If you’re in Toronto in September and want something fun and maybe some edutainment, I highly recommend the Caribbean Tales Film Festival. I have been taking it in for the past 3 to 4 years and I plan to take in a good lot of the shorts and features on offer this year. Some really great work comes through the CTFF. Some of my favourites over the years include Doubles With Slight Pepper (a tender look at the life of a family of Doubles sellers in Trinidad that was reunited after a long separation due to emigration to Canada) and also Deportee from last year. That feature looked at the North American practice of dumping kids born there -or people who had been in the US (and Canada) almost all their lives but never had official status -back in the Caribbean for offenses ranging from really nothing at all to very serious. Painful but eye opening…it’s like being sent into exile with no one, nothing, nowhere to go – into societies that can feel as alien as Mars to the deportees, have no idea who they are or what they have done, and do not have the resources to deal with the new arrivals.
Just like a feature a couple of years back, shot at sea, which gave an inside look into the world of Haitian boat people drowning in droves or being murdered at sea trying to get to the US. Another heart breaker, long before the world saw the images of the drowned Syrian boy.
I took in the official opening on July 6 and this year’s festival promises enough to have me looking forward. Some of the films from past festivals and from CTFF’s incubator program for budding filmmakers can be accessed online via Caribbean Tales TV. Take what’s for you, leave what’s not to your taste, but it will be worth your while. Good work from people with few resources.