Filmmakers’ awards crown a stellar Festival showcasing Caribbean Legacy stories

The 12th Annual CaribbeanTales International Film Festival honoured eight films at the #INTERSECT: Closing Night and Awards on September 21, 2017 at the packed 500-seat Scotiabank Cineplex. The films had all been screened during the Festival to enthralled audiences in Toronto from September 6 to September 21, 2017.

The CaribbeanTales International Film Festival winners are:

1. Caribbean Spirit Award for Best Feature Film
‘Le Gang Des Antillais’, directed by Jean-Claude Barny

2. Best Documentary
‘Traces of Sugar’, directed by Ida Does

3. Best Short Film
‘Viré’, directed by Hugo Rousselin

4. Impact Award
‘Shashamane’, directed by Giulia Amati

5. Innovation Award
‘Kafou’, directed by Bruno Mourral

6. Best Cinematography
‘Cutlass’, directed by Darisha Beresford

7. #Intersect Award for Best LGBT film
‘Play The Devil’, directed by Maria Govan

8. CineFAM Award – Best Woman of Color Creator
‘Traces of Sugar’, directed by Ida Does

“We are thrilled with the really passionate feedback from our audiences in response to this year’s compelling program of films and shorts. Our 2017 goal was to challenge our fans to think about what Legacy means for us, as people of the Caribbean and its Diaspora, and reflect that back through stories told in film,” said Frances-Anne Solomon, Executive Director of the CaribbeanTales International Film Festival. “We knew we had a great Festival while we were creating it, but the feedback and support has been simply amazing! We want to thank the thousands of people who came out in Toronto, through rain and shine. We want them to know we are already looking towards 2018, our lucky 13th Festival, when we will again bring stories from the Caribbean Diaspora to sell-out audiences.”

On the morning of September 10, 2017, a large audience came out to breakfast and enjoy pitches made by some of the Caribbean Region’s most talented and accomplished filmmakers — they were in Toronto to participate in the CaribbeanTales Incubator Program. The week-long intensive workshop, now in its eighth year, culminated that morning in the Big Pitch, part of the “Breakfast at TIFF” Series held at LUMA. Presented by Flow – the Caribbean Region’s largest telecommunications company – the CTI Breakfast event gave seventeen filmmakers from across Canada and the Caribbean the chance to compete for funding — and to showcase — their original long-running series planned projects.

This year, ‘The Big Pitch’ winners were: 1st Prize “Inframundo” by Leticia Tonos (Dominican Republic) — an unlikely zombie thriller in which a Dominican psychiatrist and a Haitian private investigator join forces to unveil the mysteries of the Caribbean Underworld; 2nd Prize: Lexo Street by Roger Alexis (Trinidad and Tobago) — developing his wildly popular franchise that explores the scandalous lives of a group of profane and irreverent multi-racial Trinidadian puppets; and 3rd Prize: TRANScribe by Karen Mafundikwa (Jamaica) — a travel series that explores and celebrates writers of the African Diaspora and their connections to places that have inspired them. The Audience Choice Award went to the Canadian animation series Holy Fables! and the Diamond Dad by Sahle Robinson — a collection of animated fairy tales, fantasies and parables, featuring a live-action family that uses the morality tales to teach their kids how to make wise decisions.

Some of the other highlights of the 2017 Festival included:

  • An Opening Night Gala featuring Soca Superstar, Trinidad and Tobago’s Machel Montano, St Lucia’s Joseph Marcell (best known as the Butler Geoffrey in Fresh Prince of Belair) and Barbados Soca Queen Alison Hinds.
  • The celebrities all attended the premiere of the new animation series BattleDream Chronicles, produced by CaribbeanTales for Flow.
  • The Government of Barbados’ Recognition Awards for film legends, Cameron Bailey and Menelik Shabazz, both of Barbadian heritage.
  • Fourteen feature films and thirty short films that delighted audiences of more than 5,000 people over nine days.

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