CIFF2023: Official Selection

Caribbean International Film Fest is pleased to announce our selected films for CIFF2023! Book your tickets below.

Children of Mavungu
(dir. Mirjam Marks)

CIFF2023 will take place September 30th – October 1st at Midlands Art Centre in Birmingham, UK. Look out for thrilling films, special panelists and some guest films from We Are Parable. See ticket links below and keep up-to-date on Festival announcements by following us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

The Caribbean International Film Fest is run by Caribbean Pop-Up Cinema, and is the premiere UK Film Festival celebrating Caribbean filmmakers and stories.

CIFF2023 Film Schedule

Saturday, Sept. 30th, 12:00pm – Midlands Art Centre, Birmingham, UK

A DIFFERENT LIGHT | Tensions rumble underneath sunny exteriors in this touching collection of hopeful stories.

Dorlis – Enricka MH (Martinique/Guadeloupe) *(Trigger warning: sexual assault)

Nora, a 15-year-old Martiniquan teenager, has to follow her mother and 6-year-old little sister, to the north of the island, to provide daily care for her grand-father, paralyzed since a recent stroke. Very soon, the atmosphere of the house and Henri’s presence make Nora’s childhood memories resurface, embodied in the fear of an aggressive evil mind.

Too Autistic for Black – Talisha “Tee Cee” Johnson (Jamaica/UK)

An insight into what it’s like to be black, British and marginalised in the autism discourse. Presenter Tee Cee talks openly about her own personal experience.

Bicycle Island (A donde nos lleva) – Mitra Elena Ghaffari (Cuba/USA)

Bicycle Island (A Donde Nos Lleva) weaves vignettes and artistic explorations into a contemporary mosaic of Havana’s bicycle culture, positioning the bicycle as a reclaimed mobility tool and critical resource for the future of the island.

Felt but Never Glimpsed – Clavia Aaliyah McClain (Bahamas)

Challenging the touristic gaze, Felt But Never Glimpsed explores the notion that the ordinary is extraordinary. With the notions of Paradise generally overshadowing the mundane, the filmmaker seeks out the real and worthy aspects of Caribbean living,  reclaiming organic experiences and perceptions in order to celebrate it authentically.

Children of Mavungu – Mirjam Marks (Suriname/Netherlands)

Deep in the jungle of Suriname is a mysterious world full of rituals and forest gods, of which Mavungu is the most important for children. During their last primary school year, three tough and adventurous youth grow up in one of the far-flung villages, established by the enslaved to escape Dutch colonial rule. This film captures the young teens peering towards possible futures beyond the village, to leave behind their vibrant yet diminishing culture.

Saturday, Sept. 30th, 8:00pm – Midlands Art Centre, Birmingham, UK

FORWARD EVER | The Caribbean International Film Fest continues with four thought-provoking tales of opportunity and resilience.

Ti Toya – Michel Dessources Jr (Haiti) *(adult scenes: nudity)

When a stranger crosses the path of Ti Toya, a young country girl, he wishes to take advantage of her as easy prey. However, he quickly learns there is more to someone than meets the eye.

Homecoming – J Chambers, Aongola Victor Simuyemba (Jamaica/UK)

Homecoming is part of a viewer audio visual album exploring the filmmaker’s relationship with his Caribbean heritage, simultaneously documenting and examining the surge of feelings awakened upon returning to Jamaica as an adult.

Zanmi – Nadia Charlery (Martinique)

A New Year’s Eve party in Martinique involving friends and champagne lead to an innocent game, unexpected reactions and questioned relationships. Between good-natured teasing and rising tensions, who will still be at the table to hear the twelve strokes of midnight?

My Maxi – Andrei Pierre (Trinidad and Tobago)

Marcus seeks a closer relationship with his parents, eventually mustering the courage to to tell them about his sexual identity and journey of self identity. However, things take a turn when his over-enthusiastic father takes this newfound knowledge of his son to a whole other level.

How (Not) to Build a School in Haiti – Jack C. Newell (Haiti)

Development, history, and colonialism collide when a seemingly simple aid project spirals out of control in Haiti. When a headstrong American clashes with a Haitian leader it forces a reckoning on privilege and power.

Sunday, October 1st, 2:00pm – Midlands Art Centre, Birmingham, UK

NATURAL MYSTIC | Man, nature, and something bigger explore conflict and coexistence in these stirring shorts.

Asema – Loelle Monsanto (Suriname)

As Deon spends his summer vacation at his grandma’s, he has an encounter with a mysterious elderly woman who has recently moved into the neighbourhood. She alerts the local children of an “asema” haunting the vicinity. Driven by curiosity, Deon and his best friend Jimmy go on a quest to uncover the truth about this legendary creature.

Ah! Hard Rain – Greta Mendez (Trinidad and Tobago/UK)

‘Come on Fish, sing to me!’ A story of aspiration, greed, and shattered dreams told through the memories of a surviving fisherman. Ah! Hard Rain is a visually stunning journey into the ebb and flow of daily lives of a tiny imagined coastal village, traveling through oceans and timelines, laced with cultural myth to reveal the villagers in the fullness of their life, life before disaster.

Stick Is Life – Trinidad and Tobago/Spain Miquel Galofre (Trinidad and Tobago)

Moko Jumbies (or stilt-walkers) culturally refers to an ancestral spirit. In 2022, the full Trinidadian Moko Jumbie community came together, to surrender any existing conflicts and, for the first time, shared a jab circle with residents in Point Fortin — home of Trinidad and Tobago’s first known Moko Jumbie, Dexter Stewart. 

Camouflage – Jonathan J Temple (Barbados/UK) *adult scenes: violence

In this pilot episode of the drama thriller Camouflage, attackers in a violent robbery become prey when the victim’s father and his crew begin their hunt for the perpetrators, who are unprepared to face the consequences. 

Behind God’s Back – r.  (Martinique)

Dèyè do bon dié (“Behind God’s Back” in Martinican creole) means that something is so far away that even God, despite being omniscient, does not see it – or maybe, just doesn’t care. This documentary paints a visceral and textured portrait of the Northern tip of the Caribbean Island of Martinique, capturing conversations about home, danger and identity on the slopes of a reawakening volcano.

Sunday, October 1st, 5:30pm – Midlands Art Centre, Birmingham, UK

THICKER THAN WATER | Strength and vulnerability are intertwined in this diverse collection of emotive films on kinship – all representing the English speaking Caribbean

DreDan Daughter – Déandra Grace Daniel (Barbados)

After years of estrangement, filmmaker Déandra Daniel chronicles her reunion with her father.

The Nod: Tell Me You Got Me – Richard Ampeh (Jamaica/UK)

The Nod – Tell Me You Got Me is an ode to the nod exchanged between Black males and its significance in the building of unity and brotherhood, exploring what it means and why it is important to Black males in modern day Britain.

Douen – Riyadh Rahaman (Trinidad and Tobago)

Steven’s family is puzzled when his little sister mysteriously goes missing without a trace, until circumstances begin to link the disappearance with the old Trinidad folklore tale of the Douen. With time running out, Steven must face daunting risks in hopes of the safe return of his sister.

Time to Go – Gemmar McFarlane (Jamaica)

Reality begins to unravel for Hyacinth when a woman claiming to be her daughter arrives at her doorstep on her wedding anniversary.

Green Days By the River – Michael Mooleedhar (Trinidad and Tobago)

In this Caribbean coming-of-age classic featuring a lush sense of place and vivid, beautiful cinematography, Shellie’s poor but closely knit family relocates to a new village in Trinidad and Tobago. With his father seriously ill, Shellie acquires a surrogate father-figure in a wealthy plantation-owner and, with love looming, finds himself having to make unexpected and difficult decisions.

CIFF2023 🌴

Asema (dir. Loelle Monsanto)

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