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Toronto, January 20, 2015 – The Toronto Black Film Festival (TBFF) announced today the programming line-up for the 3rd edition of the festival, presented by Global News, running from February 10th – 15th. Coinciding with Black History Month, the TBFF is proud to host another year celebrating diversity within the black communities through powerful films, a community program, and exciting special events.

“TBFF showcases the most outstanding and amazing black films while creating a space to debate major cultural, social, and socio-economic issues,” stated Fabienne Colas, President and Founder of the Festival. “Over the course of six days, festival-goers will have the chance to see actors and directors from here and abroad sharing their passions. There’s something for everyone!”

“Global News us thrilled to be partnering with the Toronto Black Film Festival once again, and we congratulate the festival orgainizers for adding a unique voice to Canada’s diverse and vibrant arts community,” said Ward Smith, Senior Director, News and Station Operations, Eastern Region.

This year, TBFF is proud to offer 38 of the very best films depicting black realities from around the globe and a variety of breathtaking special events. TBFF would also like to congratulate its sister festival, the Montreal International Black Film Festival, presented by Global Montreal for the last five years, as they celebrated their 10th anniversary in September 2014.

The festival opens at the Isabel Bader Theatre with the award-winning film MANOS SUCIAS (Dirty Hands), by Joseph Wladyka, executive produced by Spike Lee. TBFF pays tribute to Blaxploitation icon Fred “The Hammer” Williamson and Hollywood legend Bill Cobbs this year. They will be the first to receive an honourary award from TBFF. As part of TBFF’s special events programming, the Festival is proud to run a three-part “Blaxploitation” series, featuring a screening the 1975 cult-classic Boss, “An Intimate Night With Fred “The Hammer” Williamson”, and the closing night TBFF Blaxploitation Party.

TBBF will also host a “Black Actors in Hollywood, Then and Now” panel discussion featuring actors Fred Williamson, Lanette Ware and Bill Cobbs. In addition to the must-see films and the special events, movie-goers will also be able to enjoy FREE panel discussions (TBFF Community program) at the Carlton Cinema. All details can be found at the Festival’s website.

Co-Founder and Programming Director Emile Castonguay presented the slate for this year’s festival, which includes a wide range of genres and exciting special events.

Some highlights include: Manos Sucias (Dirty Hands), Una Vida: A Fable of Music and the Mind, Terrible Love, Nina’s Dowry, AIDependence: The Many Ills of the NGO System, The Supreme Price, We Are The Ones, You Belong To Me: Sex, Race and Murder on the Suwannee River, Sewing Hope: The Story of Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe, Bound: Africans VS African-Americans, Des Étoiles (Under the Starry Sky), Haleema, Freedom Road, Narvalo and many more! Productions are divided into several categories: Narrative Feature Films, Mid-Length and Feature Documentary Films, and Short Films.


Black History Month allows movie-goers to reflect on the past in order to better understand the present and prepare for the future. 2015 is a symbolic year for the TBFF, commemorating 60 years since Rosa Parks’ refusal to surrender her seat to a white passenger on a public bus in Montgomery, Alabama, initiated a new era in the American quest for freedom and equality. Fifty years since the assassination of human rights activist Malcolm X. Five years since the devastating earthquake in Haiti killed hundreds-of-thousands of people and left millions homeless.



Presented by Global News

Isabel Bader Theatre – Tuesday, February 10, 2015 – 7:30 PM – $25

Joseph Wladyka, executive produced by Spike Lee – USA, Columbia | 2014 | 82’ | Spanish with English subtitles

Towing a submerged torpedo in the wake of their battered fishing boat, Jacobo, a desperate fisherman and Delio, a naive kid, embark on a journey trafficking millions of dollars of cocaine up the Pacific coast of Colombia. Refusing to glamorize the drug trade, Manos Sucias instead offers a rare glimpse of its devastating effects.



An unprecedented celebration of the deeply influential and flourishing commercial Black independent filmmaking of early 1970s that became known as “Blaxploitation” – present across many genres including the Western, the police drama, the gangster film, horror, prison flicks, biker movies, the biopic, sports dramas, martial arts, musical documentary and comedy. Pimps, dealers, gangsters and prostitutes prowl though the frames of these movies, which also provided a solid soapbox for political voices and social concerns, and saluted the proud and the free. These films often featured tough protagonists standing up to “the Man” and against blind authority, corruption, drug trafficking, societal decay, organized crime and racism. Many of them capture the struggles of a community in a time of emancipation. This series is co-presented by Fantasia International Black Film Festival.


Jackman Hall – Art Gallery of Ontario – Friday, February 13, 2015 – 6:30 PM – $20

Fred Williamson rose to prominence as one of the first African-American action stars of the “Blaxploitation” genre of the early 1970s; going on to lead to a long and illustrious career as an actor, director, writer, and producer. TBFF celebrates his contributions to the cult genre by awarding him with the TBFF 2015 Pioneer Award, followed by a screening of BOSS and a Q&A with Williamson himself.

BOSS (as part of An Intimate Night with Fred “The Hammer” Williamson)

Jackman Hall – Art Gallery of Ontario – Friday, February 13, 2015 – 6:30 PM

Jack Arnold – USA | 1974 | 87’ | English

With: Fred Williamson, d’Urville Martin, William smith, Barbara Leigh

The 1975 cult-classic Boss follows the story of a former slave named Boss who takes his freedom by force, and his loyal sidekick Amos scour the landscape in pursuit of Ged Layton, a white fugitive with a substantial price on his head. They’re going to bring law and order, and dispense a few lessons in human decency before they collect the reward for Layton. This screening will follow a tribute to Fred Williamson and will precede a discussion with the actor.


Revival – Sunday, February 15, 2015 – 9 PM – $30 ($40 @ the door).

Co-presented by: G98.7FM, Radio-Canada, Fantasia International Film Festival, Montreal International Black Film Festival, Unleashed Legacies

TBFF concludes with a celebration of the deeply influential “Blaxploitation” genre that redefined film in the 1970’s and beyond. First, a mix of film clips and trailers by DJ XL5, followed by an all-night dance party hosted by several of Toronto’s most popular DJs. Partygoers are encouraged to wear ‘70s inspired wigs, heels, accessories, and colourful outfits to boogie the night away.



Jackman Hall – Art Gallery of Ontario – Saturday, February 14, 2015 – 6:30 PM – $20

Hollywood Legend Wilbert “Bill” Cobbs has starred in over 160 television programs and movies. Cobbs will receive the Toronto Black Film Festival’s inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his amazing body of work and for his great contribution to Films both in Television and Cinema. The award ceremony will precede the special screening of Una Vida: A Fable of Music and the Mind, by Richie Adams. Followed by a Q&A session with the famed actor and the director of the film.




Jackman Hall, AGO – Sunday, February 15, 2015 – 5 PM – $20

Panelists include: Fred Williamson, Actor, Director, Producer, Writer; Bill Cobbs, Actor; Lanette Ware, Actress

Hosted by: Rosey Edeh, Anchor of the “News at Noon” and host of “The Morning Show” at Global News.

This year we are excited to host a panel discussion about Black actors in modern Hollywood from the 1970’s to today. In recent years we’ve seen some amazing success for black films. The popularity and praise for such films as The Butler, 12 Years a Slave, Mandela, The Long Road to Freedom and Selma has created many opportunities for black actors. Is it a temporary trend or has the tide finally shifted?


 Carlton Cinema – FREE panel discussions! See all details and line-up at www.torontoblackfilm.com

 INCLUSIVITY IN SCREEN BASED MEDIA: Examining history and planning our future.

Presented by ACTRA Toronto

Saturday, February 14 – 1:00 PM

ACTRA has been a leader, championing inclusivity in our industry for over 30 years. Many positive steps have been made, yet there is still work to do. Come join a powerhouse panel that includes industry professionals for an important discussion on how far we’ve come and what the next steps might be to ensure a rich cultural landscape on our screens. Hosted by: Sedina Fiati – ACTRA Member and Co-Chair of the Diversity Committee. Panelists include: Gail Harvey, Director; Michael White, Agent (Characters); Deanna Cadette, heads the BellMedia Diversity Screenwriters program; Angelica Lisk-Hann, Actor/Stunt Performer/Stunt Co-ordinator.

 NATURAL OR NOT? THAT’S THE QUESTION! Black women’s hair & identity in today’s society.

Sunday, February 15 – 1:00 PM

Many black women use chemicals to keep their hair curly or straight instead of nappy and kinky. Black women’s hair has become a hot topic since the release of Chris Rock’s 2009 documentary, Good Hair and the past few years have seen a growing movement that calls on Black women to get back to being Natural. Our panel will discuss the socio-political and historical issues around Black hair – gathering women on both sides of the fence for a real talk on the subject. Panelists include: Stephanie Joseph, Founder/Co-Producer of Toronto Naturals; Anya Grant, Founder and Creative Director of I Heart my Hair; Masani Montague, Founder/Coordinator of RastaFest.





Isabel Bader Theatre           Opening Night                                                                       (93 Charles Street West)

Carlton Cinema                    Regular screenings and Community Programs       (20 Carlton Street)

Jackman Hall, AGO                         Some screenings + Special events                          (317 Dundas Street West)

Alliance Française               French films                                                              (24 Spadina Road)

Revival                                  Closing Night                                                             (783 College Street)



Passport card and individual tickets can be purchased in person at the theatre or at: www.torontoblackfilm.com.

 Passport card: $145

Opening Night: $25 | Closing Night: $30 ($40 @ the door) | Regular Tickets: $10

Special events with Fred Williamson / Bill Cobbs / Hollywood panel: $20 each

TBFF Community Program:  Free admission

The 3rd annual Toronto Black Film Festival (TBFF) will run from February 10 to 15, 2015 and is presented by Global News.

Get Social:

torontoblackfilm.com I facebook.com/torontoblackfilmfestival I @TOblackfilmfest I #TBFF15



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. 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.

About Global News

Global News is one of the best known media brands in the country. We are a digital first news organization dedicated to providing Canadians with the news and information relative to them on any platform, at any time. Global offers people, from coast to coast, a wealth of news, innovative storytelling and information; from breaking news in their community to deep engaging content from around the world. Locally, our connection to our viewers and the community we live in is unparalleled. Journalists working in our 12 award winning television stations provide nearly 400 hours of news content each week for their local markets as well as our national broadcasts, Global National, 16×9, The West Block, The Morning Show and globalnews.ca. Global News is committed to balanced and ethical journalism produced in the public’s interest.

Global News is a division of Shaw Communications Inc.

For more information:

Julie MacFarlane, ClutchPR



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