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ENTERTAINMENT

ENTERTAINMENT

Jillian Danford’s unexpected path to social media stardom is almost unheard of. Danford was living a regular suburban life where she worked as a court registrar with Oshawa’s Superior Court of Justice. A co-worker suggested that she audition for The Shopping Channel where she landed a steady gig and figured she’d done pretty well for herself in the entertainment industry.

This week, the headlines and tweets have read, “Female Hip Hop Artist Makes History,” referencing “...her historic win and what it means to Black female artists,” and many more fitting accolades for the 2019 Polaris Prize Winner Haviah Mighty.

The CaribbeanTales International Film Festival (CTFF) kicked off this past Wednesday, September 4th, 2019 at the Royal Cinema in Toronto. Before the CTFF opening night, I had a chance to catch up with festival Co-Director Diana Webley. Webley shared what she is looking forward to this year at CTFF, and the growth of the festival over the fourteen years since it’s conception.

Black representation in film (and television) is making inroads in new ways this year. I’m not talking about the usual one dimensional tropes of blackness we’ve gotten used to being fed as “diversity” every award season. There are no affable butlers, matronly maids, or black characters in need of white saviours on anybody’s awards list this year.

Coyote Records/Universal Music artist Naya Ali has been making waves and creating art on her own terms for the past couple of years. Since 2017, the Ethiopian-born Montrealer’s raspy delivery and sharp-tongued technique brought attention to her skills on the singles “Ra Ra” and “Out The Dirt”.

BYBLACKS RATING: BBB 1/2

“If you haven't seen Cleo, you haven't seen the chick who tops 'em all...She's 6'2" of Dynamite!” The tagline for the 1973 Blaxploitation film Cleopatra Jones lets you know the important facts about the woman in charge — and Lana Lovell’s theatrical debut Elbow Room approaches the classic from a new angle.

Released on May 17, the documentary, “This is North Preston” follows the journey of R&B artist Just Chase and the community he grew up in. In the film, the singer leads us back to his hometown for a walk down memory lane. I met Chase for a sit down interview after watching the documentary.

Over a decade ago a young Just John could be seen sitting on the bleachers with his parents about to take in a soccer match starring his two older brothers; soccer phenoms in their own right. While sitting on the sidelines he played his retro walkman with the following albums in rotation: Snoop Dogg’s Blue Carpet Treatment, K-os’ Joyful Rebellion, Black Eyed Peas’ Elephunk and a bunch of other random records.

KIRA celebrates humanity as one village, and its sacred bond to Mother Nature in this evocative work of dance, live percussion, and chants by renowned Guinean artist Fara Tolno.

 

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