Canada's CaribbeanTales Ff Announces Queer Caribbean Program

For the fourth consecutive year the CaribbeanTales International Film Festival (Ctff),which takes place in Toronto,Canada, will present a program titled Queer Caribbean, an exploration of the contemporary Queer Caribbean experience. A total of seven films (three features and four shorts) in this years 10-day festival, will throw a spotlight on issues of sexuality and gender from a Caribbean perspective. This year's Queer Caribbean is co-presented by MasQUEERade, Toronto's premier Caribbean and diaspora Lgbtqqia+ community organization.

CaribbeanTales continues to have its finger on the pulse of a dynamic movement of evolving film expression across the region and its Diaspora,” said founder and filmmaker Frances-Anne Solomon. “In just ten years, a very short period of time, our film stories have matured to become stunningly assured, explosive, transgressive, probing, beautiful and urgent. And this is what we see represented on screen in this year’s selections.”

The film selection includes Venezuelan feature "Pelo Malo," a provocative film about a young boy's search for beauty, the short film "You. Me. Bathroom. S*x. Now.," and the Canadian Premier of the extraordinary and moving documentary about the Peurto Rican trans community, "Mala Mala."

Jamea Zuberi, founder of MasQUEERade, saids "It's great to have the opportunity to use film as a medium to educate and celebrate Caribbean arts, culture and experiences to the MasQUEERade community and beyond."

Ctff 2015 kicks off its 10th Anniversary with a Gala Caribbean Reception and Screening on Wednesday September 9th, at the Royal Cinema, 608 College Street in Toronto.

Festival screenings will continue at The Royal Cinema, Sunday - Friday, September 13 - 18 at 6:30 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. daily. On Closing Night, Saturday September 19, there will be three screenings at 3:50 p.m., 6:30 p.m. & 9:30 p.m.

Schedule: Queer Caribbean Programming

Tuesday September 15

9:15 p.m.

Theme: “Caribbean Masculinities”

Feature: "Pelo Malo"

Mariana Rondón, Venezuela, 2013, 93 min, Spanish, R

Turmoil is created when a nine-year old boy's obsession with straightening his "bad hair" for his school picture causes his single widowed mother to worry about the boy's identity. Junior is a nine-year-old boy who has stubbornly curly hair, or "bad hair" that he wants to have straightened for his school picture, like a fashionable pop singer. This puts him at odds with his mother Marta, a young, unemployed widow. Overwhelmed by what it takes to survive in the chaotic city of Caracas, Marta finds it increasingly difficult to tolerate Junior's fixation with his looks, fearing that it also means that her son is homosexual. This film tackles issues of race and sexual identity through external appearances in the Venezuelan society.

Awards: Bronze Alexander, Thessaloniki 2013; Fipresci Award, International Film Critics, Thessaloniki 2013; Best Director, Best Screenplay, Mar del Plata Film Festival, 2013; Best Screenplay, Best Actress, Torino Film Festival 2013; Best Caribbean Film, Puerto Rico Film Festival 2013; Best Director, Vina del Mar Film Festival 2013; Best Performance, Festival du Nouveau Cinema Montreal 2013.

Short: "Going Beyond"

Damien Pinder, Barbados, 2014, 15min, English, PG

Wednesday September 16

9:15 p.m.

Theme: “Borders of Love"

Feature: "Sand Dollars"

Israel Cárdenas, Laura Amelia Guzmán, Dominican Republic/Mexico, 2014, 83 min, Spanish/English, R

"Sand Dollars" is a delicate examination of the relationship between a local woman, her wealthy, expatriate lover and her boyfriend. This film is a nuanced portrait of an older, well to do European woman, Anne (Geraldine Chaplin) who is in love with Noeli (Yanet Mojica) in the idyllic seaside town, Samana, in the Dominican Republic. Their relationship is complex, a mixture of real affection also tainted by the money that Anne gives Noeli regularly, which makes Noeli’s boyfriend encourage the relationship. In this complex inter-web Anne (sensitively played by Chaplin) falls hopelessly in love with Noeli (who lives with her boyfriend), even as Noeli is torn between leaving with Anne and staying with her man. Love brings a flow of entanglements in a drama which unfolds like palm trees in an irresistible storm.

Awards: Cairo International Film Festival, Fipresci Prize; Chicago International Film Festival Silver Hugo Best Actress Geraldine Chaplin Cine Cearo - National Cinema Festival - Feature Film Trophy Best Sound; Havana Film Festival, Best Actress Geraldine Chaplin; Nashville Film Festival Best Actress Geraldine Chaplin.

Short: "Glass Bottom Boat"

Kyle Walcott, Tobago, 2014, 15 min, English, PG

Saturday September 19

9:15 p.m.

Closing Night & Awards

Theme: “Queer Caribbean”

Co-presented by Jamea Zuberi of MasQUEErade

Feature: "Mala Mala"

Antonio Santini & Dan Sickles, Puerto Rico, 2014, 89 min, Spanish, R

"Mala Mala" is a feature length documentary exploring the lives of Puerto Ricans in the trans-community. It is an evocative examination of the transgender world in Puerto Rico; from the glam and glitter of the drag queens to the strong desire to be accepted as part of the mainstream community in Puerto Rico, as themselves. The oldest member of the cast of characters, Soraya Santiago Solla, is a pioneer of the gender 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 in its presentation to a general audience but leaves no doubt that in the end, that there is a human rights issue at stake when it comes to the transgender community being a welcome and legal part of the wider society, in the supermarket, on the street and especially in the workplace.

Short: " You, Me, Bathroom S*x, Now"(Canadian Premiere)

Francisco Lupini Basagoiti, USA, 2012, 17 min, Spanish, R

Three days before Christmas, Antonio finds out that his boyfriend of 8 years is cheating on him. Heartbroken, he looks for solace in his favorite dive bar where a mysterious visitor has a keen interest in him. A comedy about a man who tries to forget about love, in all the wrong places.

Short: "Chham Chham"

Maneesh, Canada, 2014, 4 min, English, PG14

In this digital story Maneesh explores how his own culture and gender queer-ness 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.

Tickets can be purchased online Here
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