Barbadians to receive high honours for their worldwide contributions to film


Two Barbadians who have put a worldwide stamp on film will be honoured at the 12th Annual CaribbeanTales International Film Festival (CTFF2017). Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director, Toronto International Film Festival, and Menelik Shabazz, award winning film director, producer, writer and pioneer in the development of contemporary Black British cinema, will be celebrated in a special evening presented in partnership with the Consulate Office of Barbados in Toronto.

The “Menelik Shabazz Tribute” will be part of CTFF2017‘s commitment to honour the legacies of trail-blazing Caribbean and Diaspora film artists, activists and influencers who have made their mark on the world.

“We are proud to honour two sons of our soil who have excelled in their chosen career in film, and who through their achievements have brought the values of Barbados for all to see,” said Haynesley Benn, Consul General of Barbados in Toronto. “The Government and people of Barbados are extremely happy to contribute to this celebration with the audiences at the CaribbeanTales International Film Festival. We know both Cameron Bailey and Menelik Shabazz are building lasting film legacies. And they have also inspired filmmakers and film programmers in Barbados and across the Region.”

unnamed-2.jpgMenelik Shabazz has, over more than three decades, been telling stories through film. Born in St. John Barbados, he emigrated to Great Britain at the age of six. A celebrated creator, Shabazz is recognised as a pioneer of Black British and African cinema. His debut award winning feature film Burning an Illusion (1981) set a landmark as it was the first depiction of a black female lead character in British cinema. He has since produced work for ITV, BBC, Channel 4. This included ‘Catch A Fire’ (BBC)which won the ‘Prized Pieces’ award at the USA National Black Programming Awards (1996. More recently, The Story Of Lovers Rock (2011) was hailed in Britain as the highest grossing successful documentary of its year. As a film activist, producer and mentor to many, Shabazz founded published the Black Filmmakers Magazine, and created and ran the BFM International Film Festival for over ten (10) years.

Cameron Bailey needs no introduction in Canada. The son of Barbadian parents, he was born in London, England, and spent his childhood in Barbados before moving to Toronto with his family. He is an award-winning screenwriter, critic and film programmer. He is currently the Artistic Director of the Toronto International Film Festival, widely acknowledged as the most important film festival in the world.

As well as a Q&A with Cameron Bailey and Menelik Shabazz hosted by Lincoln Anthony Blades, this event’s audiences will be treated to three films that highlight Menelik’s life and work.

Featurette on Menelik Shabazz (World Premiere): a look at his legacy of filmmaking and his contributions in Barbados, the Caribbean Region and the United Kingdom.

Looking for Love (excerpt) (Canadian Premiere): a documentary that explores what it takes to look for love in a contemporary context.

HEAT (World Premiere): CaribbeanTales is proud to present the World Premiere of this original series pilot, commissioned and produced by CaribbeanTales for FLOW. Race and passion clash in tropical Barbados when a wealthy white man kills his wife’s black lover and expects to get away with it. This sets in motion a day of reckoning with the dead man’s wife who has evidence to destroy his empire of lies.


“I am humbled that the CaribbeanTales International Film Festival has chosen me to bless with this beautiful honour,” says Menelik Shabazz. “I am glad for the opportunity to meet Canadians who, like me, relish in cinema from the Caribbean. As I continue with my career, I will hold this honour as a highlight that I will always remember.”

Following the screenings and continuing the conversation about the ecstasy and complexity of love and relationships, Menelik Shabazz will join a panel discussion hosted by Brandon Hay, Founder of the Black Daddies Club. This will happen at Capitol Trattoria Pizzeria located at 597 College Street, Toronto.

The Menelik Shabazz Tribute will take place on Wednesday September 13, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. at the Royal Cinema located at 608 College Street in Toronto. Tickets are available at

Tickets and information for CTFF 2017 Opening Gala and Festival Launch, as well as for all Festival films are on sale now at Follow us on Twitter #CTFF2017, Facebook andInstagram.

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