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22 Feature Films Of The African Diaspora To See At The Toronto International Film Festival

by Tambay A. Obenson
September 5, 2013 11:29 AM
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A repost, considering the festival begins today! 

I think you can almost always tell when there's a non-white curator/director/executive/creative mind/influence behind a film festival - especially the majors. All you have to do is just take a look at how diverse the lineup offerings are. 

And Cameron Bailey, who's Canadian of Caribbean descent, is the man behind the Toronto International Film Festival, which, for as long as I've been following it closely, since I started this blog 4 years ago, always delivers when it comes to what we could label contemporary world cinema. It truly is a global film festival, and you're guaranteed to find offerings from almost every continent each year. 

Outside of African film festivals here in the USA, and abroad, it's probably the one mainstream, top-tier film festival where you'll find the highest selections of African Diaspora films. Which should be more than enough of a reason for me to have attended the film festival by now, but I've never personally been to the festival, although it's near the top of my "to do" list.

This year, Zeba is covering it for S&A, so she'll be soaking in the festival's offerings in my absence.

And she has quite a lot to consider as she preps her festival schedule with regards to films of the Diaspora that she'll be seeing and writing about over the next 2 weeks.

So with that, ahead of the festival's start in 2 days, September 5, I thought I'd highlight those diaspora titles on Zeba's "for consideration" list - many of them films we've been following here on S&A since they began production, so you should recognize some of these 22 names.

First, Steve McQueen's highly-anticipated drama 12 Years A Slave.

The R-rated slave narrative, McQueen's 3rd feature, boasts a rather impressive cast of actors, including: Chiwetel Ejiofor (as Solomon Northup, the star of the film and whose story it tells), Michael FassbenderRuth Negga, Adepero OduyeAlfre WoodardLupita Nyong'oPaul DanoBenedict CumberbatchScoot McNairyGarret DillahuntBrad PittMichael K. Williams Paul GiamattiSarah Paulson and others. 

I expect it to be an awards season favorite, especially in key roles, both in front of and behind the camera, and TIFF has proven to be an early testing ground for Oscar-caliber films.

Here's the first trailer for the film if you missed it:

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  • Booker | September 7, 2013 11:34 AMReply

    Thanks for the list.

  • Quentin | September 4, 2013 3:59 PMReply

    I will be seeing 12 years and Of Good Report.

  • QUENTIN | September 4, 2013 4:24 PM

    Oh, and Heart of a Lion and the Dominican film too.

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