Toronto film ‘Bite of a Mango’ will have its world premiere at the American Black Film Festival

A Toronto film will appear at the American Black Film Festival, which returned with a hybrid presentation in Miami on Wednesday and will continue through Sunday.

“Bite of a Mango” was written and produced by Ron Dias and Joanne Jansen. Dias, who also directed the film, said in an interview, “It’s the first Toronto film to enter the American Black Film Festival and it has a lot of Toronto undertones.”

The Toronto-based filmmaker continued, “In terms of being recognized across the border by all these amazing black executives who have been in Hollywood for decades, to watch our film and put it in competition with 10 other films, and then being nominated for Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Feature. It’s just overwhelming and there’s nothing but gratitude in my heart. And of course, all those adorable actors can shine now.

Ryan Rosery, who plays Tray in the film, is touched by the opportunity and how far the film has come. “I always believed that Toronto had incredible talent, but I felt there was a lack of authenticity with the type of projects that were being done here in Toronto. For Ron to take a risk and really bet on himself and choose genuine people and tell this genuine story of Toronto…and then go to the United States is humbling. It’s very humiliating.

He continued, “We’ve always been a bit of the underdog and you see that with everything music-wise, even with the Toronto Raptors winning and it’s like now there’s another opportunity where we’re here to show that this is what We do. We have stories, we have real situations that we face, like everyone else, and this is an opportunity to show it.

Lead actress Jayne Camara “was really frustrated with how my auditions went and the kind of roles I got. (There was) nothing substantial and nothing I could really relate to. Ron and Joanne gave me this opportunity and it was phenomenal. I loved it.”

Dias and Jansen wrote the script in two days and filmed it during the pandemic. The Black Lives Matter movement had a huge impact on the film’s storyline.

“There is nothing as important in 2020 as George Floyd and how it affected everyone. The way we have seen these protests all over the world, I had never seen anything in my life from this way and I saw a lot of protests I grew up in Atlanta, Georgia so I was able to write her inspiration for the character of Tray but I also saw a lot of racism and nothing had touched as big. There’s no way I could tell a story in 2020 and not face the racism that we had,” Dias said.

Nathan Taylor, who made his film debut in ‘Bite of a Mango’, said, “I really understood the effects of the Black Lives Matter movement that was happening in 2020 and how much it weighed on my fair heart. by being a black person. Even though I’m in Canada, black people are affected by this around the world and we’ve lost people in Toronto and people all over the world. So I brought that to the character.

Along with conversations about the BLM movement, actor Orville Cummings hopes the film will shine a light on Toronto. “There’s a lack of representation in Toronto and a lot of people in the United States or elsewhere in the world don’t really know what’s going on here and don’t really know how rich the culture is here.”

Dias previously wrote, directed and produced the short film “Mariposa”, which appeared at the Cannes Film Festival in 2018. With this film, he also hopes to see the narrative change with how local films are to be recognized in the United States. before the doors. opened in Canada. “I hate the narrative that we always have to go to America to be recognized in Canada, which is always the case they said about Drake or The Weeknd or whoever has to cross America to be recognized here. But we are from here and the talent is there,” he said.

Dias and his team also want to see a change in the way dark-skinned actors are cast. He said, “So what would usually happen is they would go for Jayne, a dark-skinned lead, but then there had to be someone white or lighter-skinned. I didn’t want that, neither Joanne nor Jayne. So we constantly searched for our tray, which happened to be Ryan.

‘Bite of a Mango’ makes its world premiere at the American Black Film Festival on Saturday

Leave a Comment