The 2nd Toronto Black Film Festival, presented by Global Toronto, kicks off today, February 11, running through the 16th, featuring an official lineup that include the very best in black cinema from around the world.
The 2014 selection presents the latest works from 34 filmmakers and features premieres from 22 countries including Canada, USA, UK, Sweden, Nigeria, South Africa, Haiti, Germany, Lesotho, Cameroun, France, Dominican Republic, Ghana and Brazil.
The festival opens tonight with a screening of the South African Drama The Forgotten Kingdom, written and directed by Andrew Mudge, which centers on Atang, who leaves Johannesburg for his native land of Lesotho to bury his estranged father. Atang falls in love with childhood friend Dineo, who cares for her HIV-positive sister. Through falling for Dineo, Atang confronts his past in this remote village he grew up in. Conflict arises when Dineo's father wants to relocate their family to escape from the public stigma of Dineo's sister's HIV infection.
Other highlights include Alexandre Moors' Blue Caprice, Mahamat-Saleh Haroun's Grisgris, Eric Haywood's Four Of Hearts, Chris Eska's The Retrieval, and more.
The Toronto Black Film Festival (TBFF) was created in 2013 by the Fabienne Colas Foundation, a not-for-profit, professional, artistic organization dedicated to promoting Cinema, Art and Culture in Canada and abroad.
The Fabienne Colas Foundation is also the creator of the very successful Montreal International Black Film Festival (MIBFF). Visit www.fondationfabiennecolas.org.
Below is this year's lineup for TBFF, which runs from today, February 11 through February 16.
NARRATIVE FEATURE FILMS
Alexandre Moors – USA | 2013 | 93’ | English
An abandoned boy is lured to America and drawn into the shadow of a dangerous father figure. Inspired by the real life events that led to the 2002 Beltway sniper attacks.
Leticia Tonos Paniagua - Dominican Republic, France, Haiti | 2013 | 96' | Spanish, Creole, with English subtitles The story of a shantytown of Santo Domingo where the Haitian Janvier and the Dominican Rudy, half-brothers who hate each other, will fight for the love of the same woman.
*FANIE FOURIE’S LOBOLA
Henk Pretrorius - South Africa | 2013 | 61’ | English, IsiZulu, Afrikaans
This film tells the story of an African guy and a Zulu girl who fall in love and struggle through the complicated process of “lobola”- the traditional Zulu bride price.
FLOWER GIRL - NOLLYWOOD
Michelle Bello – Nigeria | 2013 | 79’ | English
When her relationship hits troubled waters, Kemi seeks the help of movie superstar Tunde and they hatch a plan to get her what she wants - but the plan doesn’t quite work out as they anticipate.
FOUR OF HEARTS
Eric Haywood – USA | 2013 | 99’ | English
In an attempt to spice up their love life, April and Derrick ask their married friends to have a one-night stand.
Norry Niven – USA | 2013 | 116’ | English
From Above tells the beginning, end and rebirth of a love affair between William (Danny Glover) and Venus (Tantoo Cardinal) in rural Arkansas.
*GRIGRIS – CHAD’S CHOICE FOR THE OSCARS
Mahamat-Saleh Haroun - France, Chad | 2013 | 101’ | French, Arabic with English subtitles
Despite having a paralyzed leg, 25 year-old Grigris dreams of being a dancer. A challenge. But his dreams are dashed when his uncle falls critically ill. To save him, Grigris resolves to work for petrol traffickers.
Pia Marais - Germany, South Africa, France, Netherlands | 2013 | 105’ | English
Layla Fourie, a young single mother in South Africa receives a job assignment as polygraphist. In the constant presence of mistrust, lies and fear, Layla soon becomes a suspect herself.
Stephen Lloyd Jackson - United Kingdom | 2013 | 83’ | English
Sable Fable is a beautiful story exploring the complex psychology of love, sex, and race through four very different couples whose lives intertwine with one another through a series of unfortunate events.
*THE FORGOTTEN KINGDOM – OPENING FILM
Andrew Mudge - Lesotho, South Africa | 2012 | 97’ | Sesotho with English subtitles
While finding his roots in Lesotho, a young man becomes fascinated by its mystical beauty and the difficulties experienced by its people.
*THE RETRIEVAL – CLOSING FILM
Chris Eska – USA | 2013 | 94’ | English
On the outskirts of the Civil War, a boy is sent north by a bounty hunter gang to retrieve a wanted man.
Stuart Connelly – USA | 2013 | 98’ | English
A small, close-knit and all-white southern town suffers its first-ever armed bank robbery. The thief is masked but the surveillance video seems to indicate the criminal is African American. But… who’s really behind the crime?
*TBFF’s top picks
DOCUMENTARY FEATURE FILMS
ANGELS IN EXILE
Billy Raftery - South Africa | 2013 | 74’ | English, Zulu | Narrated by Charlize Theron
This documentary unveils the difficult lives of homeless youth in Durban, South Africa. Faced with constant violence, rape, abductions and murder, the street kids of Durban have next to no way out.
Dan Shannon, Isabelle Depelteau – Canada | 2013 | 76’ | English, French, Creole
Haiti Untold chronicles the transformation of Haiti through the efforts of many notable individuals from the Earthquake in January 2010 until now; featuring Joey Adler, Donna Karan, Georges Laraque, Sean Penn…
Ron Harpelle – USA | 2013 | 40’ | English
“Hard Time” is a documentary about Robert Hillary King who spent 32 years, 29 of them in solitary confinement, at Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, for a crime he did not commit.
*SMALL SMALL THING
JessicaVale – USA | 2012 | 84’ | English
Olivia, a 9 year-old girl, is admitted at the JFK Hospital in Monrovia, Liberia with serious injuries from a brutal rape that took place when she was seven. Things took a turn when she revealed her cousin was her rapist.
*TBFF’s top picks
Sharon Cort - South Africa | 2005 | 24’ | English
KING OF HEARTS
Mandy Jacobson - South Africa | 2005 | 24’ | English
MANDELA, A ROYAL REVOLUTIONARY
Nhlanhla Mthethwa - South Africa | 2005 | 24’ | English
Wilson Santos - USA, Brazil, India, Ethiopia, Thailand | 2014 | 6’ | English
Beverley Palesa Ditsie - South Africa | 2005 | 24’ | English
Susanna Vapnek – USA | 2012 | 34’ | English
Joel Keller – Canada | 2013 | 12’ | English
Eka Christa Assam – Cameroon | 2013 | 26’ | Pingin, with s-t in English, French
CLEAN TEETH WEDNESDAY
Catherine Bruhier – Canada | 2012 | 8’ | English
Nadine Otsobogo – Gabon | 2013 | 21’ | French with English subtitles
Randy Wilkins – USA | 2012 | 14’ | English
GoranKapetanovic – Sweden | 2012 | 15’ | Swedish, English, Kinyarwanda, French
Priscilla Anany – Ghana | 2012 | 20’ | Ewe, French with English subtitles.
Tony S. Amara - USA, Burkina Faso | 2013 | 25’ | English with french subtitles
Sofia De Fay - South Africa | 2013 | 18’ | Zulu with English subtitles
Tchaiko Omawale – USA | 2013 | 10’ | English
SWEET, SWEET COUNTRY
Dehanza Rogers – USA | 2013 | 19’ | English
VENUES, TICKETS AND PASSES
Isabel Bader Theatre Opening Night only (93 Charles Street West)
Carlton Cinema Regular screenings (20 Carlton Street)
TIFF Bell Lightbox Stedman Graham Conference (350 King Street West)
Al Green Theatre Lorraine Klassen Concert (750 Spadina Ave)
Passport card and individual tickets can be purchased in person at the theatre or at: www.torontoblackfilm.com.
Passport card: $129
Opening Night: $20 | Closing Night: $15 | Regular Tickets: $10
Conference with Stedman Graham: VIP $249 | Regular $149
Concert with Lorraine Klaasen: $30
Community Program: Free admission
TBFF - MORE THAN A FESTIVAL
Intriguing, international, entertaining, eye-opening, and educating, the Toronto Black Film Festival (TBFF) is about DISCOVERY & DIVERSITY! TBFF showcases the most outstanding and most powerful Black films while creating a space to debate major cultural, social and socio-economic issues. The 2nd Annual Toronto Black Film Festival (TBFF) will run from February 11 to 16, 2014 and will be presented by Global Toronto. Created by the Fabienne Colas Foundation, the Toronto Black Film Festival is dedicated to giving unique voices in cinema the opportunity to present audiences with new ways of looking at the world. In connecting black films with viewers of all colours and ethnic origins, we recognize the differences that make us unique and celebrate the shared values that bring us together. Films illuminate, entertain and invite audiences to see the world from another person’s experience. Coming together through art allows members of all cultural communities to better understand one another.
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www.twitter.com/TOblackfilmfest | Hashtag: #TBFF14
Source: Toronto Black Film Festival