The Reel world film festival opened today (April 13th) with a screening of the “The Salon” a film by Mark Brown known for the Barbershop series and 2 Can Play that Game.

AfroToronto met up with many stars and directors at the opening gala including Vivica A. Fox, Tonya Lee Williams, the founder of the Festival, Sudz Sutherland (director of Love Sex and Eating the Bones), Louis Mercier (a young up and coming director whose work is featured at the festival) and Lalita Krishna director of the documentary film Tiger on the East Indian wrestler Tiger Jeet Singh.

>> Mark Brown >> Lalita Krishna >> Sudz Sutherland

The following are extracts of some of the interviews:

AfroToronto: What should we look forward to during the festival?

Tonya Lee Williams: What is really exciting about our festival is, it’s not just screenings, it also has industry panels, industry series. So it’s great to come out. Tomorrow night for instance, Mark Brown the director of our opening night film is going to be doing a one-on-one on himself and his career and we all get to,…it’s really inspiring to listen to directors and filmmakers talk about their careers and what they had to go through to get to where they are today. So that’s really inspiring the fact that Shabana Azmi for instance is coming as well ad we’re gonna do a sit-down with her on Saturday at Rainbow Cinemas. There’s a great animation film called “Golden Blade” Blair Underwood is doing one of the voices of one of the main characters. There’s an amazing Korean film called “Sword In the Moon “, if you loved that Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon thing, you gotta go see this one. So there’s something for everyone at this year’s festival.

AfroToronto: We saw Vivica (A. Fox) earlier, what other starts should we look forward to seeing at this year’s festival?

Tonya Lee Williams: Well, Shabana Azmi, She’s probably one of the biggest actresses in India, internally she’s really big.

AfroToronto: What other projects are you working on beyond the festival?

Tonya Lee Williams: I just finished filming a small movie in Vancouver called “A Perfect Murder” it’s gonna be airing this summer on CTV, and there’s another movie called the Justin Sheppard story about that boy who was shot in Jamestown, I play one of the leads in that,…and of course I got my regular job on Y&R.

AfroToronto: Thank you for the work you’re doing with the festival. It’s nice to see minority films featured and celebrated.

Tonya Lee Williams: Thank you.


Sudz Sutherland, Director of the Genie nominated Love, Sex and Eating the Bones.


AfroToronto: following the success of Love Sex and Eating the Bones, what are you working on right now?

Sudz Sutherland: I am working on a film called “The Way the Ball Bounces”, about a selfish athlete who becomes a very selfish coach. Yeah, I can’t tell you more than that. That’s what I am working on right now. I hope to bring that to audiences in the fall of 2006.

AfroToronto: Are you doing anything in TV or beyond the realm of feature films?

Sudz Sutherland: I have a TV movie coming out in August hopefully

AfroToronto: Do you make it a point to shoot in Toronto?

Sudz Sutherland: Ooh yeah, I work in Toronto. Home boy, Scarborough boy, you know keeping it here!

AfroToronto: What are you looking forward to during the festival and all other upcoming festivals in Toronto this summer?

Sudz Sutherland: We always love to do things, to see things that are interesting and exciting. I am looking forward to seeing Devotion, I think that’s tomorrow night a film about a bi-racial girl’s struggle after the death of her white mother and a couple of shorts.

AfroToronto: Thanks Sudz. Much success!

>> The co-stars of the ReelWorld Film Festival''s opening movie (The Salon) Vivica A. Fox and Darrin Dewitt Henson of Soul Food fame. >> The AfroToronto.com team meets with Tonya Lee

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