TORONTO, Canada – The CaribbeanTales Annual Film Festival has become a not-to-be-missed event on the Toronto City’s summer calendar. Now in its fifth year, the Festival is partnering with Harbourfront Centre’s Island Soul Festival to present some of the best Caribbean films made in recent years for audiences seeking another kind of entertainment over the Caribana weekend.
Queens of Our Music: On Sunday, August 1st, 2010, from 3 pm to 7 pm, the CaribbeanTales Film Festival presents an extraordinary and entertaining line-up of films called Queens of our Music – in celebration of Caribbean and Caribbean-Canadian Divas who have rocked the mic from Toronto to Havana, and back.
The afternoon kicks off with Music Is My life, an intimate portrait of the Canadian-born singer Tanya Mullings who has won the hearts of fans all across Canada and the Caribbean. The daughter of the late great Jamaican reggae music producer Karl Mullings, the film reflects on her art and on the influence of her famous father.
Next up, at 3:35 pm, AKA Macomere Fifi charts the evolution of the award-winning Calypso Queen. Previously known as Tara Woods, she rose from being a church chorister in her home island of Tobago to becoming the formidable award-winning and much loved monarch on Canada’s male-dominated Calypso scene
At 4 pm, Stepping Out, directed by Mars Horodyski, features Toronto-based singer Saidah Baba Talibah. The daughter of legendary Canadian jazz singer Salome Bey and the equally respected Kittitian music producer Howard Matthews, she is veritable Canadian music royalty. Her extraordinary talent has allowed her to carve her own niche in this competitive contemporary market.
At 4:25 pm, Blood directed and produced by Cayman-based filmmaker Judy Singh features popular Canadian-Jamaican dub poet D’bi Young, with performances by the Cuban female Hip Hop Group Las Krudas. The film is part extraordinary music video (shot on locations around Havana, Cuba) and part entertaining after-dinner conversation between D’bi and her friends.
At 5:10 pm there will be a special presentation of Miss Lou-Then and Now, featuring the one and only Jamaican icon, Louise Bennett. Miss Lou was the country’s leading author, poet, and comedienne. She pioneered “Jamaica language” and took it to an artistic level that reflected the truth and essence of Jamaican life. The film captures private moments during the last year of her life when she shared her thoughts with her good friend, famous Jamaican actor Leonie Forbes.
Sunday afternoon will climax with a special screening of Queens of Sound – A Herstory of Reggae and Dancehall, directed by Austrian filmmaker Sandra Krampelhuber. This is the first feature-length documentary to explore the long-neglected female side of reggae and dancehall music in Jamaica. The film follows three generations of women in the Jamaican music business as they recount their struggles for acceptance as well as their successes. Artists featured include Marcia Griffiths, Tanya Stephens, Sasha, Cecile, Chevelle Franklyn, Queen Ifrica, Macka Diamond and Lady Gene.
At 6:50 pm, the screening will be followed by an in-person Talk-Back session with special guest Tasha Rosez – the reggae DJ, who will provide some insight into the issue of women in the music business.
TRIBES by Ras Kassa: At 7:30 pm, Sunday evening’s presentation will be the Toronto premiere of Tribes, a brand new drama directed by Jamaica’s hottest music video director Ras Kassa (Welcome to Jamrock, The Mission). Set in Trinidad and Tobago, Tribes takes viewers on a rollercoaster of love and life. It is the gripping story of Jamal, an undefeated stick-fighter and popular radio DJ, who finds that an unexpected twist in his personal life threatens to destroy everything.
Fresh New Voices and Visions in Caribbean Film and Television: On Monday, August 2nd, 2010, from 2:30pm to 5pm, CaribbeanTales presents Fresh New Voices and Visions in Caribbean Film and Television, featuring several Canadian premieres.
Directions, winner of the Best Short Film/People?s Choice Award at the 2008 Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival satirizes the endearing and frustrating phenomenon of Trinidadians and their ability to give directions. The film pokes fun at the idea that when one asks a Trini for directions he’ll send you on a roundabout route guaranteed to get you hopelessly lost. In this short documentary a number of persons are asked to give directions to a well-known Port of Spain landmark with hilarious results.
At 2:45 pm there will be the Canadian premiere of Trinidadian filmmaker Jimmel Daniel’s explosive short film The Power of the Vagina that takes audiences through a hilarious and entertaining look at sexual politics in Trinidad and Tobago.
Next up, at 3:10 pm, Trapped in an Elevator directed by Barbados’ highly talented filmmaker/producer Rommel Hall is a completely delightful Bajan musical opera featuring an ensemble cast.
Simply Mutabaruka: Finally the evening’s highlight, at 3:30 pm will be with the world premiere of Simply Muta. This entertaining filmic journey stars the militant Rastafari poet/philosopher, Mutabaruka as host. The brutally frank ‘barefoot Rasta’, is one of Jamaica’s best loved performers, and the program unapologetically gives voice to his unconventional opinions on a wide range of topics relevant to Jamaicans and the world. This extraordinary film is directed by renowned American filmmaker Stephanie Black (Life and Debt, H2Worker)
August 1, 1-4pm
CaribbeanTales presents An Introduction to Animation –
Sponsored by Toon-Boom.
Venue: The Brigantine Room
Computer animation is one of the most exciting applications spawned by the advent of computer technology. This hands-on course introduces participants to some basic concepts. Suitable for all ages.
August 2, 1-3pm :
CaribbeanTales presents Digital film-making on a Shoestring Budget
This hands-on crash course introduces prospective young filmmakers to the basic elements needed to make a movie or television program with next to no budget.
The CaribbeanTales Annual Film Festival is founded by accomplished Toronto-based Trinidadian filmmaker Frances-Anne Solomon, whose most recent award-winning feature film A Winter Tale has won international acclaim. She is the President and Artistic Director of the two companies she created: Leda Serene Films and CaribbeanTales. Her recent projects include HeartBeat – a documentary series profiling Caribbean musical creators; Literature Alive, a many faceted multimedia project profiling Caribbean authors; and the Gemini-nominated Lord Have Mercy! Canada’s landmark multicultural sitcom originally created for Vision TV, Toronto1, APTN and Showcase.
CaribbeanTales is Canada’s premier multimedia company that creates, markets and distributes educational films, videos, radio programs, audio books, theatre plays, websites and events, to showcase the rich heritage of the Caribbean Diaspora worldwide.
CaribbeanTales’ mandate is to foster and encourage intercultural understanding and citizen participation through the medium of film, contributing to an inclusive Canadian society.
The Island Soul Festival takes place between July 30th and August 2nd at Toronto’s Harbourfront and showcases Caribbean culture through music, food and art in a weekend-long celebration that bridges the gap between Canada and the Islands.