by Diane De La Haye On Thursday July 11, Caribbean Tales launched their Film Festival season with a Press Conference in Toronto. During that event, five centerpiece films were confirmed to be in this year’s Festival (more will be announced at a later date). 1. Songs of Redemption (Jamaica). Miguel Galofre and Amanda Sans – Directors Who knew there were recording studios in prison? This documentary poignantly relays how inmates at the General Penetentiary use music in a rehabilitative way to carry them through that “dark place,” and ultimately reinvent their life’s purpose through the application of creative skills. The movie features interviews/testimonials and powerful reggae music composed and produced by not only prisoners but in collaboration with the wardens as well. 2. No Bois Man No Fraid (Trinidad) Christopher Laird – Director This film tells the story of two internationally certified martial artists introduced to a different style of combat, Kalinda; a combination of stick-fighting and dance, set to folk music, commonly seen practised during Carnival season. Follow Keegan and Benji as they rediscover their roots by entering into the potentially lethal arena of the Gayelle. This looks great since I would love to koof down someone with a stick and then dance over them in triumphant victory. (Yes, I need therapy). 3. Elliott Loves (Dominican-Republic) Terracino – Director This comedy about a young boy’s transition from island life with his mother to finding homosexual romance in New York City looks delightful. Not only does the mix of wicked animation and goofy physical comedy make it stand out but I love a good no-nonsense attitude and consequent eye-roll between parent and child. (Both male love interests are great eye-candy too). The genre, style and content of Elliott Loves will definitely add diversity and intrigue to this year’s Festival. 4. Abo So / Only You (Aruba) Juan Francisco Pardo – Director Aruba’s first ever feature-length musical tells the amorous tale of conservative newcomer Tatiana and the quirky native Santiago. Cue the revealing of secrets, a spark of compassion, and declaration of beautiful love followed by giddy twirling amidst white sheets, handholding by the sea, tender kissing close-ups and lustful gazes while Santiago sings of undying love. For the romantics out there, this one’s for you. 5. Kingston Paradise (Jamaica) Mary Wells – Director. Remember the little boy from Lime Tree Lane? Kudos to Mary Wells for writing, producing and directing this urban drama starring Christopher “Johnny” Daley as Rocksy, the street hustling taxi-driver who dreams of a better life outside of the Kingston ghetto. When he devises a not-so clever plan to steal a fancy car right under the Lebanese owner’s nose in order to sell its parts, naturally chaos ensues (gunfire, near misses, handbrake turns, street chases) until Rocksy does the unthinkable. Keep checking back here for updates on more additions to the 2013 Caribbean Tales Film Festival menu.