BY ALYSSA MAHADEO
For the past five years Toronto has been host to one of the biggest film festivals to represent the diversity of our community.
Founded by the Fabienne Coles Foundation, the Toronto Black Film Festival is dedicated to celebrating the very best in cinematic work dealing with the varied experiences of black people from diverse communities. Their mandate is to provide an opportunity for filmmakers to shine the spotlight on authentic stories that reflect the realities of black experiences. Along with its sister festival, the Montreal International Black Film Festival (now in its thirteenth year), TBFF showcases new voices in cinema and encourages audiences to see the world in new ways. In connecting black films with viewers of all ethnic origins, they recognize the differences that make the communities they serve unique while celebrating the shared values that bring people together.
Presented by TD Bank in collaboration with Global News, TBFF announced the official program and events lineup for its fifth annual Festival running from February 15th to 19th, 2017. The 2017 edition of TBFF includes six International Premieres, eleven Canadian Premieres and one World Premiere. As one of Canada’s premier festivals for black cinematography, TBFF showcases forty films from twenty countries, including Sierra Leone, Nigeria, South Africa, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Denmark, Tanzania, Germany, Namibia, Hungary, Grenada, Rwanda, Canada, U.S.A. and more.
On February 15th TBFF kicks of festivities with the PBS documentary ‘Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Historically Black Colleges and Universities’. Helmed by Emmy-award-winning director Stanley Nelson, the film will be presented as the Canadian premiere 7:30 p.m. at the Isabel Bader Theatre (93 Charles St. W.) in Toronto. The opening night feature is a follow-up documentary to Nelson’s award-winning work, ‘The Black Panthers: Vanguards of the Revolution’, exploring the schools that educated the engineers of freedom movements and revolutions. ‘Tell Them We Are Rising’ unapologetically captures the birthplace of Black leaders in America.
“We are celebrating our fifth year with a triumph in black filmmaking and in black history,” says founder of Toronto Black Film Festival Fabienne Colas. “Toronto Black Film Festival encapsulates the spirit of diversity and raises the curtain for unheard voices.”
This year’s festival also showcases the TBFF Black Market, which includes a Masterclass with Emmy-winning filmmaker Sudz Sutherland and Gemini-winning filmmaker Jennifer Holness; a Movie-Talk with filmmaker Corey Grant; a Workshop on how to make Web Series as well as a Tribute and Masterclass with Oscar-winner Louis Gossett Jr.
In addition to the exciting and inspiring film line-up The Toronto Caribbean will be co-presenters of the Canadian Premiere of THE HOUSE ON COCO ROAD, by Damani Baker. The House on Coco Road is an intimate portrait of Fannie Haughton, an activist and teacher who moves her children from Oakland, California to participate in the Grenada Revolution – only to find her family in harms way of a U.S. military invasion. The film will premier on February 18th, 2017 – 4:00 PM, at the Art Gallery of Ontario and there are tickets to GIVE AWAY!
ENTER TO WIN! Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us three things that our company should focus on to empower our community! Winner will be contacted by no later than February 16th.
Closing night on Sunday, February 19th, 9 PM at the Carlton Cinema (20 Carlton St.) will feature the North American Premier of the film THE LUCKY SPECIALS presented by Fabienne Colas Foundation a film from South Africa directed by Rea Rangaka. The film features a small-time cover band as they triumph through tragedy by following their passion for music and art. THE LUCKY SPECIALS entertains and re-shapes attitudes around tuberculosis.
Tickets for each film can be purchased online at www.torontoblackfilm.com or you can get your ALL ACCESS PASS for a special price of $140 to gain priority access to all events (value of $250+) Join thousands of enthusiastic film buffs and unlock exclusive entry to all of the #TBFF17 events!
This is a film festival that you won’t want to miss. Each year they come back bigger and better, with even more great films to choose from there is something to be taken away from each and every one. Recognize the accomplishments of the outstanding individuals who put these films together, bring your friends and family to enjoy this powerful event! #TBFF17 is right around the corner, purchase your tickets today at www.torontoblackfilm.com find them on social media to keep up to date with their latest developments.