February 12 - 17, 2025

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Maximilian Carlson’s PRINCESS OF THE ROW
To open the 8th Annual Toronto Black Film Festival

A heart-wrenching tale about the powerful bond between father and daughter, embodying the message that family is worth fighting for.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020 – Isabel Bader Theatre – 7pm

The 8th annual Toronto Black Film Festival – #TBFF20 – marks Black History Month
with bold, diverse, innovative and meaningful programming from February 12 -17, 2020

All Access Passes & Tickets on sale now at TorontoBlackFilm.com

TORONTO, January 17, 2020 – The Toronto Black Film Festival – TBFF will launch its eighth edition with Princess of the Row by award winning filmmaker Maximilian Carlson, on Wednesday, February 12 – 7PM at Isabel Bader Theatre. In 2019, Princess of the Row won 19 awards at 20 film festivals: 4 Audience Choice, 5 Best Feature, 6 Best Actress (Tayler Buck), 3 Best Actor (Edi Gathegi) and 1 Best Cinematography (Maz Makhani). TBFF20, founded by the Fabienne Colas Foundation, is presented by TD Bank in collaboration with Global News from February 12 – 17, 2020. Tickets to the opening night are on sale now here. The Toronto Black Film Festival’s full programming will be announced on Wednesday January 22.

“Over the years, the Toronto Black Film Festival has showcased the most powerful stories about black realities from around the globe. Mental illness is an important issue in today’s society. Opening #TBFF20 with such a poignant film as the award winning film Princess of the Row is a true privilege and a gift to our festivalgoers.” –Fabienne Colas, President and Founder of TBFF

Watch the trailer

Princess of the Row is an inspiring tale of a runaway foster child who will stop at nothing to live with the only family she knows: her father… a homeless mentally ill veteran who lives on the streets of LA’s skid row. Starring Edi Gathegi, Tayler Buck, Ana Ortiz, Jacob Vargas and Martin Sheen.

Bouncing around the sometimes-abusive foster care system, Alicia Willis, a creative 12-year-old girl, ditches school to visit her military veteran father Sgt. Beaumont “Bo” Willis. After a battle-induced brain injury during his service in Iraq, Bo is now homeless and living on LA’s skid row while suffering from severe PTSD. The injury renders him unable to recognize his own daughter most of the time but to Alicia it doesn’t matter, because she remembers him as the father he used to be: a caring man with a love of storytelling. After discovering her next foster home is ten hours away, Alicia sets out on a mission to save her family. With social services in hot pursuit, she and her father flee the city in search of a better life where they can be together in peace.

About Maximilian Carlson:
Maximilian Carlson is a Los Angeles-born American-Mexican independent film director/writer/editor. His work often explores issues of social-justice, like his documentary, Bhopali, which won the Grand Jury and Audience Awards at the 2011 Slamdance Film Festival and went on to win six additional awards. Bhopali is now used in various school curriculum as a learning tool on industrial disasters and the ramifications of unregulated globalization. His 2013 short, “The Troll”, a fantasy-love story, won two best short film awards. Past wins include, “Most Promising Director Award” at the Buffalo Niagara Film Festival and the “Best Director Award” at the Toronto International Teen Movie Festival for a short film he completed while in high school. His documentary, Ninth November Night, was considered by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to be “one of the outstanding documentaries of 2004”.

#TBFF20’s full programming will be available on Wednesday January 22 at www.torontoblackfilm.com!

The 8th annual Toronto Black Film Festival, created by the Fabienne Colas Foundation, is presented by TD Bank in collaboration with Global News – from February 12 to 17, 2020.

Get Social #TBFF20
Twitter @TOBlackFilmFest
Instagram @torontoblackfilmfest

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 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:

Get Social #TBFF20
Facebook.com/torontoblackfilmfestival | Twitter @TOBlackFilmFest | Instagram @TorontoBlackFilmFest

For Media Inquiries:
Talar Adam, Press Relations Director | Press@TorontoBlackFilm.com | 514-833-0274