LITERATURE ALIVE! DOCUMENTARY AND AUDIO BOOK SERIES!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Toronto, ON August 23, 2005 -- The wealth of extraordinary voices and dynamic narrative methods of Canadian-Caribbean authors will be showcased in Literature Alive, a new documentary and companion audio book series by Caribbean Tales and Leda Serene Films. The 13-part Literature Alive documentary series, which airs on Bravo! beginning October 2005, profiles Canadian-Caribbean authors and follows the evolution of Caribbean heritage fiction from the 1960s through to the hip hop generation.
“People of the Caribbean are natural-born storytellers,” says Frances-Anne Solomon, President, CaribbeanTales.org and President and Founder, Leda Serene Films. “We spend time with our ancestry. We tell stories of our past. Our rich and diverse histories are often scattered as we migrate on our diasporic journeys, but still we continue to gather, reinvent, and share our tales.”
Literature Alive’s featured authors invite viewers and listeners into their lives to join them in the creative process and discover the links between personal experience, ancestry, and migration; between Canada and the Caribbean; between artist and art. Whether sitting down with living legend Louise Bennett as she reflects on her illustrious career, hitting the city streets with DJ and hip hop artist Jemini, or traveling with Andre Alexis to Trinidad and to literary festivals in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, viewers experience how vibrant Caribbean culture continues to be as it expands around the globe, and how vital the act of storytelling is to it.
A select list of authors follows:
- Celebrated Indo-Caribbean author Ramabai Espinet sits down in conversation with playwright Tony Hall in a special two-part documentary examining Ramabai’s history and past works, exploring her most recent novel, and traveling to San Fernando, Trinidad, where she performs a reading of the novel, and revisits places that hold special significance for her.
- Haitian exile Dany Laferriere tours his adopted home of Montreal, sharing the insightful manner and razor sharp wit that characterizes his writing. A fascinating man in a charming city.
- Jamaican icon Louise Bennet reflects upon her rich life story and her illustrious body of work in an interview conducted by renowned actress Leonie Forbes. The country’s leading author, poet, and comedienne, “Miss Lou” pioneered the use of the Jamaican language, raising the patois dialect to an art level and reflecting the truth and essence of Jamaican life.
- Author and playwright Andre Alexis travels from his birthplace in Trinidad, to his childhood home in Ottawa, and to the Toronto neighbourhood that he now calls home, discussing how each location has a remarkable hold on him his work.
- Shani Mootoo celebrates the launch of her novel He Drowns She in the Sea at an intimate and entertaining dinner party with guests including filmmaker Richard Fung and writer Gamal Abdel-Shehid.
- Tessa Mcwatt discusses her life and work, her past and passions, and her evolving understanding of the concepts of ‘home’ and ‘belonging’ while on a musical journey from her current home in Britain to visit with her family in Toronto.
- Nalo Hopkinson explains her “hybrid history” as a “sci-fi writer,” a “speculative fiction writer,” a “fantasy writer,” and a “fabulist”, who combines Caribbean and Canadian culture, mixes her life story with folklore, blurs the boundaries between the real and the fantastic, and in tales that take place in an invented urban landscape.
- Richardo Keens-Douglas speaks candidly about the importance of his message to children—to believe in themselves and have pride in their cultural heritage—and about his struggle, as a young man, to find confidence in his identity.
- A day in the life of Jemini—poet, writer, actor, comic, journalist, Spoken Word artist, and host of Flow 93.5’s Morning Rush. A voice that stands out in the Babel of urban Toronto.
ABOUT CARIBBEAN TALES
Founded in 2001 by Frances-Anne Solomon, Caribbean Tales is a not-for-profit multimedia company committed to producing educational films, videos, and new media content that reflect the rich tradition of Caribbean-heritage storytelling. Projects include the CaribbeanTales.org website, a vital, anti-colonial history of the Caribbean available to all on the worldwide web; an e-newsletter, featuring profiles of Caribbean storytellers and cultural commentary, as well as news and events; and the Literature Alive documentary series, audio books and web site. For more information visit www.caribbeantales.org
ABOUT LEDA SERENE FILMS
Leda Serene Films is a film, television and new media production company based in Toronto, Canada. The company has produced an impressive range of award-winning programs—from feature films to more innovative multi-media projects—and is dedicated to placing people of colour in front of as well as behind the camera. The company has made its name as a producer of high-quality dramas and documentaries that celebrate diversity—strong personal stories from different cultural perspectives in the global diaspora.
Victoria Lord, VLPR Inc., (416) 484-9047, x224,