug Taylor with cynical reality show Spawn & Geezer (Canada), Kareem Mortimer’s “crama-dy” Sully’s Manor (Bahamas), Cristobal Krusen with political drama Life of Death, and Nicolas Cuellular and Nadege Robertson with environmental love story Fontizon – A Forest Grows in Haiti (Haiti).
These CTI filmmakers will be working over the next months to prepare for CaribbeanTales’ crowning Industry Event: The Big Pitch at the TIFF Bell Lightbox on September 10, 2017 where they will pitch their projects to industry professionals. A limited number of tickets will be available for non-industry members wishing to attend.