7th Annual Toronto Black Film Festival Marks Black History Month with Bold, Diverse and Innovative Programming

For its second year, The TBFF Kids Film Festival will return on Family Day (Feb 18) and opens with the amazing feature JIM BUTTON AND LUKE THE ENGINE DRIVER, by Dennis Gansel.

7th Annual Toronto Black Film Festival Marks Black History Month with Bold, Diverse and Innovative Programming

TRIBUTE TO METOO FOUNDER TARANA BURKE AT 7TH TORONTO BLACK FILM FESTIVAL + 70 FILMS FROM 26 COUNTRIES!

Toronto, ON (January 23, 2019) – The 7th annual Toronto Black Film Festival (TBFF), presented by TD in collaboration with Global News, announces the official program and events lineup running February 13 - 18. TBFF is welcoming Tarana Burke, Me Too movement founder and one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2018, who will receive the TBFF 2019 Social Impact Award during an intimate evening where she will share her journey as an activist and women rights advocate. Festival tickets and all access passes on sale now at TorontoBlackFilm.com.

#TBFF19 will present 4 World Premieres, 9 International Premieres, 1 North-American Premiere, 30 Canadian Premieres and 23 Ontario Premieres. #TBFF19, Canada’s largest celebration of Black History Month through films and more, showcases over 70 films from 26 countriesincluding Jamaica, Germany, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Dominican Republic, South Africa, Tanzania, Ghana, Portugal, Colombia, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Canada, USA and more. 

Created by the Fabienne Colas Foundation, the Toronto Black Film Festival promotes diversity off and on screen and gives minorities a voice. Part of TD’s 2019 Black History Month Series, #TBFF19 will kick off with Daryne Joshua’s ELLEN: THE ELLEN PAKKIES STORY (South Africa's selection for the Golden Globes) as a Canadian Premiere and will close with the Ontario Premiere of DEAD WOMEN WALKING by Hagar Ben-AsherFor the first time, TBFF presents two center pieces: Jorge Navas’ WE ARE THE HEAT (SOMOS CALENTURA)and SPRINTER by Storm Saulter (executive produced by Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith).

For its second year, The TBFF Kids Film Festival will return on Family Day (Feb 18) and opens with the amazing feature JIM BUTTON AND LUKE THE ENGINE DRIVER, by Dennis Gansel.
 
TBFF is thrilled to be hosting a movie-talk with former American politician Bakari Sellers. Industry events will take place as part of TBFF Black Market which includes a Panel Discussion and Masterclass with filmmakers. Festival-goers can cap off their day with the #TBFF19 late night live performances and satiate their cravings with exotic food at the first edition of the BFF Food Experience.
 
The 7thannual Toronto Black Film Festival, created by the Fabienne Colas Foundation, is presented by TD Bank in collaboration with Global News– from February 13 to 18 – At Isabel Bader Theatre, Carlton Cinema, Jackman Hall (AGO) and Art Square Gallery Café.
 
For full #TBFF19 programming and events, visit www.TorontoBlackFilm.com
All Access Passes & 
Tickets on sale now at TorontoBlackFilm.com

Get Social #TBFF19
Facebook.com/torontoblackfilmfestival
Twitter: @TOBlackFilmFest  
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OPENING NIGHT
Presented by Global News 
ELLEN: THE ELLEN PAKKIES STORY
Daryne Joshua | South Africa | 2018 | 123’|Afrikaans with English subtitles | Canadian Premiere 
Wednesday, February 13 - 8 P.M. -$25 - Isabel Bader Theatre (93 Charles St. W.)
 
ELLEN: THE ELLEN PAKKIES STORY tells of the troubled relationship between a mother and her drug-addicted son – a relationship that will eventually drive her to the edge and lead to his murder. In 2007, the death of 20-year-old Abie Pakkies created a stir in South Africa and the world. The most disturbing part of the case was that the murderer was his mother, Ellen. ELLEN: THE ELLEN PAKKIES STORY was South Africa’s official selection to the 2019 Golden Globes(Best Foreign Language Film category), the film had its world premiere at the Rotterdam International Film Festival in 2018 to rave reviews.
 
CLOSING NIGHT
Presented by Fabienne Colas Foundation 
DEAD WOMEN WALKING
Hagar Ben-Asher | USA | 2018 | 100’ | English| Ontario Premiere 
Sunday, February 18  – 9 P.M. - $20 -  Carlton Cinema (20 Carlton St.)

A group of women on death row face their final moments. As described by Tribeca Film Festival’s Liza Domnitz, “Told through nine moving vignettes, each anchored by a subtle, yet overwhelming performance, Dead Women Walking traces the final days of a series of women on death row, from two weeks before one inmate’s execution to mere minutes before another’s. As these narratives develop, the human toll of the death penalty - not only on the women convicted of violent crimes, but also on their families, prison officials, and ministers and counselors coaching them through their final days - comes into clear focus. Looming over Dead Women Walking are two questions: Why did they do it? And, more implicit and rarely asked: How does society grapple with women’s violence?”
 
AN INTIMATE EVENING WITH TARANA BURKE, #MEETOO FOUNDER 2019 TBFF SOCIAL IMPACT AWARD + DISCUSSION & Q&A
Presented by TD 
Saturday, February 16- 9 P.M. -$35 - Isabel Bader Theatre (93 Charles St. W.)
Moderated by Fabienne Colas, President and Founder of TBFF– 2018 Canada’s Top 40 under 40.
 
Tarana Burke like you’ve never heard her before! An intimate conference where she will discuss her journey as an activist and women’s’ rights advocate. You will hear her views on sexual abuses and women’s issues today – following the earth-shaking #MeToo movement. Hear her powerful take on the documentary series Surviving R. Kelly, an insider’s perception as a woman who was part of that series. As well, you will hear her perspectives on women empowerment and her advice to young girls today. This is a privileged moment with the #MeToo founder - so far, the world’s biggest social movement against rape and sexual harassment. She will share the heartbreaking story behind the genesis of the viral awakening for women’s rights and give hope and strength to those who have been victims of sexual harassment.
 
Tarana Burke was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 influential people in 2018 and was featured part of the 2017 person of the year, “Silence Breakers”, the group of prominent women who came forward to shed light on sexual harassment and abuse in America. As an activist and advocate, she has worked at the intersection of sexual violence and racial justice for more than 25 years. In 2006, Tarana founded Just Be Inc., an organization promoting the wellness of young female minorities. This led to the creation of the “Me Too” slogan to raise awareness of abuse in society. 

CENTER PIECES 
SPRINTER
Storm Saulter |Jamaica| 2018 | 111’| English | Canadian Premiere
Executive produced Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith
Friday, February 15 - 9 P.M. -$15-Jackman Hall (AGO)
A Jamaican teen burdened by an unstable father and an unruly older brother, hopes a meteoric rise in track-and-field can reunite him with his mother, who has lived illegally in the U.S. for over a decade. 
 
WE ARE THE HEAT (Somos calentura)
Jorge Navas |Colombia | 2018 | 104’| Spanish with English subtitles| Canadian Premiere 
Saturday, February 16- 9 P.M. – $15Jackman Hall (AGO)
In Buenaventura-Colombia, Harvey and his three friends are doomed to a life of poverty and uncertainty. While attempting to escape their reality, they use music and urban dance to overcome and defy their violent destiny.
 
MOVIE-TALK WITH BAKARI SELLERS
WHILE I BREATHE, I HOPE
Emily Harrold | USA | 2018 | 75’ |English
Friday, February 15 –7 P.M. - $15– Jackman Hall (AGO)
What does it mean to be young, Black, and Democrat in the Southern Republican state of South Carolina? Through experiences of politician Bakari Sellers, WHILE I BREATHE, I HOPE unravels that question.
 
TBFF BLACK MARKET 
Presented Fabienne Colas Foundation
TBFF WORKSHOPS AND MASTER CLASSES
February 16 -17 - 11 A.M. – Carlton Cinema (20 Carlton Street, Toronto)
#TBFF19 brings back the TBFF Black Market, a series where both locally and internationally renowned industry professionals, experts, thought leaders, visionaries and like-minded people, will share an exciting blend of cutting-edge thinking and real- world experience on today’s most critical filmmaking issues. We hope to foster future collaborations, maximize cross-border artistic exchanges and promote entrepreneurship in the field of filmmaking. See bios and more at: TorontoBlackFilm.com
 
VOICES OF DIVERSITY – BREAKING INTO VOICE PERFORMANCE 
Presented by ACTRA
Saturday, February 16 - 11 A.M. | FREE (reserve on website)
Ever thought of being the voice in an animated series, movie or audiobook? Discover how you can break into this booming industry! Get tips on making the right demo, to finding an agent and more. Learn how to make your voice stand out!
Moderator: Samora Smallwood- ACTRA Toronto Diversity Committee Co-Chair.
Panelists: Millie Tom- Casting Director; Julie Lafontaine- Voice agent @ Fountainhead Talent; Lindsey Owen Pierre- Voice Performer; Christina Tannous- Voice Performer.
 
MEET THE FILMMAKERS 
Sunday, February 17 -11 A.M. | $12
The TBFF’s Black Market returns with a Masterclass/Workshop that you won’t want to miss if you want to succeed in the film industry. Established filmmakers from Canada and abroad will come talk about their experience with filmmaking from creation, to financing, production, distribution/festival circuit.
 
TBFF KIDS FILM FESTIVAL 
Presented by TD 
Monday, February 18 - 11A.M. - 9 P.M. |$6 (12 years & younger) / $12 (12+)|Carlton Cinema 
After a very successful 1st edition, the Toronto Black Film Festival is thrilled to be bringing back the 2nd annual TBFF Kids Film Festival! TBFF Kids Film Festival wants to inspire and empower children through the discovery of filmmaking, animation, story-telling and more. The festival wants to offer kids a cool environment where they can learn, be creative and express themselves in a fun way while being exposed to black history and black stories.TBFF Kids Film Fest will open with JIM BUTTON AND LUKE THE ENGINE DRIVER (Germany)and offers a full program of films and workshops.
 
TBFF LIVE PERFORMANCE SERIES
Presented by Canadian Heritage
February 14 - 17  - P.M. - $12 - Art Square Gallery Café  
Now in its second year, the TBFF Live Performance Series showcases different genres of music and spoken word performances, representing the Afrocentric community. We’ve expanded from the cinema lobby to the Art Square Cafe for all to come and enjoy! Here’s a sneak peek of the line-up: Soul Jazz (Joanna Majoko), Afro Cuban (Yosvanii), Caribbean music, African Jazz (Waleed), Spoken Words (Luke Reece, Lamoi...) and more.
 
TBFF FOOD EXPERIENCE 
February 14 - 18 |Carlton Cinema
The Toronto Black Film Festival (TBFF) is thrilled to introduce the 1st TBFF Food Experience, as a showcase of delicious cuisine from the rich and diverse black community. The TBFF Food Experience promises to provide a unique and tasty sampling of food from across Africa and the Caribbean. On each day, a different chef or restaurant will be featured to showcase their specialty cuisine and beverage – from their represented country. This will be an incredible array of local cuisine from Toronto’s African and Caribbean Chefs. 
 
About the Toronto Black Film Festival
Founded by the Fabienne Colas Foundation, TBFF is dedicated to celebrating the very best in cinematic work dealing with the experiences of black people from a diversity of communities. Our mandate is to provide an opportunity for filmmakers from all ethnic backgrounds to shine the spotlight on authentic stories that reflect the realities of black experiences. Along with its sister festivals, the Montreal International Black Film Festival (now in its 15thyear) and the Halifax Black Film Festival, TBFF showcases new voices in cinema and encourages audiences to see the world in new ways. In connecting black films with diverse audiences, we recognize the differences that make us unique while celebrating the shared values that bring us together.
 
To learn more, please visit: www.torontoblackfilm.com