The Caribbean Tales Film Festival, now in its tenth year will run this year from September 9 – 19 at the Royal Cinema. This edition will showcase a wide selection of Caribbean films from around the globe and will include 16 feature-length films and 30 short films in Official Competition for the CTFF Jury and Audience Awards, to be announced on the closing night.
The opening night film will be “PAN! our Music Odyssey.”
Check out the Festival trailer –
Let’s take a look at the films in this year’s Festival:
Chris Allman is the subject of a medical trial with the mysterious company SOSUMI, who volunteers to have a chip placed into his head. When his girlfriend Sara is killed in front of him, Chris accidentally travels backward in time and realizes he may have the key to saving Sara’s life. Working against him is Dr. Osborn and his cronies who always seem to be one step ahead of Chris and will stop at nothing to prevent Chris saving Sara.
As Chris travels into the past, limited to trips of only 5 minutes and 55 seconds, he must work with Kari, an ally in the past who is dead in the future and who may hold the key to preventing Sara’s death.
Watch the Series trailer:
“The Lara Brothers” was formed in 1945 by three brothers. Now the group consists of an extended family of friends and neighbours, who play the traditional Hispanic Trinidadian music called “Parang”. The story is told through their own words and music, following in particular, the gregarious, extroverted Willy and his elder brother, the more reserved Tito.
Willy is the impatient one and Tito is the tireless believer and visionary. Despite their differences, Willy and Tito agree on one thing: that their quest in life is to use their music to help the down-and-outers, the lonely and the broken to accept themselves during the loneliest and most vulnerable time of the year… Christmas.
The cameras and microphones followed them everywhere for six years, with the two main characters leading the narrative, from homes, to singing events. The story includes the dislocation of whole communities displaced from their agricultural livelihoods in the Caura Valley to make space for a proposed dam, which was never built! All they could take with them to their new valley of Santa Cruz,was the inheritance from their Black Spanish ancestors, Parang, and especially La Gaita, which was a rare and wonderful Bird of Passage.
The film takes a turn when Tito suddenly dies and his moving funeral underscores how endangered traditional parang has become, and what an important work this film is. The sole surviving Lara Brother, Willy, passed on shortly after the competition of this film.
Watch the trailer here:
Vanishing Sail tells the story of a Caribbean tradition that is being lost, the art of ancient boatbuilding. Alwyn Enoe is one of the last master boat builders, practicing a trade passed down through generations from Scottish settlers that arrived in Carriacou in the 18th century. Approaching his 70s and with no more orders coming in, he decides to build one last sailing sloop with the hope that his sons will continue the trade.
The film follows Alwyn’s progress and despair over three years, as the family pours their hopes and resources into the wooden vessel – from hauling trees out of the forest to a final traditional launching ceremony on the bayside. Here, traditional West Indian and metropolitan elements fuse to create the final resolution of the film.
Since 1996 and 2002 respectively, the United States of America and Canada have conducted a systematic policy of repatriation of all foreign residents who have committed crimes ranging from violent ones to petty theft. Every two weeks, about 50 Haitian nationals are deported from the United States; 40 percent are convicted legal residents who completed their jail sentence in America
For three years, filmmakers Rachèle Magloire and Chantal Regnault followed members of a unique group of outcasts in Haiti: criminal deportees from North America. A new life begins for these deportees in an environment that is both completely unfamiliar and quite hostile on an island that they left as very young children.
Many no longer have family on the island and speak little, if any, Creole. Some struggle with addiction and others are coping with mental illness. Most have very limited financial means with which to manage any sort of reintegration. Further, the Haitian people are generally less than welcoming as they know that these North Americans have committed crimes and view them with suspicion. Through a series of individual portraits, DEPORTED gives voice to the former offenders and their families.
Viewers are left to ponder the multifaceted impact of repatriation and whether it creates more problems than it solves.
The director followed Lee Perry for 13 years and discovered a story that is almost impossible to believe: a revelation, told about and with one of the major protagonists of contemporary music. It is a mind-blowing encounter with “The Prophet“ of the international Rastafari movement, one of the icons of the Black Power movement and “the” inventor of reggae and dub, as well as a humorous adventure of epic dimensions. The movie can be seen as a guide for how to change the world with music – with a positive attitude, mindset or, as Lee Perry calls it: “vibration”.
Watch the trailer:
This is the reflective tale of Marso, a lonely, eccentric painter and art professor, facing an unavoidable illness that will lead to blindness. Marso is forced to re-examine his emotional world as he realizes that although he has had a series of professional successes, his personal relationships are empty.
This bittersweet film uses humour to explore Marso’s daily routines, challenges and self exploration, creating an intimacy between him and the viewer as he seeks to find ways to reach the family he abandoned and to face the biggest obstacle of his life.
Watch the trailer:
The Art Connect Project was created by Artist Wendell McShine and is rooted in the philosophy that investment in education, art and humanities is vital for the uplift and development of a society. This program was created to promote self-awareness through the use of educational and dynamic, creative workshops.
The film Art Connect began by documenting Trinidad and Tobago students’ collaboration with visiting artist Wendell McShine, as they embarked on a series of dynamic community murals in an ongoing visual dialogue on the walls of Laventille. Then it concentrated on the powerful process of creative intervention on a group of students, aged between 13-17, living in communities that are considered to be the most marred by violence in Trinidad and Tobago.
These students were given Gopro film cameras to take home, during the workshops and they narrate their story documenting the highs and lows of their lives and introducing us to their mentors and communities.
The film captures their moments of struggle, vulnerability and overcoming obstacles, as their confidence grew and was applied to their personal lives.
Watch the trailer:
Young Sally is traumatised when her only caregiver, her grandmother becomes ill and Sally is forced to move in with the family her grandmother works for. Overcoming her despair, Sally finds unique ways to improve her situation and help both her grandmother, and herself, in “Sally’s Way”.
Set in the island of Trinidad in the Caribbean, the film has a universal message of growing up despite the odds. So whether you are living a “Sally Life” or not, this family film will resonate positively with you. The movie is an adapted and expanded version of the children’s book by Joanne Gail Johnson.
Watch the trailer:
When Queen Elizabeth II visits Jamaica for her Golden Jubilee Celebrations in 2002, she is petitioned by a small group of Rastafari for slavery reparations. This has been a long-standing issue for many descendants of slaves throughout the world and specifically in Jamaica, from as early as the 1960s. The cost benefit analysis of the suffering of the slaves and their descendants vs the benefits reaped by the British slave-owners is brought to light as the film follows Ras Lion a mystic Rasta farmer who petitioned the Queen; Michael Lorne, the attorney who brought a lawsuit against the Queen for reparations; as well as the stories of earlier Rastas who pursued reparations in the 1960s.
Filmed over a decade, the film explores the enduring legacies of slavery in a bold look at the fight for reparations in Jamaica during the past 50 years while focusing on the most recent case in 2002. Rastafari continue to be at the helm of the struggle to secure payment for the debt owed to the descendants of slaves in Jamaica, and have pushed other notable academics, and lawmakers to join the cause.
Mala Mala starts off as an expose of the transgender world in Puerto Rico, exposing the fact that many who identify as trans in fact perform on stage as women or, are sex workers. This is not to say that this the limit of their world however, as the film progesses we see that there is a strong will and need behind the glam and the glitter to be accepted as part of the mainstram community in Puerto Rico, as themselves.
The oldest member of the cast of characters, Soraya Santiago Solla, is a pioneer of the sex change movement in Puerto Rico and makes the distinction that people do not have to be dolls to be women, while Sophia Voines simply wants to be accepted as herself, a woman.
This film is at times graphic and uncomfortable in its presentation to a general audience but leaves no doubt that in the end, everyone has a right to be accepted as themselves, at work, in public and even in the supermarket.
Watch the trailer:
Glass Bottom Boat is a moving tale that challenges pre-conceived notions about love that crosses borders. It tells the story of Janet Wells, who came to Tobago on vacation with her sister and fell in love with more than just the beauty of the island. She fell in love with a man named Galla. Janet’s honest recollection of her time in Tobago with her partner as well as her love for the island of Tobago itself reveals a journey of joy, pain and healing.
In this digital story Maneesh explores how his own culture and gender-queerness are expressed and reinforced across borders. From memories that span childhood days in Trinidad to performances on Canadian stages, Sheesha looks at how she celebrates her femininity and Indo-Caribbean heritage on colonized lands. It is in that exquisite sound – resonating from tiny pieces of metal rhythmically clashing into each other – where discovery begins.
Going Beyond is a film by Barbadian filmmaker Damien Pinder that explores the issue of child custody deprivation and the psychological effects it can have on both child and deprived parent.
Going Beyond represents the life story of a father who has been denied by his estranged wife the privilege of seeing his son, and it seeks to address the impact it has on early childhood development and the father’s struggle with coming to terms with the situation.
“Du Bois” is a disturbingly haunting film…..like its title character ,who lives in a world of his own,vagrant and possessed.
This street character exerts a fascination with a female returnee to Trinidad. She offers him the milk of human kindness even as she is dealing with her own haunting, after the bloody and unexplained death of her partner in England. She has returned to the island to grieve and to heal, yet she is forced into more confrontations both with Dubois and preconceived notions of who is the saviour and who needs saving.
This film highlights class and race while having an overall presence of the spiritual in all it’s mystery.
This first episode of the Jolly Boys television series, shows how the mento band, known in Port Antonio since the 1940s, receive new life for their particular style of Jamaican music, as they begin their journey into touring the world.
This is the story of Popo, an 82-year-old Chinese immigrant, who came to Trinidad many decades ago to escape war and build a better life with her family.
Documenting Peter Minshall’s recollection of the first band he ever designed under Stephen Lee Heung. Veteran producer of masquerade bands for Trinidad Carnival, Stephen Lee Heung, invited Peter Minshall to design his presentation for 1976 Carnival in Trinidad. Paradise Lost was the band and this documentary provides a blank canvas on which Masman, Peter Minshall, in all his personality, relates the story from the concept to the crossing of the stage at the Queen’s Park Savannah. The legendary Masman tells the story with the aid of his beautiful drawings of the costumes and live footage as only Minshall can.
A modern twist on the fairytale of Snow White where the aftermath is a cycle of compulsion and dark magic. A local apple seller is lured into the house of a buyer who turns out to be a a witch with a dark power… a power that demands a sacrifice.
Bajan actor Maia Nicholson appears in the role of “Talini/Snow White”.
In a musical voyage that brings him from Trenchtown to the Trelawny maroons, from Inna De Yard to a Nyabinghi groundation ceremony, Belfast troubador Gearóid Mac Lochlainn’s musical pilgrame to Jamaica looks beyond the famous recording studios to the very roots of roots Reggae.
The documentary features interviews and searing musical contributions from, among others: Earl Chinna Smith, Mutabaruka, Sly & Robbie, Prof I, The Jolly Boys, Freddie McGregor… and many more…
John Ambrose Kenwyn Rawlins was an ordinary man of modest means. He was a good father, grandfather and husband; an obedient public servant. Yet the most vivid part of his life was lived in was a small workshop beneath his house. In there, at the end of his workday, he made things. From simple push toys to elaborate 1/16th scale waterline battle ship models and dockyards, miniature furniture and dolls houses, he painstakingly constructed everything from scratch, sometimes spending upwards of a year on a single model. Smallman is an exploration of the worlds, both real and imagined, that Kenwyn Rawlins made, as told by his son Richard.
In the small Caribbean island of St. Lucia lives an ancient spirit. Soucouyant, as she is known, cannot be contained, captured or killed. The people in the town of Gros Islet have come face to face with this reality. Soucouyant has taken 8 lives already when she prepares for her latest victim. As she passes through the town her spirit begins the task of finding a replacement for her tortured skin.