Fest screens three films at Jane & Finch

By Nicole Brooks

Nicole Brooks
Nicole Brooks

Dancers help celebrate the Orishas in the film The Orisha Suite showing as part of the Caribbean Tales International Film Festival. The film shows on Saturday at an outdoor screening at Black Creek Farm.

The Jane and Finch community is in for a treat Saturday when the ninth-annual CaribbeanTales International Film Festival (CTFF) in partnership with West Side Arts Hub hosts a free screening of three short films directed by Canadians and Caribbean film producers.

Scheduled for Black Creek Farm, 4229 Jane St., outdoors between 7:30 and 10 p.m., residents can view The Orisha Suite directed by Nicole Brooks, Kali Worship in Trinidad & Tobago directed by Christopher Laird and Voodoo Dance directed by Elsie Haas.

The Orisha Suite is a docu-dance film documenting the tradition, song and dance of Trinidadian slaves honouring the Orishas. The film is a celebration of the spirit of enslaved Africans, who were able to preserve some of their culture and ritual practices in the new lands where they were taken to by force.

Orisha Dancers
Orisha Dancers

Journeying through spirit to a time of ancestor reverence and ritual, a little boy experiences history on the shores of the ocean, through song, dance and rhythm. The film pays homage to the Orishas, and celebrates one of the rich cultural legacies of the Caribbean.

Kali Worship in Trinidad and Tobago is one of the few places in the new world where worship of the Hindu goddess Kali is accessible. Involving the legendary “Fire-pass” (walking over a pit of glowing coals) ceremony, healing and possession rituals, the presenter and the camera become players and participants.

The third film, Voodoo Dance, documents the significant role of voodoo in Haitian culture from the perspectives of voodoo priests, government officials, historians and politicians. Attacked by Western clerics and declared a “superstition” by law in 1935, voodoo has always been a source of empowerment for the average Haitian. Despite its exploitation, romanticization and vilification, scholars in this documentary also note the ways in which it remains an authentic and stabilizing cultural base of everyday Haitian society.

According to a release, this year’s festival aims to embody Caribbean culture through the lens of filmmakers. It kicks off with a Caribbean reception on Sept. 3, in association with the Consulate-General of the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago in Toronto with Calypso King of the World, Slinger Francisco, better known as The Mighty Sparrow and affectionately dubbed, The Birdie.

CTFF will showcase a variety of films from a number of Caribbean and Canadian film makers from Sept. 3 to 13 under the theme My Lens: Caribbean Tales Celebrates our Lens, our Perspective at the Royal Theatre, 608 College St.

Among the films made by Canadians are Colour Me, Dal Puri Diaspora and Cricket Nation. There will also be a movie by a filmmaker in the U.S. – Thunder in Guyana. Among works by Caribbean film makers are Jamaica’s Kingston Paradise; Grenada’s Forever Ever: The Killing of a Revolution, Barbados’ Two Smart and Guyana’s Antiman.

For more information visit http://caribbeantales-events.com.