Now entering into its second year in the city of Toronto, The Toronto Black Film Festival – an offshoot of Montreal’s eight year old Montreal International Black Film Festival – brings a wide range of little seen Black Cinema to the city from Tuesday, February 11th to Friday, February 16th.
Kicking off on Tuesday, February 11th at 7pm with opening night film The Forgotten Kingdom at the Isabelle Bader Theatre and continuing throughout the week and weekend with several new screenings every day at the festival’s primary venue, Carlton Cinema. While not always necessarily made by or even starring Black filmmakers or actors, the festival looks to promote awareness of topics within the Black community and its history. Films showcased come from all over the world, with America, Haiti, and South Africa (which has its own sidebar series this year) particularly well represented.
But it’s not all about the movies. The centrepiece of this year’s festival has nothing to even do with films, as business guru and Oprah Winfrey’s long time right-hand-man Stedman Graham offers up a $149 a seat talk at the TIFF Bell Lightbox to help outline his nine step plan for his success, which will also be outlined in the book that will also be on sale at the event.
For those more interested in the performing arts than personal branding, South African jazz singer Lorraine Klaasen will be offering up a musical tribute to world leader Nelson Mandela and singer Miriam Makeba on Saturday at the Al Green Theatre at 9:00pm. There will also be a cinematic tribute to Mandela with a package of four shorts screening at 7:00pm on Sunday at the Carlton.
For a full list of events, films, screening locations, tickets, and more general information on the series, head on over to their website! But for now, here are our reviews for several of the films playing this year’s festival, including the opening and closing night selections.
Toronto Black Film Festival 2014
Blue Caprice (Andrew Parker)
Cristo Rey (Andrew Parker)
The Forgotten Kingdom – Opening Night Film (Andrew Parker)
From Above (Kirk Haviland)
Haiti Untold (Andrew Parker)
The Retrieval – Closing Night Film (Andrew Parker)
The Suspect (Dave Voigt)