Last summer, I heard about a Caribbean film festival that was going to be taking place in Toronto. My love of the arts and my unyielding Caribbean pride pushed me to send an email to the media contact, asking if there was any way I - a small, local blogger - could get involved. I wasn't expecting much of a response, but lo and behold, I received one. From that moment, I started volunteering with the Caribbean Tales Film Festival, and I'm back for another run this year!
A little background: Caribbean Tales Worldwide Distribution is a company founded by filmmaker Frances Anne Solomon, which seeks to celebrate Caribbean film, support Caribbean filmmakers, and build up the Caribbean as a viable and valuable artistic market. A Toronto-based film festival has been part of Caribbean Tales' offering to the world, and this year marks the 8th annual Caribbean Tales Film Festival.
This weekend marks the kick-off of a new partnership between Caribbean Tales, Islands of the Caribbean (a tourism board conglomerate representing Jamaica, Grenada, Antigua & Barbuda, St . Lucia, and St. Vincent), and the CNE (Canadian National Exhibition). August 17th, 18th, and 30th will be the Gems of the Caribbean Screening Series at the CNE, and it is going to be DOPE. Details were revealed at last month's Caribbean Tales Media Launch.
“We are delighted to be partnering with the tourism boards as there is a natural fit – they are promoting the Caribbean while we are marketing the brand by telling authentic stories of who we are,” stated Frances Anne Solomon, founder and CEO of CaribbeanTales.
“The Caribbean is more than just sun, sea and sand – it’s about our people, our spirit, our soul, it’s about our story. That’s why visitors are entranced by our islands – that’s why they are in love with our islands and ultimately return to our islands,” says Erica Henry-Jackman, Director of Tourism for the Government of Antigua and Barbuda. “This experience will come alive on film during the Gems of the Caribbean preview nights at the CNE.”
Saturday, August 17th = Jamaica night, featuring various short films and a screening of Marley (which I saw last year and ADORED)
Sunday, August 18th = Grenada/Antigua & Barbuda night, a.k.a. "Carnival Revelry", featuring shorts and a screening of Mas Man
Friday, August 30th = St. Lucia/St. Vincent night, featuring shorts and a screening of Home Again (another film I had the pleasure of seeing)
All events start at 6:30pm.
Gems of the Caribbean will also feature details and information about various Caribbean islands, and includes a rum sampling of the best rums in the region! Entrance to the Gems of the Caribbean screening is included with your ticket to the CNE - order online here!
For an Advance Ticket Discount, visit www.theex.com: Click on ‘guest info’, ‘tickets’ and then ‘group or promo code’ to use the unique online access code CT897794. Purchases can be made using a credit or debit card. Don’t forget to print your tickets at home for entry!
The Caribbean Tales Film Festival officially starts with a gala event and screening at the Harbourfront Centre on September 4th, and runs until the 14th. There will be free community screenings, parties, panel discussions, and amazing Caribbean film - and I'll keep you all posted on the details!
You can find more information on the Caribbean Tales website, Facebook, and Twitter - the Gems of the Caribbean Screening Series will be held at the International Pavilion, Hall B, Presentation Theatre in the Direct Energy Centre, and more information can be found at booth #3237! See you there!