The 10TH annual CaribbeanTales International Film Festival (CTFF) 2015 kicks off its 10th Anniversary with a Gala Caribbean reception and celebration on Wednesday September 9, in association with the Consulate General of the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago in Toronto, at the Royal Cinema, 608 College Street in Toronto.

Opening night on September 9th there is a gala reception at 6pm with a selection of Caribbean themed foods and live entertainment by Gemini Pan Groove, at the Capitol Restaurant,  597 College Street West.  This is a chance to meet the filmmakers and other industry professionals at this annual event that’s sure to sell out. This is followed by the opening night screening of PAN! OUR MUSICAL ODYSSEYat 8pm up the street at the Royal Cinema, 608 College Street. The short film, Dubois, will precede the feature film.

Reception, performance, and screening are $40, or screening only is $25. Buy your tickets here

Opening Night Screening – Wednesday Sept 9th

PAN! OUR MUSICAL ODYSSEY (f) dir: Jerome Guiot & Thierry Teston
Trinidad & Tobago/France | 2014 | 79 min | English | PG

Synopsis: Between 1939 and 1945, during World War II, developed nations savaged one another: the planet was on fire. In Trinidad & Tobago (the Caribbean) underprivileged urban gangs created a new musical instrument, and perfected it by the 1950s. The Pan is Born! Director Jerome Guiot will be in attendance for a talk-back and discussion after the screening. View the “PAN!” Trailer here

Festival screenings will continue at The Royal Cinema, Sunday Sept 13th to Friday Sept 18th 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. that includes the queer-themed feature, Mala Mala.



Mala Mala with 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 sex 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.

Opening Shorts:

You, Me, Bathroom Sex, Now with 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.

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.

Other queer-themed screenings are scheduled throughout the festival. Here’s a preview of what to expect.



Pelo Malo with Mariana Rondn, 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.

Opening: short. Going Beyond with Damien Pinder, Barbados, 2014, 15min, English, PG



Sand Dollars with Israel C’a¡rdenas, 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, ex-patriate 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.

Opening short: Glass Bottom Boat with Kyle Walcott, Tobago, 2014, 15 min, English, PG

Sept 9th to 19th – All screenings at the Royal Cinema, 608 College Street.

Visit the CTFF for the full schedule and ticket information. Watch the official trailer for the festival.

Twitter @CaribbeanTales_

About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment, and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors, and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats. Reach out -