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Icons, innovation and industry at 2014 CaribbeanTales Film Festival
Published on September 17, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

Executive Director Frances-Anne Solomon (R) with The Mighty Sparrow at the CTFF 2014 opening night gala

Soca Queen and star of 'Two Smart', Alison Hinds (L) poses with Executive Director Frances-Anne Solomon at the film's screening

TORONTO, Canada -- The 2014 CaribbeanTales International Film Festival (CTFF) was indeed a landmark occasion as this year the festival broke boundaries in gaining additional recognition for the creativity and culture of the Caribbean.

The festival, which ran alongside the Toronto International Film Festival, highlighted the region’s icons as well as some of its brightest and freshest filmmakers.

The festival began brilliantly with a Red Carpet Gala and World Premiere of “The Glamour Boyz Again! Sparrow and Superior on the Hilton rooftop”. This auspicious occasion was underscored by the presence of the Mighty Sparrow himself who appeared in good health and spirits, much to the delight of the audience.

Amidst historical anecdotes, ‘The Birdie’ as he’s affectionately called rendered several acappella versions of songs from his classic repertoire.

The capacity crowd on hand happily sang along to such notable Sparrow hits as, ‘Jean and Dinah’, ‘Dan is De Man’, ‘Education’ and ‘Obeah Wedding’.

The CTFF offered a wide range of feature length and short films which represented many historical and cultural Caribbean facets. The featured films included, “Thunder in Guyana”, the story of Guyana’s most important political figures, Janet Rosenberg and Cheddi Jagan; “Forward Ever: The Killing of A Revolution”, that explores the 1983 US-led invasion of Grenada, that followed the execution of Prime Minister Maurice Bishop and “Two Smart”, the second feature from Barbados-based Payday team, an offbeat comedic tale starring Soca star Alison Hinds.

Ten finalist films submitted to the Features Film Jury Team were judged based on criteria such as Understanding Caribbean Culture, Production Value/Professionalism: Directorial & Teamwork, Script work: storytelling narrative quality & style, International Marketability, Innovation, Cinematography and Editing.

2014’s festival awardees are:

• Best Picture Award: “Dal Puri Diaspora” by Richard Fung (Canada/Trinidad and Tobago)

• Best Documentary Award: “Poetry is an Island – Derek Walcott” by Ida Does (St Lucia)

• Caribbean Spirit Award: “Yurumein” by Andrea Leland (USA/St Vincent)

• Most Outstanding Caribbean Screen Personality Award (Female): Janet Jagan in “Thunder In Guyana”

• Most Outstanding Caribbean Screen Personality Award (Male): Mighty Sparrow and Lord Superior in “The Glamour Boyz Again – Sparrow and Superior on the Hilton Rooftop”.

• Best Short Film: Drama – “Passage” by Kareem Mortimer (Bahamas)

• Best Short Film: Documentary – “The Amerindians by Tracy Assing” (Trinidad and Tobago)

This year’s CTTF market incubator program was a true success and benefitted a fortunate group of bourgeoning, cross-Caribbean filmmakers as it focused on series development for television and the web and offered one of a kind mentorship and networking opportunities.

According to incubator manager and mentor Dr Rita Shelton Deverell, “The Caribbean Tales Incubator is an ever-evolving, growth-oriented program. This year we concentrated on sustainable series targeted at the worldwide African/Caribbean Diaspora, rather than one-offs. Popular series are what the industry and audiences demand, and our 8 producers each delivered excellent series products ranging from children’s animation and sci-fi, to drama and documentary.”

The honorees from this year’s incubator program are:

• Winner: Melissa Gomez (Antigua) for the web series “Defining Moments”

• 1st Runner Up: Camille Selvon Abrahams (Trinidad) for the animation series “Magnificent Maggie”

• 2nd Runner Up: Jelani Nias (Canada) for the science fiction drama series “Where Eagles Crawl and Men Fly”

CaribbeanTales will continue to bring regional films and talent to the forefront via Caribbean Tales Worldwide Distribution (its film distribution company) and CaribbeanTales TV (its on demand video streaming service).
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