Toronto – July 13, 2010

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.

Tanya Mullings

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.

Macomere Fifi

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

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/Peopleʼs 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.

Jimmel Daniel – Power of The Vagina

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.

Available for interviews:
Frances-Anne Solomon

For media inquiries please contact:
Pennant Media Group
Kevin Pennant
Toronto 416.596.2978
Los Angeles 818.748.7517

Posted by: caribbeantales | April 10, 2010

Kamau Brathwaite presents the Best of CaribbeanTales @ NYU

April 10th 2010
Celebrated Caribbean poet/historian/cultural critic Kamau Brathwaite will host a selection of films from the Best of CaribbeanTales Film Festival 2010 (CTFF), at New York University from April 26th to May 1, 2010. The four day mini-festival is part of Marassa 10 2010 : A Festival of Caribbean Film, Story and Imagination, that will take place at the Institute of African American Affairs, 41 East 11th St., 7th Floor.

Barbados-born Dr. Brathwaite is currently Professor of Comparative Literature at NYU. Since the 1950’s he has authored many outstanding ground-breaking works, including poetry and non-fiction, and awards recognising his achievements include the Guggenheim Fellowship, the Fulbright Fellowship, and recently, the Griffin Prize for “Born to Slow Horses”. He is best known for originating the concept of Nation Language to describe the indigenous Caribbean languages of peoples descended from slaves. His contributions to a discourse on contemporary Caribbean and Africentric culture are without parallel.

The complete list of film being to be screened is online here.

The stellar collection of films to be screened include six feature films and several shorts. On Wednesday April 28 at 6pm, the Opening Film is Stephanie’s Black’s masterful “Africa Unite”. Part concert tribute, part Marley family travelogue, this electrifying film follows the Marleys on their first-time-ever family trip to Ethiopia to commemorate Bob’s 60th birthday. Stephanie Black will be in attendance to participate in a talk-back after the film. (View the trailer for Africa Unite)

This will be followed at 8pm by “Calypso Dreams” (dirs Geoffrey Dunn and Michael Horne). Executive produced by music legend Eddy Grant, with narrative commentary by David Rudder, this authoritative documentary captures rivetting performances and original interviews with a host of legendary Calypso performers, including the Mighty Sparrow, Calypso Rose, Lord Superior, Black Stalin, Mighty Bomber, Lord Blakie, Singing Sandra, Mighty Terror, Lord Kitchener, Lord Pretender, and Harry Belafonte. “Calypso Dreams is far and away the best film ever made about calypso….”(View trailer Calypso Dreams)

On Thursday April 29th at 6pm, Michelle Materre, curator of the”Creatively Speaking” screening series, will present Life Lessons, 4 short films by New York-based filmmakers of color. A Departure from A Love by Ishmael Islam, follows a young man’s walk through his beloved Brooklyn while reciting spoken word to a lover, while, The Lesson Plan by Eddy Duran follows a

Brooklyn school teacher on the verge of a nervous breakdown, as he constructs an unusual Lesson Plan for students, drawing on letters by 18th century slave owner William Lynch, (after whom the term “lynching” was coined). This film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, in 2009. As well, Sticks and Stones by Rehema Imani Trimiew exposes biases in the NY education system that prejudices black kids; and, Premature by Rashaad Ernesto Green tells of Tisha, a streetwise Bronx teenager from the Bronx, who gets unexpected news.

At 8pm on Thursday April 29th, Frances-Anne Solomon’s multi-award-winning audience favorite A Winter Tale, set in the Caribbean community of Toronto, Canada, tells the emotional and gripping story of a group of Black men who come together at Miss G’s Caribbean Restaurant, to thrash out their differences and heal their broken community, following the shooting death of a young child. The filmmaker Frances-Anne Solomon will be in attendance. (View Clips/Trailer: A Winter Tale)

Friday April 30 at 6pm begins with 3 stunning shorts from the twin islands of Trinidad and Tobago : Directions by Renee Polonais, winner of the audience award at the T&T film festival 2008, is a hilarious look at the roundabout ways some Trinidadians give street directions, while Invisible by Multimedia artist Elspeth Duncan focuses on a woman called “Veronica”, and her daughters, facing the bitter effects of discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS in Trinidad and Tobago. As well, Mami Wata is an evocative film exploration of Shango ritual, by Yao Ramesar one of the most accomplished and prolific Caribbean directors, who has made dozens of films on the people, history, and culture of Trinidad.

This will be followed at 8pm by Rain, director Maria Govan’s powerful debut feature, that follows a teenager Rain who goes to Nassau to find her mother, and discovers her living in a desperately poor, AIDS-ravaged neighborhood. One of the first films to be produced indigenously in the Bahamas, Rain reflects a striking visual contrast between the idyllic tourist setting and the harsh realities of everyday Bahamian life.

On Saturday May 1st, at, two short films: The Legend of Buchi Fil by Surinamese filmmaker German Gruber, draws on slave folklore to tell the story of the strongest of the slaves whose will was only crushed when his beloved wife was killed. And, Drummit2Summit by Christopher Laird, “one of the most important and prolific filmmakers of the English-speaking Caribbean“(Richard Fung) records the events of 18th April 2009, when a group of protesters holding a public event in Port of Spain, Trinidad, during the 5th Summit of the Americas, faced down pressure from armed riot police, using drums, song, and the power of the media.

At 6pm, The Closing Feature is Carmen and Geoffrey by filmmakers Linda Atkins and Nick Doob, a beautiful documentary about the work of two exceptional artists, Carmen de Lavallade and Trinidadian Geoffrey Holder, and the fifty-four year long love affair and creative partnership that sustained their accomplishments. Linda Atkins and Nick Doob will attend the screening and and Talk back afterwards.

The CTFF was founded by accomplished British/Canadian-Trinidadian filmmaker Frances-Anne Solomon , whose most recent award-winning feature film “A Winter Tale” has won international acclaim.”I am delighted to be able to present the best of the best of our Barbados 2010 line-up of CaribbeanTales films at NYU. It is an honor to be hosted by Dr Kamau Brathwaite who is a Caribbean icon, having contributed so much to deepening our understanding of ourselves and our culture.”

Also this month, CaribbeanTales partners with the Festival International du Film Panafricain Panafrican in Cannes, France to bring a number of Caribbean titles to screens there, including Roger McTair’s Journey to justice; Fabulous Spaces, an exploration of the work of science fiction writer Nalo Hopkinson; Blood Dub and the MatriarchJudy Singh‘s biopic of dub artist dbi.young.anitafrica; Jab by Alex Deverteiul; Gathering the Scattered Cousins by Akin Omotoso; What My Mother Told Me and I Is A Long Memoried Woman by Frances-Anne Solomon; Celebration by Yao Ramesar; Crack House by Camille Selvon Abrahams; and Glory to Gloriana by Lenny Little White, and many more. For the full festival programme, please click here.

The CaribbeanTales Film Festival is a Toronto-based event that takes place annually in July. This year the festival’s dates are July XYZ to July XYZ, when for the second year running, CTFF will partner with the Harborfront Island Soul Festival to premiere selected Caribbean films to Toronto audiences.

The Best of CaribbeanTales Film Festival 2010 – an offshoot of the CTFF – took place for the first time in Barbados this year, and included a Symposium on Global Distribution, the first-ever Caribbean Film Marketplace, Workshops/Masterclasses, and Youth Screenings.

CaribbeanTales is Canada’s premier multimedia company that creates, markets and distributes educational films, videos, radio programs, audio books, theatre plays, websites and events, that 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.

Available for interviews: Frances-Anne Solomon , Dr Kamau Brathwaite, Stephanie Black, Nick Doob and Linda Atkins, Michelle Materre, etc.

For media inquiries please contact: Pennant Media Group
Kevin Pennant
Toronto 416.596.2978
Los Angeles 818.748.7517

Posted by: caribbeantales | April 8, 2010

Caribbean Export Development Agency
The Best Of Caribbean Tales 2010
The Savannah Hotel, Barbados
Thursday, 25 February 2010

Ms Frances-Anne Solomon, Festival Director of The Best of Caribbean Tales 2010; Dr Keith Nurse, Director, Shridath Ramphal Centre; Mr. Terrence Farrell, Group Chief Executive Officer, One Caribbean Media; Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen

I am indeed honoured to have been invited by the organizers and sponsors of the Caribbean Tales Film Festival, Symposium and Marketplace to address you on the occasion of the opening of the first ever Caribbean Film Marketplace.

Caribbean Export Development Agency, as the regional trade and investment promotion agency for the 15 States of CARIFORUM is committed to the development of the Audio Visual Sector. We are therefore very pleased to be part of this Festival and in particular this trail-blazing effort to bring buyers and sellers together, in this important new sector of exports for the Region. This Region is sadly lacking in specialized trade fairs. The annual Caribbean Gift and Craft Show, organised by Caribbean Export during the last 15 years is a notable exception. In so far as most international buyers tend now only to attend specialized trade fairs, it is appropriate that Caribbean Tales should decide to host this first ever Caribbean Film Marketplace. We must hope that once started this will become an annual event to which regional film producers and both regional and international buyers can look forward. In this way we shall be able to add one more specialized trade fair to our Calendar.

Enduring Cultural Expression & Caribbean Brand Definition

Apart from Caribbean Export’s legitimate commercial interest in this event, as Caribbean nationals, we must also have a broader interest and pride in this festival, symposium and marketplace.The oral tradition of story telling and the written world of printed books and other printed material, in both of which the Region excels, is fast giving way to electronic forms of communicating stories and ideas. Audio visual tools are now the preferred means of communication, especially for the young. If we are not to be left behind, we must quickly adapt to these new and rapidly evolving forms of communication. Electronic books, videos and the social networks – You Tube, Facebook, Twitter etcetera are expanding and developing rapidly.

These are the tools which will help the region to disseminate its culture to the World. But these tools require content and it is by producing our stories and ideas in the new electronic formats that we can help to determine and define Caribbeanness and promote it to the World

We hear much talk of national brands – Brand Jamaica or Brand Barbados, but the World sees us as Caribbean, as we know too well from the impact of regional disasters. A hurricane, or a flood, or an earthquake in the region impacts all of the Caribbean negatively, regardless of the particular country which is directly affected. As we have done with our literature, through our music and films, let us seek to further define and enhance our own image of the Caribbean – a truly rich, positive Brand Caribbean from which the entire region can benefit – a rising tide lifts all boats.

Important Link to the Regional Diaspora
Caribbean audiovisual products also play an important role in harnessing our links to the Diaspora. As Rosina Wiltshire, the Former UNDP Representative in Barbados, said in a recent lecture on Migration, our families are for the most part transnational: we all have relatives in other countries near or far. It is wonderful for these relatives to visit us and reacquaint themselves with Caribbean culture, but we must also carry something of importance to them. Our Diaspora can relate to and welcomes the opportunity to hear and see our music videos and films in their own communities abroad and to be able to share these with their new neighbours.

An important link with the Diaspora has traditionally been cricket, but this game although still very important in many Commonwealth countries is not ubiquitous and has little appeal in the major markets of North America, where many of our relatives reside. Besides, dare I say that recent performance of our West Indies cricket team suggests continuing deficiencies, which hardly make us proud? Perhaps the new medium of Caribbean audiovisual outputs can be a powerful force to help fill that void.

Major Opportunity for Foreign Exchange Earnings and Quality Employment Generation. This sector offers a major opportunity for both foreign exchange earnings and quality employment generation. It is well known that this form of entertainment has been for years a major revenue stream for developed countries, like the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia and more recently New Zealand. The entry costs have been prohibitively high, but new technologies have reduced costs and many developing countries are quickly joining the trend, notably India and South Africa. However, even the Caribbean has over the years had some modest success, with limited effort and limited official support.

2 International films like Island in the Sun, Tamarind Seed and the James Bond Films have brought important revenue and recognition to the region as a location for making films. Other efforts like The Harder they Come, Cool Running, Pirates of the Caribbean and Hit for Six have had more regional input, either by being local productions, using regional actors, or in the case of Pirates of the Caribbean 2, by very proactive approaches to attracting filming to the region. I am sure that it is now well known that Pirates of the Caribbean 2 was a major revenue earner for Dominica, as a result largely of an individual initiative, with Government support, to encourage Disney to shoot part of the film in Dominica.

Film production of course provides opportunities for authors and playwrites, script writers, directors, actors, photographers, editors, engineers and other technicians – all of whom are potentially well paid.

Caribbean Export’s Role in Helping to Develop the Sector
Caribbean Export can play a significant role in helping to develop this sector. We have identified a number of requirements for a successful Caribbean Audio visual sector:
• the need for a regional database of key players in the sector,
• Development of national and regional sector associations/networks, which allow these key players to meet and know each other,
• Development of a regional strategic planning process and strategy for the sector and its sub-sectors;
• Clear definition of sub-sectors and the commercial opportunities for each of these sub-sectors
• Advocacy for necessary official support: for example, with the establishment of national film commissions and necessary incentive measures to facilitate film production.

Fortunately, a number of regional governments have set up film commissions and are making positive statements of support for the sector.
• Research to identify areas for development – how have other countries achieved success in this field? What policy measures were needed? What worked for them and what did not work?
• Help with production – training, money. Already the need has been identified for the training of script writers and photographers and money for film production is a major constraint. This is a challenge which Caribbean Export shares with film producers and for which we will strive with them to find solutions.
• Distribution channels and help with Promotion (at home and abroad)

This is a tall agenda. We cannot solve all of these problems in the short term, especially in times of economic crisis. Some may see it as frivolous to place importance on an entertainment sector at this time. What I do know is that we need to have a strategy for this important sector, make a start on its implementation and pursue it rigorously. The sooner we start, the better off the Region will be.

This week Caribbean Export has facilitated a strategic planning session in Barbados by the executive members of the newly established Caribbean Audiovisual Network, or

3. C.A.N. Under the guidance of Dr Keith Nurse, it is hoped that a preliminary strategy for the sector will emerge by the end of this week. This can form the basis for a plan of action and indeed be the basis of approaches to our development partners for assistance to help develop the sector. On a positive note, our development partners and CARIFORUM States have shown an increasing interest in the work of Caribbean Export. This should result in a four-fold increase in the resources available to the Agency during the next 12 months. This should enable Caribbean Export to deliver at a much higher level than at any time in its recent history. I am confident that development assistance can be identified to help move the Region’s Audio-visual sector forward.

A word about the importance of this Festival, the Marketplace and congratulations to the organisers.

This brings me back to the importance of this Festival, Symposium and Marketplace. These three events are all critical parts of the development process for the Audiovisual sector in the region. The Festival brings to our attention the range and depth of audiovisual content already available to and from the region. This was reinforced at the Gala Launch of the Festival on Tuesday evening, when we were treated to the screening of 2 excellent films, “Trapped In An Elevator” by Barbadian Filmmaker Rommel Hall, and “A Winter Tale” by our accomplished Trinidadian/Canadian filmmaker and Festival Director, Frances-Anne Solomon.

The Seminar yesterday, provided an opportunity for professionals to meet and exchange information and experiences and to discuss possibilities for collaboration. It was part of the important training/learning process.

Today’s Marketplace is about sustainability, if we cannot raise money to produce our films and if we cannot profitably market our output, then the industry will not survive. This demands the support of our financiers – people willing to examine a script, the project proposal and take a calculated risk on financing a film and its promotion. Maybe governments could offer tax incentives for such investment. I am advised by the experts that regional producers must also look seriously at Co-production – working with filmmakers from developed countries on joint projects. Developed countries provide incentives to their Audiovisual sector, which can often be used to assist with coproduction with filmmakers from another country. Caribbean producers must forge alliances with producers from Germany, from France – perhaps through Martinique, Guadeloupe or French Guyana-, with producers from Canada and from Britain. Film Festivals like this provide opportunities for making these important alliances.

I must once again congratulate Ms Frances-Anne Solomon and her team of organizers – Mary Wells, Keith Nurse and others – and the many sponsors of this event on their initiative. I assure you that Caribbean Export will do everything in its power to support and promote the sector and activities such as this Festival which are so critical to the development and success of the sector and the Region. We have great expectations of the Caribbean Audiovisual sector and see this Marketplace as an important beginning. It gives me great pleasure to declare this first ever Caribbean Film Marketplace open and to wish participants every success with your business.

Posted by: moniqueyoung | February 20, 2010

The Best of CaribbeanTales is here!

The Best of CaribbeanTales Film Festival is set to launch in Barbados next week, screening some of the best Caribbean films made in recent years, alongside a symposium on Global Distribution, a Caribbean Film Market, workshops, master classes, and youth screenings.

The Festival kicks off with a Gala Launch hosted by The Canadian High Commission, on Tuesday, February 23rd 2010, at 6pm, at Frank Collymore Hall. The Launch will feature special presentations by writer George Lamming, as well as screenings of some very entertaining films including  “Trapped In An Elevator” by Barbados’ own Rommel Hall, “The Power of the Vagina” by T&T filmmaker Jimmel Daniel, and Canadian/Trinidadian filmmaker Frances-Anne Solomon’s audience favourite “A Winter Tale”.  The festival will continue throughout the week with events taking place at the Savannah Hotel and screenings at Olympus Theatres, Sheraton Mall, ending on March 2nd, 2010.

On Wednesday 24th February, there will be a 1-day Symposium on Global Distribution, hosted by One Caribbean Media; featuring contributions by leading international players in the distribution field; including representatives from Time Warner, the South African Broadcasting Corporation and Rogers Television.

Another great opportunity for local and regional filmmakers, and film buffs will be the first ever Caribbean Film Marketplace. Modeled on the Rotterdam Cinemart, selected independent producers will have an opportunity to pitch their projects to buyers, and have one-on-one meetings with industry stakeholders including; broadcasters, government representatives, cinema owners,  educational institutions, music industry entrepreneurs, screenwriters and book publishers.

The Festival will host a number of workshops including a directing master class with  acclaimed African American filmmaker Julie Dash, whose stunning 1991 feature film Daughters of the Dust made her the first woman of African descent to have a movie on general release in the United States. Ms Dash’s visit to Barbados is sponsored by the US Embassy in recognition of the strong links between the African American communities in America and those of the Caribbean. The  festival will also screen Ms Dash’s beautiful and important 2003 film The Rosa Parks Story. Ms. Dash will participate in a Question and Answer period after the screening.

Other workshops during the festival include: A master class with Cinematographer Franklyn “Chappie” St Juste,  (The Harder They Come), a workshop on special effects with Makeup Artist Adzil Stuart hosted by the National Cultural Foundation, a “Dialogue between Broadcasters and Independent Producers” hosted by The Caribbean Channel, and a workshop presentation of “Tide Running” a new screenplay by talented British/Guyanese writer Oonya Kempadoo.

Throughout the festival,  films being featured turn a spotlight on Caribbean film-making and the burgeoning community of filmmakers around the world who are now producing entertaining and thought provoking films about the region and its Diaspora; including North America, Europe, Africa, India and Canada. Films to be screened include Africa Unite by Stephanie Black, and Calypso Dreams by Geoffrey DunnCarmen and Geoffrey by Nick Doob and Tribes by Jamaica’s talented music video director Ras Kassa.

Other celebrated films are Maria Govan’s stunning critically acclaimed Bahamian feature RainNurse. Fighter. Boy. by Jamaican/Canadian Charles Officer, award-winning documentary feature The Solitary Alchemist by T&T’s Mariel Brown, Coolie Pink and Green, an experimental short exploring Bollywood images in a Caribbean context by Pat Mohammed, award-winning shorts by Yao Ramesar, and Lisa Wickham and many more!

The CaribbeanTales 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, and who has been a visiting lecturer at UWI over the past year. This year the festival welcomes three new Associate Directors, including Jamaican filmmaker Mary Wells, Trinidad-based Producer/Director/TV Personality Lisa Wickham; and Mitzi Allen, CEO and Co-owner of HAMA TV in Antigua.

The Best of CaribbeanTales Film Festival is incredibly proud to partner with many local and regional organizations including; The Tourism Development Corporation, Invest Barbados, One Caribbean Media, The Nation Newspapers, Starcom, the Shridath Ramphal Center at UWI, the National Cultural Foundation, The Commonwealth Foundation, Unido, Carib Export,  the Caribbean Channel, the Barbados Film and Video Association, the Caribbean Film and Media Academy, the Bajan Reporter, Merville Lynch Productions, Alison Saunders, Rivelino Simmons, and many more.

Posted by: moniqueyoung | February 16, 2010


Posted by: moniqueyoung | February 5, 2010

Educational Screenings

CaribbeanTales Youth Film Screening Series starts Monday at the Olympus Theatres in Barbados.

Bridgetown – February 12, 2010

Starting Monday February 15th, THE BEST OF CARIBBEANTALES FILM FESTIVAL opening in Barbados later this month, will offer high school students a sneak preview of some wonderful Caribbean films. The special Youth Film Screenings will take place at 9.30am weekdays at the Olympus Theatres, Sheraton Center. For the full Youth Film Series program, and for details of the films and filmmakers, please visit the festival’s website here.

All the films being featured turn a spotlight on Caribbean filmmaking, and the burgeoning community of filmmakers around the world who are now producing entertaining and thought provoking films about the region and its Diaspora, in North America, Europe and Canada.

“It is very important that young people here in Barbados and around the region, see films that show positive and realistic images of Black and Caribbean people – images that they can both identify with and feel pride in,” said CaribbeanTales Festival Director Frances-Anne Solomon. “This extraordinary collection of films counteracts prevailing stereotypes of Black and Caribbean people as gun-toting drug dealers and primitive “natives”, by presenting three-dimensional and complex characters, in stories and situations that will be familiar to most Bajans.”.

Solomon also stressed that beyond the “edutainment” value of the Youth Film Series, the films offers students an insight into the business of film. “Young people should leave the screenings knowing that wherever they come from, filmmaking is a career path that is open to them,” says Solomon.

Films to be shown during The Youth Screening Series are, Africa Unite and Calypso Dreams (Feb 16th); Carmen and Geoffrey (Feb 17th): and Tribes (Feb 18th) . The Rosa Parks Story by acclaimed African American filmmaker Julie Dash will have its Youth Film Screening on Feb 23rd, and Ms Dash, who is coming to Barbados from Los Angeles for the Festival, will participate in a Question and Answer session with students afterwards.
The Best of CaribbeanTales Film Festival will open to the General Public on February 23rd with a Gala Reception and screening at Frank Collymore Hall, and will continue for a week with many exciting and useful activities including a Symposium on Global Distribution (hosted by One Caribbean Media), the first ever Caribbean Film Marketplace (hosted by the Shridath Ramphal Center, UWI) , and many exciting Workshops and Masterclasses, as well as film screenings every night at the Olympus VIP cinema.

The Best of CaribbeanTales Film Festival – Symposium, Marketplace, Workshops, & Youth Screenings is produced by CaribbeanTales in association with One Caribbean Media, The Shridath Ramphal Center at UWI, Olympus Theatres, the Barbados Film and Video Association, the Caribbean Film and Media Academy, the Nation Newspaper, UltimaxTV, the Caribbean Channel, Merville Lynch Productions, the U.S. Embassy, The Canadian High Commission, Hall-Ewood Productions, The Travel House, VisualArtTT, The Bajan Reporter, The Savannah Hotel, Steinhill Studios, Starcom Network, Rivelino Simmons, The Commonwealth Foundation, Carib Export, UNIDO, Tourism Development Company, Gayelle The Channel, Invest Barbados, the National Cultural Foundation, and the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association.

Posted by: moniqueyoung | February 5, 2010

Master Class with Julie Dash

The Caribbean Film and Media Academy and the US Embassy in Barbados present an exciting Master Class with renowned African American Filmmaker Julie Dash, at the Best of CaribbeanTales Film Festival.

January 20th 2010


The Caribbean Film and Media Academy, and the U.S. Embassy in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, are proud to present a two-day Directing Master Class with celebrated African American film director Julie Dash, on Saturday Feb 27th and Sunday Feb 28th 2010.   The Master Class, aimed at emerging and established Caribbean film directors, will take place during the Best of CaribbeanTales Film Festival at the Savannah Hotel in Barbados, and is free to the public.

The CFMA will also host two screenings of Ms Dash’s iconic movie, The Rosa Parks Story, during the festival. On Tuesday Feb 23rd at 9.30 a.m. there will be a screening for secondary school students, and on Friday Feb 26th at 3:00 p.m. there will be a public screening. Both screenings will take place at the Olympus Theatres, and Ms Dash will  participate in a talk back discussion session after the screenings.

“We are delighted to partner with the United States Embassy and the Best of CaribbeanTales Film Festival to bring this extraordinary and talented filmmaker to the Caribbean to share her vision and skills with Caribbean filmmakers ” said Lisa Wickham, Director of the Caribbean Film and Media Academy.

U.S. Embassy Bridgetown is pleased to partner with the CFMA in promoting the best of regional film and bringing prominent American artists such as Julie Dash whose work celebrates the strong ties between the United States and Caribbean societies.

With her stunning 1991 debut feature film Daughters of the Dust, Julie Dash became the first African American woman to have a movie on general theatrical release in the United States. In 2004 the Library of Congress placed Daughters of the Dust in the National Film Registry, where it joins a select group of American films preserved as National Treasures. Ms Dash’s groundbreaking 2003 film The Rosa Parks Story won her a NAACP Image Award, The Family Television Award and The New York Christopher Award, . as well as an Emmy nomination for lead actor Angela Bassett who plays Rosa Parks in the film.

Founded by Caribbean Producer/Director/Media personality Lisa Wickham, The Caribbean Film and Media Academy provides cutting edge training to Caribbean production personnel.  CFMA workshops are designed to provide practical hands-on training, within a highly interactive and intensive workshop environment, with the aim of raising the bar in the quality, integrity and professionalism of film and television education in the region. ,

The Best of CaribbeanTales Film Festival and Symposium aims to showcase the best Caribbean and Black Diaspora films from around the world, and will take place at the Savanna Hotel and Olympus Theatres in Barbados between Feb 23rd and Mar 2nd 2010. The festival will also include a Symposium on Global Distribution – hosted by One Caribbean Media, and the first ever Caribbean Film Marketplace – hosted by the Shridath Ramphal Center at UWI, as well as workshops, and educational screenings for secondary school students.

Other celebrated films to be screened at the festival include award-winning filmmaker, Frances Anne Solomon’s critically acclaimed A Winter Tale, Africa Unite by Stephanie Black that follows the Marley family’s journey to Ethiopias on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of Bob’s death, Maria Govan’s stunning critically acclaimed Bahamian feature Rain, Tribes by Jamaica’s talented music video director Ras Kassa, Power of the Vagina by Jimmel Daniel, Nurse.Fighter.Boy. by Charles Officer and many more!

Available for interviews;
Julie Dash, Special Guest Director
Lisa Wickam, C.E.O. Caribbean Film and Media Academy
Frances-Anne Solomon, Festival Founder/Curator
D. Brent Hardt, Chargé d’Affaires, U.S. Embassy.

The creative industries of film and television will receive a boost this February when CaribbeanTales, a Toronto-based multimedia company, brings together formidable local, regional and international partners to showcase, discuss and promote Caribbean film at “THE BEST OF CARIBBEANTALES FILM FESTIVAL AND SYMPOSIUM” that will take place at the Olympus Cinema, Sheraton Center and at The Savannah Hotel from February 23rd to March 2nd, 2010. The Festival kicked off with a Media Launch on December 8, 2009 at 1.30pm at the Errol Barrow Center for Creative Imagination, UWI Cave Hill.

The event’s Director is accomplished Toronto-based Trinidadian filmmaker Frances-Anne Solomon, whose most recent award-winning feature film A Winter Tale, has won international acclaim, and who has been a visiting lecturer at UWI. She said: “February is Black History Month and it is fitting for us to mark this with a celebration of film, to start the year with a bang and to push the discussion forward about how we can create here a sustainable and profitable industry”.

The festival is incredibly proud to partner with a number of local organisations including One Caribbean Media, that will co-host a Symposium on Global Distribution; the Shridath Ramphal Center at UWI, that will co-host a Film Market at the Festival; and the Barbados Film and Video Association, whose former president Penelope Hynam said: “I am delighted that Barbadian audiences will get to see some of the wonderful films we saw at the Caribbean Tales Festival in Toronto this year, including a fantastic cross section of work by our most important filmmakers from around the Diaspora.”

This year 2010 the CaribbeanTales Film Festival welcomes 3 new Associate Directors who will work alongside Solomon to program, manage and promote the festival: Jamaican filmmaker Mary Wells, whose first feature film Kingston Paradise, recently wrapped production, and is destined for screens later in the year, joins the festival’s management team as the Co-ordinator of the Barbados event. Trinidad-based Producer-Director-TV Personality Lisa Wickham, CEO of E-Zone Entertainment, and Director of the Caribbean Film and Media Academy, (CFMA) will assist with the event production. The CFMA will also host a number of workshops as part of the festival activities. And Mitzi Allen, CEO and Co-owner of HAMA TV in Antigua, also joins the Festival as an Associate Director. HAMA will be covering the Festival, and will be seeking to bring a delegation of OECS producers to Toronto in June.

SYMPOSIUM ON GLOBAL DISTRIBUTION: Hosted jointly by One Caribbean Media and Caribbean Tales, the 1-day Symposium will feature a presentation by OCM Group CEO Terrence Farrell as well as contributions by leading international players in the distribution field.

FILM MARKET: Modelled on the Rotterdam Cinemart, and hosted jointly with the Shridath Ramphal Center at UWI, Cave Hill, selected independent producers will have an opportunity to pitch their projects and have one-on-one meetings with regional and international film and TV buyers, broadcasters, cinema owners, and government representatives.

WORKSHOPS, MASTER CLASSES, EDUCATIONAL SCREENINGS: The Festival in partnership with the Caribbean Film and Media Academy and UltimaxTV will host a number of master classes and workshops including “Lighting and Camera Operation for Film and Video” conducted by UK Cinematograher Lincoln Ascott. The Barbados Film and Video Association will host a workshop at the festival, and there will be educational screenings for high school students, alongside a week of public screenings of some of the best Caribbean and Black international feature films and shorts to be produced in recent years.

The CaribbeanTales Film Festival is North America’s only standalone festival showcasing the best of Caribbean cinema from around the world. Founded by Frances-Anne Solomon, the festival has survived, grown and thrived in the highly competitive Canadian festival scene, to become a notable event in the city’s calendar. “For our 5th anniversary we have planned a number of exciting events and initiatives to promote Caribbean film and TV, including a presence at Cannes 2010. It seemed fitting that we kick off this extraordinary year with a discussion in the Caribbean and Barbados is dynamic, central and accessible.”


Frances-Anne Solomon, Festival Director
Mary Wells, Associate Director/Festival Co-ordinator
Monique Young, Festival Co-ordinator