TORONTO, Canada – The Antiguan & Barbudan feature film, “The Sweetest Mango” is now a part of the TIFF Bell Lightbox Film Reference Library in Toronto, Canada. The Film Reference Library maintains the world’s largest resource of English-language Canadian film and film-related materials as well as a wide range of local, national and international film resources. It is a growing resource for fans and filmmakers and the destination for the study and appreciation of film and is devoted to the preservation of Canada’s cinematic history.
The producer of “The Sweetest Mango” Mitzi Allen who is Antiguan born is also a Canadian.
“The Sweetest Mango” was selected for donation to the Film Reference Library by film critic and entertainment journalist Anne Brodie. Brodie is Chair of the Film Festival Committee of the Los Angeles-based Broadcast Films Critics’ Association, the largest film critics’ group in North America. She is a member of the Toronto Film Critics’ Association, FIPRESC, the International Federation of Film Critics, and frequently covers international film festivals.
“I recently donated my copy of HAMAFilms “The Sweetest Mango” to the library in hopes of having it seen by a new audience,” said Brodie. “I think it’s essential that Bell Lightbox Film Reference Library features a copy of “The Sweetest Mango”. Not only is it the first feature film in Antigua, it’s also a beautifully executed film that reflects local life, climate and colour wrapped around an inspiring romance that actually happened. It has a human scale and intimacy that is so often lacking in modern romance films. “The Sweetest Mango” has a unique approach to life, its sunny, positive and life affirming but it doesn’t shy away from the ups and downs of love relationships and the pains and anxieties of finding your way in a new world. I congratulate Mitzi and Howard on “The Sweetest Mango” and hope to see many more of their films. Hopefully, set in Antigua!!”
Produced and directed by the husband and wife team of Howard and Mitzi Allen, “The Sweetest Mango” was released in February 2001. HAMA produced the film as a millennium project to mark Antigua’s entry into the 21st Century. The film, which has been screened at film festivals across the Caribbean and North America is a romantic comedy based on how the couple met and fell in love. It is not only the first feature film for Antigua & Barbuda but it is also the first indigenous film for the Eastern Caribbean.
Since its release HAMA has produced three other films, however “The Sweetest Mango” is slowly becoming a Caribbean classic and a model for independent filmmaking in the Caribbean.
The Film Reference Library is housed in the newly built “Lightbox” in downtown Toronto, home of the Toronto International Film Festival. The Library is free to the public and holds19,000 volumes; 65,000 film production files; more than 100 current magazines; 12,000 DVD, video and laserdisc titles and 6,000 soundtracks, which can be viewed, experienced and enjoyed on site.