The 18th annual Caribbean Tales Film Festival (CTFF) has announced the winner for the Best Short Documentary category.
“Territory,” a short film by Director Jael Joseph, won the title. The film centers around the Kalinago, the indigenous people of Dominica.
It provides insight into the challenges faced by the Kalinago people in retaining their culture, traditions, and identity. The film was one of the submissions for the festival, which took place in Toronto from September 6-22, 2023.
“Territory” tied for the top spot with “Negra, Yo Soy Bella,” a film by Puerto Rico’s Vashi Korin.
Jael Joseph expressed gratitude for the win and dedicated it to her late parents and the Kalinago people of Dominica
During her acceptance speech, she thanked family, friends, colleagues, and mentors, and singled out CTFF founder Frances-Ann Solomon for inspiration and influence.
CTFF showcases the talents of emerging and established Caribbean and African filmmakers. The festival presents a diverse mix of films that showcase shared cultural stories.
The 2023 submissions focused on the theme of Eco survivors, highlighting the impact of climate change on Caribbean Small Island States (SIDS) and Canada.
A programming committee composed of film industry professionals, including actors, producers, critics, and tech experts, reviewed the films submitted to CTFF and determined the winners in various categories.
“Territory” won Best Short Documentary because it provided a rare glimpse into the Kalinago Territory in Dominica, according to CTFF Festival Director Diana Webley.
In “Territory,” Jael Joseph and her film crew spent ten days following Anette Sanford, Samoza John, and Natasha Green, descendants of the island’s first people. They shared their experiences and challenges as residents of the 3,700-acre Kalinago Territory, which was ceded to the Kalinago 120 years ago.
The film delves into the political struggles faced by the Kalinago people and focuses on the loss of their language and inability to use their land for economic development.
The film also features guest appearances by Kalinago Chief Lorenzo Sanford and Hon. Cozier Frederick, parliamentary representative for the area.
Jael Joseph is a media entrepreneur and communications consultant who splits her time between Dominica and Canada.
She is a graduate of Toronto Metropolitan University and was inspired to create this film alongside her research paper entitled, “Territory: Commonalities between the Reclamation of the Kalinago Language and Connection to Land.”
“Territory” was funded with support from an anonymous donor as well as the proceeds of a prize won from The Creative School’s 2022 Johnny Lombardi Award for Creative Endowment.
The film can be viewed online until September 22nd as part of CTFF and will be screened at more film festivals worldwide.