‘Daughter of the Sea’ a must-see at CTFF

By Stephen Weir

Princess Nokia

The party started on Monday with the opening night of Caribbean movies and happy fans. The 18th annual Caribbean Tales Film Festival kicked off its 16 day run at the Harbourfront Centre.

If you are reading this and it is Thursday, put down the paper and order tickets for tonight now because CTFF’s Day 2 might be a sell-out. It happens this evening at 7 pm back at Harbourfront.

Tonight’s theme is “Standout Shorts,” featuring eight short films that explore various aspects of Caribbean culture, from a movie about a Caribbean Sea Goddess to a Black British, Black and White Duppy.

The Caribbean Camera’s top pick of the night is “Daughter of the Sea,” a Puerto Rican colour film. After the death of her grandfather, a young woman experiences a spiritual awakening when she is called by Yemaya, the orisha Goddess of the Sea. Her life takes a transformative turn as she embarks on a spiritual journey; she discovers her inner strength and female connection to her Caribbean family.

The film boasts an all-woman cast, not counting a dead grandfather who wanders the garden like a comatose zombie. It stars American rapper Princess Nokia.

Director/Writer Alexis Garcia introduces us to the often-marginalized beliefs and sacred practices of the traditional Afro-Caribbean culture in Puerto Rico. The movie observes Yanise, who experiences a profound connection to African beliefs during her seaside encounter with the divine feminine goddess Yemayá.

Films also showing tonight include: Paria’s Pearl;  Vwé Kafé; A Pile of Dirt; Fantastic Friday; Tabanca; and Black & White Duppy.

The making of Daughter of the Sea

CTFF continues this Friday at 7 pm at the Harbourfront Centre. There will be three short films featured in the evening Caribbean x Queer program. These films are: “My Maxi” (4 minutes); My Lady of the Camellia (15 minutes); and Raw Materials(32 minutes).

International awards galore for Daughter of the Sea

Since its first showing of “Daughter of the Sea” in 2023 has won a number of important film fest prizes including:

Athens International Monthly Art Film Festival (2023) – winner February Award for Best Short Film: “Daughter of the Sea”

Paris Independent Film Festival (2023) – winner Festival Award: Festival Director’s Award for “Daughter of the Sea”

Green Mountain Film Festival (GMFF) (2023) –  winner Jury Prize for Best Director: “Daughter of the Sea”

Oregon,BendFilm Festival (2022) – Winner Best Indigenous Short: “Daughter of the Sea”

Palm Springs Official Latino Film and Arts Festival (2022) – Winner Jury Award for “Daughter of the Sea”

NYC International Puerto Rican Heritage Film Festival (2022) – Winner IPRHFF Award for Best Live Action Short Film

Skopje Art Film Awards (2022) – Winner August Award for Best Director: “Daughter of the Sea”

Cannes World Film Festival (2022): – Winner Monthly Award for Best Latino/Hispanic Short: “Daughter of the Sea”

Texas Festival de Cine Latino Americano – Winner FDCLA Award, All Power To The People Award for “Daughter of the Sea”.