Culture, Guide, Social

My Must-See Films At Caribbean Tales Film Festival 2017

August 28, 2017
Caribbean Tales Film Festival 2017

Can we talk about how excited I am for Caribbean Tales Film Festival?! They planning to shut tings down this year…literally!! 

Now in its 12th year, the end of summer festival will open with an island style street party at Clinton street and College Streets in Toronto. This years theme is Legacy and they’re certainly living up to that name with a slew of Caribbean celebs expected to be on hand to greet fans.  Music Superstar Machel Montano, whose documentary Machel Montano: Journey of a Soca King will open the Festival; actor Joseph Marcell (best known as “Geoffrey” the butler from Fresh Prince of Belair); Barbados’ soca queen Alison Hinds; Jamaica’s Sheldon Sheperd and Trinidad and Tobago’s Nickolai Salcedo are among the international stars who will be at the College Street party, and at the Talkback after the screening. They will also attend the Encore Screening slated for September 7th at Cineplex Morningside Cinema, 785 Milner Ave.

I so admire executive director Frances-Anne Solomon for her dedication to shining a light on our culture and heritage, while at the same time pushing boundaries. 

A couple weeks ago I went to the Caribbean Tales Film Festival 2017 (CTFF) media launch, complete with a screening of A Caribbean Dream and a sneak peak of the feature film Brown Girl Begins. The latter is an afrofuturist feature film inspired by Nalo Hopkinson’s award winning novel “Brown Girl In The Ring.” Starring Mouna Traore and Emmanuel Kabongo , with appearances by the David Rudder and even the incomparable Measha Brueggergosman.  (The world premiere by the way is September 23rd at the urban world film festival in NYC.) You can see the trailer at CTFF on September 20th at 8:45p at The Royal Cinema.

This year’s festival boasts fourteen (14) feature films and thirty (30) short films, from eighteen (18) countries – all featuring stories centering on Caribbean legacy.

At the media launch we got a preview of some of the films featured this year.  They are all fantastic films, but here are the ones I’m particularly excited for. My Must-See List:

Machel Montano: Journey of a Soca King:

Caribbean Tales Film Festival

September 6th, 2017 5:30p – The Royal Cinema (world premiere)

If you’re obsessed with Machel Montano like I am, then you really have to see this documentary. The trailer was so good. Really well done! I’m always so curious about how Machel came to sit on the soca throne. The documentary chronicles his rise from child performer to international stardom.

Battledream Chronicle:

Caribbean Tales Film Festival

September 6th, 2017  5:30p – The Royal Cinema (world premiere)

This short film is an animation pilot voiced by Caribbean stars like Alison Hinds and Joseph Marcell. It tells the story of Syanna, a young slave in a futuristic world where plantations are video games. She and her team of rebels must hack the system to gain their freedom.

Where Have All The Trees Gone300 Years of Tree Cutting In Haiti

Caribbean Tales Film Festival

September 14th, 8:45pm – The Royal Cinema

If you follow me you know that I’m a pescatarian. A choice I made for health, ethical and environmental reasons.When I saw the trailer for this film it really spoke to me. 300 Years of Tree Cutting In Haiti explores the history and dangers of deforestation. My hope is that the film leads to greater discourse of the issue in the region and beyond.

Caribbean Girl NYC:

Caribbean Tales Film Festival

September 20th 6:15p – The Royal Cinema

Now, the tone and themes of this one is exactly what I’m trying to do with my Caribbean lifestyle talk show. Can’t wait to see this Caribbean diasporic comedy making its world premiere at CTFF.  Some might call it the Caribbean version of Girls. It follows the lives of four twenty-something Caribbean women living in Brooklyn. Trying to live the American dream in true island style. Definitely gonna see this with the girls!

Play The Devil:

Caribbean Tales Film Festival

September 21st, 7p – Scotiabank Theater

Set in Trinidad and Tobago during the carnival season. The film follows Gregory; a young black, working class, 18 year old.  He stars in a local play where he’s noticed by an older affluent business man. Such an important piece focusing on Queer and Trans people of colour.

So…hope to see you at Caribbean Tales Film Festival 2017. The festival runs from September 6th to September 21st in Toronto. Check out a few pics and video below from the media launch.


L-R: Barbados Consul General, Shakirah Bourne (A Caribbean Dream), John Reid (ceo- FLOW), Frances- Anne Solomon (exec dir CTFF) Nicole Brooks (CTFF) , Sharon Lewis (Brown Girl Begins)



With Caribbean Tales Film Festival Executive Director Frances-Anne Solomon


Stars of “Brown Girl Begins.” Emmanuel Kabongo & Mouna Traore


Brown Girl Begins Director Sharon Lewis


Wendy Vincent – ROM


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