15th annual CTFF goes online with nine feature films


From Nefarious

Best break out bags and bags of popcorn. You will need a shopping basket full to get through this year’s Caribbean Tales Film Festival (CTFF) – and, oh gosh. you are going to have to pop them all yourself. The festival is going online this year. So all the movies will have to be  seen at home on TV screens, computers, phones and pads.

Last night the CTFF held a digital media launch for the upcoming virtual film fest. It announced the names of nine feature films and hinted at a coming lineup of 25 award winning short movies that will be part of the 15th annual CTFF.

Generation Lockdown

CTFF runs from September 9th to October 2nd and will take place on the Video-On-Demand CaribbeanTales-TV (CT-TV) platform with live stream entertainment. The Festival says that “CT-TV is an innovative subscription- based digital streaming platform that provides access to African and Caribbean-heritage films and TV programmes.”

Canada’s favourite Trinidadian actor Nickolai Salcedo was a  big star guest at last night’s media launch and talkback session (it happened after press time ). The popular actor, singer and artist starred in the award winning 2018 Trinidad / Canadian film The Hero (which was aired last as part of the launch) and he will be showcased in a new T&;T feature film that starts the festival off in early September.

“The opening night’s theme of “The Trini In Me” kicks off CTFF on September 9th with a focus on Trinidadian filmmakers and the International Premiere of Grace & Saleem (directed by Jian Hennings)” festival director Diana Webley told The Caribbean Camera. “This is an unconventional love story of a socialite and devout Muslim. Their on-screen romance is broken down into three significant chapters of their relationship.”

But You’re Not Black

Grace & Saleem is a gentle movie that has been shown only once – last year at the Trinidad and Tobago film Festival where it won the People’s Choice Award for Best Feature.

It stars Nickolai Salcedo as the worried father of Grace, T&T actress and comedian Penelope Spencer (Play the Devil) as Saleem’s mother, and Port of Spain poet Kyle Daniel Hernandez (Back to Freeport) and Shevonne Metevier (Cutlass).

This made-in Trinidad film is getting its International premier at CTFF. Showing with Grace & Saleem will be two short films –Regeneration (Dylan Quesnay) and A Mural by the Sea – a tribute screening of the work of veteran playwright, screenwriter, actor and director Tony Hall who died in April.

Director Michelle Mohabeer

So many movies. So little time! To help you  plan your fall movie-watching schedule, The Caribbean Camera offers this thumbnail look at the feature movies on the CTFF playbill.

Sept. 16  – Generation Lockdown is an American film by New York City based director Sirad Balducci. This is short film seen through the eyes of Caleb, an eleven-year-old boy who tries to save his friend’s life during an active shooter attack in his school. Her film is based on a short story by Caleb, a New Jersey fifth grader.

Sept. 17 –  Zeen? Toronto’s Calyx Passailaigue made this new Canadian comedy. He also stars in the film playing Chad a pretentious white Jamaica movie director. With his ragtag Caribbean cast and crew, he aims to shoot a highbrow social drama called “Brothers in Babylon.”

“Zeen? is having its film festival premiere at CaribbeanTales,” Passailaigue told The Caribbean Camera. “However, it was created as part of the Tout-Monde: Markham exhibit at the Varley Art Gallery last year. We filmed Zeen? throughout Markham, Unionville and Toronto.”

Penelope Spencer

Sept. 18 – Nefarious. Rhett Butler (yes that is his real name) has made Jamaica’s first horror gangsta flick. This 2018 feature film tells the story of Mark (Kevoy Williams) whom his girlfriend’s brother, to be led through a series of violent, horror filled scenes, manipulates. In addition to the horrific flair. Butler (who studied at Humber College) says that he hopes this made-in Jamaica movie will be the gateway to unleashing the “plethora of dark and wonderful stories” he has to tell.

Sept. 23 – Queer Coolie-tudes. Director Michelle Mohabeer describes her 2019 Queer Coolietudes as a groundbreaking creative documentary, which visualizes the intergenerational lives, histories, identities, familial relations and sexualities of a diverse range of subjects from the Queer Indo-Caribbean diaspora in Canada.

Sept. 25 – But You’re Not Black. This is a documentary film based on the real life experiences of writer/director Danielle Ayow. She is a Chinese-Caribbean-Canadian woman who, driven by people’s inability to separate her skin colour from her culture, tries to own the Trinidadian identity she knows should feel like hers.

Sept. 30 – Cu-Bop Across The Border. Japanese filmmaker Shin’ichi Takahashi travelled to New York and to Cuba to make this full-length documentary about musicians Cesar Lopez and Axel Tosca. One lives in New York, the other in Havana. When the prodigal son returns to Cuba, a monumental jazz jam session takes place. Cubop is a style of jazz music born in NYC back in the early 50s in which Cuban rhythms are combined with bop. Film is in Spanish and English. .

Nefarious

 Oct. 1 – Malpaso. Director Hector Valdez’s 2019 “Dirty gem” is about Black and albino twins who have to fend for themselves in a violent and impoverished society unable to understand their pigmental condition, in this impressive Dominican movie.

Oct. 2 – A People’s Art. Ayesha Casely-Hayford is a British/Ghanaian actress and lawyer who live in the UK. Best known for The Last Kill (2016 and Spectrum London (2017) she is the host and narrator in a personal journey to

Nickolai Salcedo

discover the history, meaning, and origins of Notting Hill Carnival. Director- Tony Oldham.

Follow the Caribbean Camera to learn the latest news about CTFF 2020. To find out about the Video-On-Demand CaribbeanTales- platform