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YearTitleDirectorBioLength in minutesSynopsisGenre FormatLocationDirector OriginsKeywords/Social Issue DrivenProgrammingSelection of Cast / CrewArchival Material and LocationCultural Context (BVFN?)DistributorProducer / FundersExhibitionCatalogues Y/NCritical WritingAwardsNon-English LanguageSource
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1957Putting It StraightGreaves, WilliamGreaves was born in Harlem, New York in 1926. Starting as a dancer, he eventually moved into acting, working in the American Negro Theater. In 1948, Greaves joined The Actor's Studio and studied alongside the likes of Marlon Brando, Julie Harris, Anthony Quinn, Shelley Winters, and others. During this time, he undertook a number of roles on the stage and in the theatre, but eventually grew dissatisfied with the roles in which he was being cast. Realizing that most of the parts he could play were stereotype and derivative due to racism prevalent throughout American culture at the time, Greaves looked into African-American history. Seeing that his opportunities would be limited were he to continue to stay in America and focus on his planned course of acting, Greaves tried his hand at movie making, electing to move to Canada and study at the National Film Board of Canada.13A film about "crooked" teeth, dealing with the causes of irregular teeth and stressing the importance of early, regular and systematic care of the primary teeth in preventing such conditions. The case of a young girl whose happiness was being undermined demonstrates that, treated in time, protruding teeth can be straightened. An animation sequence illustrates normal growth and development of the primary teeth and how irregularities can arise.NFBNFBFandor.com
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1958Smoke and WeatherGreaves, Williamsee above21During the fire season, look-out men keep constant vigilance for the first sign of smoke, scanning the territory for miles around. How they are trained for the work and how their efforts save many valuable stands of timber are illustrated at a fire tower in the Forestry Branch's Petawawa Forest Experiment Station in Ontario.Petawawa, Ontario, CanadaNFBNFBFandor.com
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1959Emergency WardGreaves, Williamsee above30This 1959 documentary short is a frank portrait of the daily operations inside the Montreal General Hospital’s emergency ward.MontrealNFBNFBWikipedia, NFB
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1977Some Black WomenPrieto, ClairePrieto was born in Trinidad in 1945. She immigrated to Toronto with Roger McTair in 1970. Prieto's films explore Canadian black history, culture and experience, and were groundbreaking as works produced by Canadian women and people of colour. Her film Some Black Women (1977) was the first film made by independent black filmmakers in Canada and her 2003 series Lord Have Mercy! was the first Caribbean-Canadian sitcom. Meanwhile, Black Mother Black Daughter (1989), produced by Prieto and Sylvia Hamilton for the Canadian National Film Board Atlantic Branch, was the first film created by this branch to employ an all-female crew. In addition to producing her own work, Prieto has mentored and supported other black filmmakers and film industry members over the course of her career. In 1988, Prieto co-founded the Black Film & Video Network (BFVN), which served as a resource for black producers, directors, and writers. Prieto's 2003 TV series Lord Have Mercy! was nominated for a Gemini award and an Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television Award for Best Comedy Series. Her 1992 short film Survivors was nominated for a Gemini award and her 1979 documentary It's Not an Illness was nominated for a Genie award. In 2010, Prieto was presented with a Lifetime Achievement award by the Caribbean Tales Film Festival.14A documentary film that reviews the state of black women's roles and lives in the 1970s, the film was produced and narrated by Claire Prieto and directed by Roger McTair for RPI Productions. Some Black Women holds the distinction of being the first film produced in Canada by independent black film makers.Archives of Ontario. 1976-1977 1 film reel (14 minutes) 6 audio reels (2 hours, 18 minutes) 1 audio cassette (1 hour)Who's Who in Black Canada, Archives of Ontario
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1979Canada Vignettes: Helen LawHodge de Silva, JenniferBorn in Montreal, Hodge de Silva was the first Black filmmaker to work consistently with both the NFB and the CBC and her documentaries covered a range of social issues, telling the stories of Chinese-Canadian immigrants, Indigenous artists and diverse neighbourhoods. She died of cancer in 1989, aged 38.3A portrait of Mrs. Helen Law, a Chinese immigrant to Canada, as witnessed through the eyes of her son, a first-generation Canadian.DocumentaryTorontoMontrealChinese immigrants, portraitsProducer: Judy LeGros; Don Hopkins Executive producer: Robert Verrall Script: Stanley Jackson Camera: Robert Lang Sound: Steve Joles Narrator: Phillip IngCanadian Women Film Directors Database
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1979It's Not an Illness Prieto, Clairesee aboveExamines the relationship between pregnancy and exercise. The film was produced by Claire Prieto and written and directed by Roger McTair for Patter of Little Feet Films. The film was shot on location in Toronto and was narrated by June Callwood. The film features mothers Marsha Baker and Shaheera Bieber, as well as Claire Prieto and Roger McTair who were expecting their first child. In profiling these women, the film addresses questions and concerns about the extent to which women should exercise while pregnant. The film also features Dr. Zimmerman and Dr. J.E. Milligan, Obstetrical Director of the Peri-Natal Unit of the Women's College Hospital, as well as Kinesologist Lynn Smith of the Toronto Women's Club. The textual records include research concerning pregnancy and exercise, a script for the narration of the film, questions for the interview with Dr. J.E. Milligan, as well as a list of invited guests for the film's screening. Publicity records Include newspaper articles, a promotional brochure, as well as an article about Shaheera Bieber, one of the pregnant mothers featured in the film.DocumentaryFilmTorontoReproductive Health; Examines the relationship between pregnancy and exercise.June Callwood; narrator, Marsha Baker, Shaheera Bieber, Claire Prieto, Roger McTair; film subjects.Archives of Ontario Descriptive Database 1 centimetre of textual records 59 film reels (11 hours, 16 minutes)Patter of Little Feet FilmsWho's Who in Black Canada, Archives of Ontario
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1983Home Feeling: Struggle for a CommunityHodge de Silva, Jennifer, and Roger McTairsee above57Hodge's best-known work, this documentary was one of the first attempts to explore the deep-seated tension between black communities and the Toronto Police Services. Through candid interviews, the film reveals the systemic racism of the police force and the rage that simmered in the largely immigrant community of Toronto's Jane and Finch neighbourhood. Covering six square blocks in Toronto's North York, the area readily evokes images of vandalism, high-density subsidized housing, racial tension, despair and crime. By focusing on the lives of several of the residents, many of them black or members of other visible minorities, the film provides a powerful view of a community that, contrary to its popular image, is working towards a more positive future.Feature DocumentaryTorontoMontrealRacial profiling, police violence, Jane and Finch, crime, public housing, social problems since 1970PRODUCER John Kramer, Judy LeGros EXECUTIVE PRODUCER John Spotton WRITER Jennifer Hodge CAMERA Henry Fiks SOUND Douglas Ganton EDITING Steve Weslak RE-RECORDING Terry Cooke NARRATOR Charmaine EdmeadNFBBailey, Cameron. "A Cinema of Duty: The Films of Jennifer Hodge de Silva." ["First published in CineAction, no. 23 (winter 1990-1): 4-12."] In Gendering the Nation: Canadian Women's Cinema, edited by Kay Armatage, Kass Banning, Brenda Longfellow, and Janine Marchessault. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1999. (p. 94)7 African-Canadian female filmmakers you need to know, Canadian Women Film Directors Database.
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1984We Remember Amber ValleyJacob, SelwynSelwyn Jacob is a Canadian documentary filmmaker whose work has often explored the experiences of Black Canadians as well as other stories from Canada's multicultural communities, as both as an independent director and since 1997 as a producer with the National Film Board of Canada (NFB). Originally from Trinidad, Jacob attended a teacher’s college there before travelling to Canada in 1968 to complete a Bachelor of Education at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. While in Edmonton, he was influenced and mentored by film producer, author and broadcaster Fil Fraser. After graduation, Jacob completed a master's degree in film studies at the USC School of Cinematic Arts.It was while teaching in Lac La Biche, Alberta in the late 1970s that Jacob had the idea for his first film: a documentary about black immigrants from Oklahoma who settled in Amber Valley, Alberta, which after several years of research was completed as We Remember Amber Valley (1984). Jacob has stated that at the time he was the only Afro-Canadian film director in the province of Alberta.DocumentaryAmber Valley, AlbertaTrinidad
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1985Different TimbresMcTair, Roger Roger McTair is a poet, short-story writer and filmmaker. In the 1980s and 90s he made a number of films in collaboration with Claire Prieto which were screened at film festivals in Canada and the US including Vues d'Afrique, Atlanta Third World Film Festical and the Chicago International Film Festival. He is a founding member of the Black Film and Video Network; Black Filmmakers Fdn, NY: Factory Theatre. He has been awarded the Award of Merit, Cirty of Toronto, 1993.A documentary made about steel drum production, education, performance and cultural influence in Ontario in the 1970s and 1980s. The film follows the stories of men and women who work with steel drums in various capacities, including a steel drum tuner, university and primary school students performing on steel drums, as well as two steel drum orchestras.

DocumentaryOntarioA documentary made about steel drum production, education, performance and cultural influence in Ontario in the 1970s and 1980s.Roger McTair, Claire PrietoArchives of Ontario. 1 centimetre of textual records 1 film reel (14 minutes) 1 audio reel (14 minutes)Who's Who in Black Canada, Archives of Ontario
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1985Black Perspectives: Sharing CultureRegent Park Video WorkshopBlack culture: music, poetry, the expression of a people, is alive and strong in Regent Park, through the work of Black Perspectives, a music/poetry/visual arts group. In this tape the members of Black Perspectives perform their music & poetry at the Bamboo Club, and later talk about their work in the context of racism, poverty, and community experience. Featuring performing groups People of Promise & Mystique, and the music of gay activist Faith Nolan.16VTapeVTape
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1985You Can't Keep Us DownRegent Park Video WorkshopAs cutbacks in social services increase, single mothers are among the hardest hit. The Regent Park Sole Support Mothers' Group formed several years ago to fight these cutbacks and to provide a support group for low-income single mothers. This video shows "the moms" organizing and working together: at meetings, community events and discussing welfare issues, the women's movement, their daily lives. With the music of Arlene Mantle.23VTapeVTape
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1986South Africa is Not So Far AwayHarris, Malcolm and Michael Connolly27Shot in Toronto on the weekend of a mass demonstration against South African apartheid (June 1, 1986), this documentary examines the views of African Canadians. On-the-street interviews focus on their relationship to black South Africans, the involvement of Canada in supporting apartheid, and what Canadians must do to put a stop to it.DocumentaryTorontoApartheid, South Africa, activism, demonstrationVTape
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1986Literacy NowRegent Park Video WorkshopIn Toronto, one out of four people are functionally illiterate. Most are from low-income backgrounds. Literacy is more than ABC's; it's being able to travel the subway, fill out a job application, fight an unfair contract. Interviews with parents, school children, literacy workers and students underline this fact, and touch upon the school system, governments, and racism as aspects of the literacy issue.27VTapeVTape
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1987From Nevis ToBrowne, Christenesee above7:00From Nevis To is a seven-minute docu-drama that deals with Juliet Jones, a new arrival to Canada. From her arrival to the airport to her ride to the hotel room, many thoughts about her past, present and her future surround her. She tells of what her life was like in her home country, Nevis in the West Indies, what she had heard about her new country, and the family and lifestyle that she leaves behind. We hear her thoughts in voice over and we see her coming up against and interacting with her new environment, which bears little resemblance to her real home.DocumentaryB/wCanadaSt. Kitts, TorontoImmigration, Nevis, Caribbean, West Indies, Black WomenCFMDCchristenebrowne.com, CFMDC
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1987Chains That Bind Us All: Oliver Tambo in Canada, TheHarris, Malcolm and Michael Connolly25The Chains That Bind Us All is a record of the August 29th rally held for Tambo in front of the Ontario legislature in Toronto. Speaking in support of the ANC from the platform are Native leader Dennis Chromarty, Anglican Archbishop Ted Scott and other anti-apartheid activists. Oliver Tambo pleads for economic sanctions and explains the ANC's decision to take up arms against apartheid. Speeches from the platform and interviews on the grounds emphasize the complicity of Canadian corporations and the urgent need for Canadians to take action against racism.DocumentaryTorontoOliver Tambo, South Africa, racism, Ontario legislatureVTape
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1987Crying ShameKaruna, PeterPeter Karuna is a visual artist with North African, and West and South Asian roots, who was raised in the U.K. and is now based in Hamilton, Ontario. He works with photography, video, sculpture and installation. He has a B.A. in Fine Art and Sociology from University of Guelph and a teaching degree from Brock University. He has taught at the Native Indian and Inuit Photographers Association, Burlington Art Centre, and Hamilton-area schools. He is a teacher at the Dundas Valley School of Art, where he has been teaching for more than twenty years. Karuna has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions, screenings and festivals across Canada, as well as in Cuba, Scotland, the U.S. and Hungary. He has been a resident video artist at The Banff Centre, and Video In, Vancouver, BC., and a visiting artist at educational institutions and galleries in Ontario and UC Davis, California. Karuna is a recipient of a number of production grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council. His work can be found in collections at the National Gallery of Canada, the Organization of Saskatchewan Art Councils, the Alberta College of Art, Queens University, the Mendel Gallery, and Trinity Square Video, Toronto, as well as in private collections.7:30A provocative video that challenges our position in relation to perceptions of masculinity.Sexism, masculinityVTape Artist Index
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1987Home to BuxtonMcTair, Roger; co-directorsee abovesee "Prieto, Claire"DocumentaryBuxton, OntarioHistory of first Black settlement in CanadaClaire Prieto, Roger McTair, Noelle RichardsonArchives of Ontario. 15 centimetres of textual records 37 film reels (14 hours, 40 minutes) 23 audio reels (ca. 9 hours, 7 minutes) 6 audio cassettes (ca. 6 hours)Who's Who in Black Canada, Archives of Ontario
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1987Home to Buxton Prieto, Claire; co-directorsee aboveSeries consists of records relating to and created in the production of the film Home to Buxton, a documentary film about the town of Buxton, Ontario, in Elgin County. The film was produced and directed by Claire Prieto, written and directed by Roger McTair, narrated by Noelle Richardson, and was shot on location in and around Buxton. The film explores the history of Buxton as the first black settlement in Canada in the 19th century, as well as the town's 62nd annual homecoming weekend in 1986. The film includes interviews with Buxton residents about family history, town history, farming, and the community. Visitors to the 1986 homecoming weekend are also interviewed. The film focuses on the early settlement, its history and importance, as well as the changes that have taken place in Buxton, particularly as they relate to farming. (from Ministry of Ontario Govt website) The series also consists of records pertaining to the creation of the film, including out-takes film footage and audio of interviews that were not included in the final production. Also included are textual records include scripts, funding applications, research articles, investor agreements, and publicity records relating to the production and distribution of the film.DocumentaryBuxton, OntarioHistory of first Black settlement in CanadaClaire Prieto, Roger McTair, Noelle RichardsonArchives of Ontario Descriptive Database 15 centimetres of textual records 37 film reels (14 hours, 40 minutes) 23 audio reels (ca. 9 hours, 7 minutes) 6 audio cassettes (ca. 6 hours)Who's Who in Black Canada, Archives of Ontario
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1987It Ain't What You ThinkRegent Park Video Workshop28VTapeVTape
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1989Black Mother Black DaughterHamilton, Sylvia; co-directorSylvia D. Hamilton is a multi awarding Nova Scotian filmmaker and writer who is known for her documentary films as well as her publications, public presentations and extensive volunteer work with artistic, social and cultural organizations on the local and national levels. She was born in Beechville, Nova Scotia, a community founded by the Black Refugees from the War of 1812. She has a BA from Acadia University, an MA from Dalhousie University and has been awarded three honourary degrees in recognition of her work. From 2001- 2004 she held Nancy’s Chair in Women’s Studies at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax. She has taught at Acadia University and given lectures at the University of New Brunswick, Memorial, Queens, York and Simon Fraser universities, and at Middlebury College in Vermont, and the University of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica.29Black Mother Black Daughter explores the lives and experiences of black women in Nova Scotia, their contributions to the home, the church and the community and the strengths they pass on to their daughters.VideorecordingMontrealBeechville, NSAfrican origins, Atlantic Region, HistoryNFBNational Film Board Kathleen Shannon Documentary Award, Yorkton Short Film and Video Festival (1990), 1994 Golden Sheaf AwardWho's Who in Black Canada, The History of Blacks in Canada, NFB
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1989The Saint from North Battleford Jacob, Selwynsee above
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1989D-E-S-I-R-ELawrence, GlaceGlace Lawrence has worked as a programmer, director and producer in Toronto's independent film and video scene for the past ten years, recently relocated to Vancouver drawn by the growing film industry here. Glace's experience with and commitment to producing and promoting cross-cultural media initiatives strongly complements our production concerns, notes Cari Green, Nimpkish Wind co-producer. The company specializes in documentaries told from a First Nations perspective, directed and co-produced by Barb Cranmer of the Namgis Nation. Lawrence's accomplishments include co-ordinating Canadian Film Centre programs for First Nations and people of colour. Following an internship on David Cronenberg's Crash, Lawrence was accepted into the 1997 CFC Producers' Lab. While there, she began developing the feature film Jimmy Luvs Sherri with sister writer/director team Rosemary and Selina Williams. The project has since obtained Telefilm development financing. This September, Lawrence received a Reel Black Award from the Black Film & Video Network for her documentary Coming To Voice. T'lina: The Rendering of Wealth, Nimpkish Wind's latest feature documentary, will make its national broadcast debut December 1st, 9 pm (ET/PT) on VISION TV. T'lina played to a sold-out house at its world premiere at the 1999 Vancouver International Film Festival. It will also screen at the American Indian Film Festival, November 15th, in San Francisco. Nimpkish Wind has garnered three AIFF Best Documentary awards in recent years.3:30D-E-S-I-R-E focuses on fashion magazines in addressing the issue of female body image for young black women.Black female body imageVTape Artist Index
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1989Older, Stronger, Wiser Prieto, Clairesee aboveWho's Who in Black Canada, Archives of Ontario
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1989Black Mother Black DaughterPrieto, Claire; co-directorsee aboveTestament to Black women of Nova ScotiaVideorecordingMontrealNational Film Board of Canada (Atlantic Branch)1994 Golden Sheaf Award.Who's Who in Black Canada, Archives of Ontario
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1990No ChoiceBrowne, Christenesee above5:00No Choice is a short documentary that deals with the abortion issue and how it relates to women living in poverty. Five women, ranging in age from twenty to forty-five, speak about the lack of choice available to poor people and how, because of their poverty, their reproductive capabilities are often controlled by extraneous factors. Part of "Five Feminist MinutesDocumentary16mmCanadaSt. Kitts, Torontowork by women, sexuality, familyTIFFCFMDCchristenebrowne.com, CFMDC
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1990Another Love Story: Women and AIDSDouglas, Debbie and Gabrielle MicallefDebbie Douglas is the Executive Director of OCASI -the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants, the province-wide network for agencies working with immigrants and refugees. A well-known face in Ontario and across the country, Ms. Douglas champions the issues of women, immigrants, refugees and racialized communities with a particular focus on equity and inclusion particularly the intersections of race, gender, class, sexual orientation and accessibility among other issues. Ms. Douglas has had a long history of work in community, non-profit organizations and public institution policy development; and in social change movements. She began her career working with young marginalized women through YWCA Toronto and soon became active in the violence against women movement including as the Director of Shirley Samaroo House, Ontario’s first abused women’s shelter for immigrant women. She was co-founder and producer/writer of I-Sis Productions a film, video and consulting company committed to producing progressive educational materials including the award winning productions AnOther Love Story: Women and Aids and Tama Ba, Tama Na: Enough is Enough a film on immigrant women and partner violence.AnOther Love Story was produced to dispel the myths around HIV & AIDS for women in general, lesbians in particular. The video illustrates how relationships are affected when one or both partners must begin to grapple with the possiblity of HIV infection. It also educates women on safer sex practices in an entertaining, non-threatening way.
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1990Al TasminJacob, Selwynsee aboveAl Tasmin documents the story of Edmonton's Muslim community as they struggle to preserve an, restore the Al Rashid Mosque. Inshallah at Edmonton Chapter will again try to have premiere showing of another documentary.TIFF
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1990Maigre DogJames, DonnaDonna James was born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1960. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and undertook graduate studies in Architecture at the University of Calgary. Her art practice has evolved from text-based photography to video and most recently film/video installation. From using photography as objective portraiture and a means to challenge preconceived notions of black women, her work has evolved to a more personal exploration of storytelling, oral history and the imprint of memory in the construction of self. Her work benefits from story telling, commemoration and familial histories. She finds the inquiry into memory important to the politics of representation, particularly for people of colour whose representation has often been dictated by others. Her work often focuses on reconciling loss through personal exploration, and a re-examination of story telling and oral history using interviews as a dialectic tool. Solo photography exhibitions have taken place at A Space (Toronto) and Mount Saint Vincent University Art Gallery (Halifax). Group exhibitions include film/video festivals in Grenoble, France, Accra, Ghana, Chicago, U.S.A. where she won 2nd runner up in the video competition at the 4th Annual African-American Women’s Conference of the Arts. Her work was featured in the international touring video exhibition, Magnetic North: Canadian Experimental Video that resulted in a book of the same name. Her work is also featured in the book, The Skin of the Film: Intercultural Cinema, Embodiment, and the Senses by Laura U. Marks. Her videos are in the permanent collection of the National Gallery of Canada, the Canada Council Art Bank, and the Ottawa Art Gallery among others. Donna also worked for a number of years managing the Broadcasting, Film and Audio/Visual funding program at the Department of Canadian Heritage (1992-1997). She currently lives and works in Ottawa and spends summers in Nova Scotia.7:50African Women In Film And Video (AWIFAV)“Regeneration" 13 October - 25 November Kingston: Agnes Etherington Art Centre, 1990Conley, Christine. Regeneration, 1990, pp. 27-33 Lawrence, Glace W. big hip: Women Behind the Camera The Word, Apr. 13, 1995, p. 9english/patoisVTape Artist Index
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1990Aid To Artists Karuna, Petersee above2:30A conceptual and ironic video dealing with corporate sponsorship.corporate sponsorshipVTape Artist Index
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1990Grey on This Side Black on the OtherMoxam, WinstonMoxam was born in England to Jamaican parents and came with his family to Winnipeg in 1971. With a career that spanned from the late 1980s to his sudden, early death in 2011, Moxam was something of an indie spirit, even among indies. While many young local filmmakers were exploring the stylized and the sensational, Moxam tended toward the sincere, straight-up treatment of everyday subjects. Working in the tradition of humanist realism, he passionately addressed issues like poverty, homelessness, racism and social justice.30Since retitled When I Grow Too Old to Dream – this film explicitly takes up the issue of racism in Canada. In a voiceover that introduces the film, Moxam describes the tragic circumstances of a black woman, Marlene Gardner, who has just been sentenced to death by the Supreme Court of Canada for murdering her husband (which, the voiceover informs us, was an act of self-defence). He stresses how the judgment of the court is based on racial prejudice, and he goes on to note how the family itself is torn apart by the effects of racism in Canada. After a series of shots representing the social discrimination against blacks drawn from the archives and television news, the film shifts into a claustrophobic study of the breakdown of communication between Marlene’s sister and her mother regarding Marlene’s innocence. Caught in her own cycle of prejudice masked as traditional family values, Marlene’s mother refuses to acknowledge the reality of domestic abuse against women.Gillmor, Alison. "No Man Can Define Me: The Films of Winston Washington Moxam"
CBC. February 1, 2013
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1991New Music Video 1991: Unnatural CausesAllen, LillianLillian Allen is a writer who moves easily from one artistic discipline to another, emerging with new work transformed and transforming. Allen moved from Spanish Town, Jamaica, to North America in 1969. She studied at the City University of New York, and has a B.A. from York University in Toronto. She is a leading exponent of dub poetry, a highly politicized form of poetry that has been set to music, including jazz, reggae, rock, and more. She has spent over a decade writing, publishing, and performing her work in Canada, the U.S. and England. Lillian is known internationally as a pioneer of dub-poetry, and as a ground breaker for women in the field. Her first album of poetry with music, Revolutionary Tea Party (1986), was proclaimed a Landmark Album of The Past 20 Years by Ms. Magazine in 1991. She won a Juno award for that album and a second in 1988 for Conditions Critical. (We Shall Take Our) Freedom & Dance, her third album, was released in 1999 by Vancouver's Festival Records. Lillian has published 2 books of poetry, Rhythm An' Hardtimes(1983), and more recently, Women Do This Everyday (Women's Press, 1994). Her work for young people includes three books: Why Me, Nothing But A Hero (for which she also released a recording) and If You See Truth. As a playwright she has produced One Bedroom With Dignity (1987), Love & Other Strange Things (1991 and 1993), and the radio play Marketplace(1995). Her creativity also extends to film, as co-producer and co-director of Blak Wi Blakk..., a documentary on Jamaican dub poet Mutabaruka. Beyond writing, Lillian is a recognized authority and activist on issues of diversity in culture, cross cultural learning, and the arts in education. She has been consulted by and prepared major reports on these issues for Canadian organizations ranging from the Ministry of Citizenship & Culture, to the National Film Board. Her lectures and performance have taken her as far as Jamaica and Switzerland. Allen has also been Writer in Residence at Canada's University of Windsor.28A new music video sampler by Toronto based independent groups and solo performers. The five tapes in this compilation apply contemporary pop music forms such as rap, dub poetry and hip-hop to issues of race relations, homelessness, and feminism. New Music Video features: Devon (Metro Man), Lillian Allen (Unnatural Causes), Heretics (Big Surprise), Clifton Joseph (Pimps) and Pooh Kaye (Funny House).Music VideoTorontorap, dub poetry, hip hop
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1991Sisters in the StruggleBrand, Dionne and Ginny StikemanDionne Brand is a renowned poet, novelist, and essayist. Her writing is notable for the beauty of its language, and for its intense engagement with issues of social justice, including particularly issues of gender and race. Dionne Brand became prominent first as an award-winning poet, winning the Governor General's Literary Award for her volume Land to Light On, and nominated for the volumes No Language Is Neutral and Inventory respectively. Dionne Brand has published eighteen books, contributed to seventeen anthologies, written dozens of essays and articles, and made four documentary films for the National Film Board. She was recently a Distinguished Visiting Professor at St. Lawrence University in New York and has taught literature and creative writing at universities in both British Columbia and Ontario. She has also held the Ruth Wynn Woodward Chair in Women�s Studies at Simon Fraser University. She lives in Toronto and presently holds a University Research Chair at the University of Guelph where she is a professor.49This documentary features Black women active in politics as well as community, labour and feminist organizing. They share their insights and personal testimonies on the double legacy of racism and sexism, linking their personal struggles with the ongoing battle to end systemic discrimination and violence against women and people of colour.DocumentaryNationalTrinidadDiscrimination, stereotypes, Black women, activism, social changePRODUCER Ginny Stikeman. EXECUTIVE PRODUCER Rina Fraticelli, Ginny Stikeman. CINEMATOGRAPHY Joan Hutton, Moira Simpson, Zoe Dirse, Susan Trow. SOUND
Diane Carrière. EDITING Margaret Wong. SOUND EDITING Danuta Klis. MUSIC Faith Nolan.
NFB
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1991Brothers In MusicBrowne, ChristeneChristene Browne (born 1965 in Saint Kitts) is the first black woman to write, produce and direct a feature film in Canada. Born in St. Kitts in the Caribbean, she spent her formative years in Regent Park, and participated and then led the Regent Park Video workshop project. She attended the film program at Ryerson Polytechnic Institute. After leaving Ryerson, she worked for a small film company before starting her own production company, Syncopated Productions in 1990. Her first two films, Brothers in Music and No Choices (a segment of movie Five Feminist Minutes), debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival in 1991 and launched Browne’s film career, tackling topics such as poverty and abortion. Browne's first novel, Two Women, a cautionary tale about two women who share the same soul, was released in 2013.25John T. Davis (pianist/organist/vocalist) and Jim Heineman (saxophonist) are two Canadian jazzmen who have had to wage the war between the compulsion and the passion that they feel towards their music and the struggle that is involved with trying to make a living in the field of jazz music in Canada. John T. Davis is a Black musician from a poor rural environment. Jim Heineman is a white musician from a white middle-class urban environment. Brothers in Music begins by exploring the personalities, experiences and inspirations of these two very talented and different musicians and then moves on to examine the heart warming, brotherly relationship shared by these two musicians who have played together for over two decades. Through the musicians' words and original music Brothers in Music provides a rare and special look at the jazz scene in Canada.Documentary16mmCanadaSt. Kitts, TorontoJazz, Canadian Jazz, John T. DavisTIFFCFMDC 1991 Best Documentary Under 30 Minutes, Yorkton Short Film Festival.christenebrowne.com, CFMDC
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1991Carol's MirrorJacob, Selwynsee above
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1991Colour Of Immunity, The Toronto:Living with AIDS projectLawrence, Glace and Black CAPsee above22The Colour Of Immunity is a non-traditional educational video geared to Black youth to explore issues of AIDS awareness in the community as well as safe sex practices. The video combines people on the street interviews with dramatized sequences.The negotiation of safer sex creates a culturally sensitive atmosphere to encourage dialogue about AIDS. Music is a common thread throughout the piece.EducationalAIDS in the Black communityBlack CAPHezekiah, Gabrielle. “Don't Go to Dat Place and Fool Around Like Rich Girls:: Black Canadian Women Filmmakers and Video Artists” Cineaction, Fall 1993, no. 32, pp. 68-75VTape Artist Index
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1991Jennifer Hodge: The Glory and the PainMcTair, Rogersee aboveA documentary about the life and death of Jennifer Hodge da Silva, a Canadian filmmaker. Hodge created films that focused on the stories of Black Canadians, their cultures, experiences and narratives, including Home Feeling: Struggle for a Community, Fields of Endless Day, and Inside Stories. The film includes interviews with her family and friends, a celebration of her life at her family's home, and Hodge's memorial service, at which performer Jimmy Helms was the master of ceremonies. Series also includes interviews with friends, family members, and notable members of the Black community, as well as audio recordings of her memorial service, and various stages of production of the film, including a release print, soundtrack and A, B and C rolls. The film was directed by Roger McTair and produced by Claire Prieto. Also included are photographs that depict images from Hodge's memorial service.DocumentaryBetacam SPJennifer Hodge, Black Canadians, memorial1992 Cinematheque Ontario film festivalRoger McTair, director; Claire Prieto, producer.Archives of Ontario. 1 centimetre of textual records 9 film reels (4 hours) 1 videocassette (28 minutes) : Betacam SP 3 audio cassettes (4 hours, 30 minutes) 26 audio reels (6 hours, 2 minutes) 73 photographs : black and white prints, press book; articlesWho's Who in Black Canada, Archives of Ontario
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1992BloodBailey, Busejesee above6:00This tape deals with a personal, intense view of self - race and representation. A sense of personally touching the sexual self, of representing one's sexuality. It is a reaction to the exploitation of Black Women's sexuality in history and contemporary media imaging. This is a metaphor for rage.The exploitation of Black Women's sexuality in history and contemporary media imagingVTape Artist Index
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1992Women of Strength, Women of BeautyBailey, Busejesee above16:30The issue here is "Black Women" and the beauty industry; and women in general as objects. Beauty is not what we are, it is what we are sold. Beauty is a commodity. Black Women are further taught that no matter how hard they try they can never buy into this market, because to be black is not to be beautiful. The women in the tape share their experiences in trying to be beautiful.Anti-Black beauty industry, racism, sexism. VTape Artist Index
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1992T.V. TangoChartrand, MartineIn 1992, Martine Chartrand directed the international award-winning short T.V. Tango, her first animated film, for the NFB. In 1994, she received a grant from the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and from the Canada Council for the Arts enabling her to study in Russia under Alexander Petrov, a master of paint-on-glass animation. During her stay, she helped Petrov prepare and translate his film proposal for the animation project The Old Man and the Sea, which was subsequently directed and animated in Montreal by Petrov and produced by Productions Pascal Blais. Once back in Canada, she was involved in the film’s development. In 2000, her second NFB animated film, Black Soul, was painted on glass directly under the camera. In it, Martine Chartrand uses images and music to create a sweeping portrait of black history. The film has won 23 awards, including the prestigious Golden Bear for best short film at the 2001 Berlin International Film Festival and the 2002 Jutra Award for best animated film. This success led Chartrand to travel to South Korea, Italy, Cuba, Brazil, the United States and within Canada to give lectures, hold master classes and lead paint-on-glass workshops. With MacPherson she followed in the footsteps of Black Soul, pursuing the themes of turning points in history and musical diversity, and employing techniques that have produced a film bursting with poetry and dancing to music from two different worlds. The film won several international awards including the Best Short Film Award and the Public Award for the Best Canadian Short Film at the Montreal World Film Festival 2012. 3:00Four children who have picked up all sorts of annoying behavior from watching television decide instead to create their own games. This animated film for five- to eight-year-olds is intended to awaken children's critical sense regarding the media messages aimed at them. (Film without words).Visual ArtMontrealMedia messaging, childrenNational Film BoardNFBNFBInternational award winningNFB, martine chartrand.net
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1992My Father Was An EnglishmanKaruna, Petersee above15"A personal tribute to my father, who endured the indignities of British colonialism and racism in Sri Lanka, and later in Britain. His story is linked to my own experience in Canada, and to the 'Mister Johnson' stereotype of the colonised African." -P.K.Anti-Black racism; colonialismGordon, Jane. “My Father Was An Englishman.” Fuse, 1992, v. 16, no. 1.VTape Artist Index
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1993Blakk wi Blak..k..kAllen, Lillian and Giovanni Samprognasee above60"The bridge built in 'Blakk wi Blak...k...k' takes its audience back and forth between Jamaica and Toronto in a rapid-fire commute that soon blurs the two places into one. At the centre of this swirl is world renowned dub poet Mutabaruka, possessed of one of the most trenchant tongues in Jamaica. In this fast-paced portrait co-directed by Canadian poet Lillian Allen, he brings his wit and sharp intelligence to some of his favourite subjects-tourism, Marcus Garvey, true Rastafari, and fast food as chemical warfare. Both in performance and interview, his liberation lessons, comic asides and dubwise Rastafarian philosophy cut hard to the bone." - Cameron Bailey, Festival of Festivals.Toronto, Jamaicadub poetry, Mutabaruka, JamaicaJamaican PatoisVTape
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1993Long Time Comin'Brand, Dionnesee above52There is a cultural revolution going on in Canada and Faith Nolan and Grace Channer are on the leading edge. These two African-Canadian lesbian artists give back to art its most urgent meanings--commitment and passion. Grace Channer's large and sensuous canvasses and musician Faith Nolan's gritty and joyous blues propel this documentary into the spheres of poetry and dance. Long Time Comin' captures their work, their urgency, and their friendship in intimate conversations with both artists.DocumentaryPRODUCER Nicole Hubert. EXECUTIVE PRODUCER Ginny Stikeman. CINEMATOGRAPHY Zoe Dirse. SOUND Diane Carrière. EDITING Miume Jan. SOUND EDITING Jackie Newell. RE-RECORDING Jean-Pierre Joutel Serge Boivin. MUSIC Faith Nolan.NFB
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1993the landscape within Bruno, WendellBorn in Trinidad and Tobago, raised in Ottawa since the age of eight, Wendell has a unique perspective on which to view the complexities of the outsider in society. In 1994, he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Concordia University in Montreal. his major was film production and film studies.
Films include: Media Blackmale 1991 - Moving from Mapplethorpe's gaze that objectified the body, to the perspective of the subject, this video challenges media stereotypes of Black masculinity, the body as form and the Black man as object. -Premiere Mondial catalogue. The Landscape Within 1992 - This Daliesque liquid film proposes to examine our notions of colour, gender, good and evil. - Premiere Mondial catalogue. I and I Outlook 1993 - This film explores the sometimes problematic nature of black communal dynamics, specifically those of fathers and sons. In 1994, Wendell moved to Toronto and started working in the film industry in the scenic arts department. By the start of 1995, he had secured a grant from the Ontario Arts Council to complete a project on Shafiq, a spoken words poet. The title: The Irregular Black Star. Though the shooting went quickly, the post-production took a laborious two years. It was early 1998 before the project was complete. With the completion of his latest work, Wendell has entered a new and vital phase of his artistic development and is presently working on several short film projects.
8This Daliesque liquid film proposes to examine our notions of colour, gender, good and evil.Trinidad and Tobago
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1993Speak It: From the Heart of Black Nova ScotiaHamilton, Sylviasee above28In their predominantly white high school in Halifax, a group of black students face daily reminders of racism, ranging from abuse (racist graffiti on washroom walls), to exclusion (the omission of black history from textbooks). They work to establish a Cultural Awareness Youth Group, a vehicle for building pride and self-esteem through educational and cultural programs. With help from mentors, they discover the richness of their heritage and learn some of the ways they can begin to effect change. The film puts the voices of black youths front and center while exploring the failures of the education system. A group of black students who attend a predominantly white high school in Halifax share their perspectives and discuss various coping strategies for dealing with their daily experiences of racism. Eventually, they build a space beyond the classroom to find affirmation and empowerment.HalifaxBeechville, NSNova Scotia, Halifax, Atlantic Region, racism, stereotyping, discrimination, teenagers, youth, social changeEXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Marilyn A. Belec PRODUCER: Mike Mahoney CINEMATOGRAPHY: Mike Mahoney SCRIPT: Bob Lower, Sylvia Hamilton SOUND: Jane Porter SOUND EDITING: Jane Porter EDITING: Angela Baker RE-RECORDING: Michel Descombes, Luc Boudrias NARRATOR: Shingai Nyajeka MUSIC: Lucky Campbell, Wayne Hamilton, Glen Grant, Jeremiah SparksNFB1994 Gemini Award, Rex Tasker Award for Best Atlantic Canadian Documentary (Speak It! From the Heart of Black Nova Scotia), Atlantic Film Festival (1993), 1994 NHK Japa Broadcasting Maeda Prize.Who's Who in Black Canada, The History of Blacks in Canada, 7 African-Canadian female filmmakers you need to know, the Canadian Encyclopedia
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1993Work To LiveJames, Donnasee above1:00VTape Artist Index
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1993Missing CultureKaruna, Petersee above20:48I thought it would be simple to inventory all the ways in which I am "culturally" different from the "main stream" and arrive at a straightforward description of myself as a kind of cultural vessel. I would cross-reference this description by sampling the impressions others had of me - including those of my Southern Ontario- raised daughters - compare myself to others with the same, or similar, genetic backgrounds, fire off a few letters to yet-to-be-met relatives, and zero in on my "true culture". With further analysis, it became obvious that distinct, pure cultures were fictions and that the term "culture" itself was rather ambiguous. Cultures are always mediated by some ideological filter, some stance. They are so easily repackaged and fed back to us through that filter. How hard will we struggle to conform to our new image?Black identity; cultural identity; Canadian identity Bailey, Cameron. “Desh Pardesh digs deep into diaspora” Now, Apr. 28, 1994, v. 13, no. 35, p. 45VTape Artist Index
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1993The BarbequeMoxam, Winstonsee above40A satirical "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner" approach to polite multicultural Canada. A young African-Canadian woman meets her boyfriend's family and friends for the first time. While everyone at the gathering would undoubtedly declare--like the boyfriend's mom-- that they "don't have a prejudiced bone in [their] body," they all project their racial assumptions onto the girl, in ways both unsettling and comic.
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1993SkinnedOdhiambo, David and Jennifer Abbott5:5The myths of the priapic Black stud and the White woman beauty ideal collide in this rhythmically constructed work about identity and desire. Skinned explores the specific historic, psychological and social implications of relationships between Black men and White women. Using their bodies as a point of juncture, the artists blatantly situate the viewer as voyeur while identifying this physical realm as the arena within which cultural communities and individuals oppose interracial relationships. Ultimately, the multiplicity of images and voices calls into question the validity of definitive truths and the authoritative voice.VTapeVTape
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1993Save My Lost Nigga SoulVirgo, ClementClement Virgo is one of Canada’s foremost film directors. In 2015 he directed and co-wrote a six part miniseries adaptation of Lawrence Hill’s The Book of Negroes which debuted to record-breaking numbers on the CBC in Canada and on BET in the U.S. and won twelve Canadian Screen Awards and was nominated for two U.S. Critics Choice Television Awards for Best Limited Series and Best Actress in a Limited Series (Aunjanue Ellis). Additional accolades include the 2015 Cablefax Award and C21 International Drama Award for Best Miniseries and four 2015 NAACP Image Award Nominations including Best Miniseries, Best Actor (Cuba Gooding Jr.), Best Actress (Ellis), and Best Writing (Virgo, Hill). His TV directing credits include American Crime (ABC), The Wire (HBO), and the entire first season of the OWN network drama series Greenleaf (2016), on which he is also serving as Executive Producer with Oprah Winfrey. Virgo’s feature films include the 2007 boxing drama Poor Boy’s Game (Berlin, TIFF, AFF Audience Award), Lie with Me (2005 – Berlin, TIFF, Pusan), and Love Come Down (2000 –Berlin, Toronto). Virgo’s first feature Rude premiered at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival in Un Certain Regard and went on to screen at numerous festivals around the world including Toronto, London and Sundance. Since 2010, Virgo has also presented a series of intimate annual talks to celebrate Black History Month in Toronto with such notable guests as Lee Daniels, Norman Jewison, Spike Lee, Pam Grier, John Singleton, and Chris Tucker.24Best Canadian Short winner at the 1993 Toronto International Film Festival, this intense, audacious early work from Clement Virgo — about three feuding brothers sharing an increasingly cramped apartment — altered the image of homegrown cinema and helped establish the Canadian Film Centre as a creative hotbed. Permeated by a distinctly un-stereotypical Canadian anger and frustration, Virgo's film outlines the tragedy of an artist reduced to observing rather than affecting change.Jamaica
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1994Them That's NotBrowne, Christenesee above54From the courts of Nova Scotia to the streets of Vancouver, Them That’s Not takes a critical look at Canada’s welfare system through the eyes of single women and single mothers and examines why they and others and joining together to fight for social change.The social assistance system in Canada is set up to give everyone who is eligible and in need the essential offoods, clothing, shelter and health care that are necessary to sustain life. There are no extras. For those living on social assistance, every day is a struggle living in poverty. And in Canada, most of those living in poverty are women: single women, and women with children. There are many reasons why women end up on social assistance. Some are unable to work because of health problems or family responsibilities. Some don’t have the skills and training they need to get a job. Others mange to find a job at minimum wage but it’s impossible to support a family and make ends meet. Whatever the circumstance, the vast majority of women on welfare discover that the strict and often punitive rules and regulations build into the social assistance system make it very difficult to become independent. Them That’s Not puts a face to the women in Canada who live on social assistance. It shows the courage and endurance of women who must cope daily with the many indignities of poverty.DocumentaryDVDVancouverSt. Kitts, TorontoFeminism, poverty, welfare, Black women, Native womenSyncopated Productions IncNFB Series on the Feminization of Poverty1995 Bronze Apple Award, National Education Film & Video Festival USA; Special Jury Prize, Yorkton Short Film and Video Festival.christenebrowne.com, CFMDC
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1994Media BlackmaleBruno, Wendellsee above5Moving from Mapplethorpe's gaze that objectified the body, to the perspective of the subject, this video challenges media stereotypes of Black masculinity, the body as form and the Black man as object.Trinidad and Tobago
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1994I and I OutlookBruno, Wendellsee above8Bruno's video explores interpersonal relationships, especially between father and son. The bonds that make up a family and the responsibility of the roles we play are examined. The black and white images are both striking and beautiful. Bruno's keen eye for texture and provocative use of sound gives the work a surreal quality. The video disturbs us at the same time it seduces us.Trinidad and Tobago
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1994Against the Tides (Hymn to Freedom Series)Hamilton, Sylviasee aboveBeechville, NSWho's Who in Black Canada, The History of Blacks in Canada
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1994Black On WhiteKaruna, Petersee above27Nothing is quite the same for George Smallwood, once his skin turns black. In Black On White, the public and private reactions to this new phenomenon are played out in the media as George's problem becomes everyone's. Parodies of commercials, sitcoms, talkshows and news reports underscore the tenacity with which whites desperately cling to notions of superiority.Racism; Anti-Blackness; White supremacyDouglass, Lesley. "This Is (Not) A Comedy: Black On White and the (De)Construction of the White Superiority Myth." Fuse, Summer 1995, v. 18, no. 4.VTape Artist Index
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1994Making ChangePhillips, ColinaProducer and Director, Colina Phillips, was born in Nova Scotia on Cape Breton Island. She grew up and attended school in Toronto. Phillips, a talented singer, who as a member of the group "Sway" was awarded a gold record for "Hands-Up" (on Virgin Records). Additionally, she has experience in all areas of the music industry, from songwriting, vocal arranging and producing, to directing music videos. Colina is a member of the Black Film and Video Network, has served on its Board of Directors and has organized the Network's annual reception to honour Black filmmakers, "Reel Black." She also developed and administered "Reel Black Cinema", a program of monthly screenings of films by Black directors. Phillips has also earned a gold record for the Canadian version of the hit single “Hands Up” as a member of the dynamic singing trio Sway. Other notable ventures nurtured by her creative abilities include her CD SVP Blue Mood, featuring her original compositions. Making Change is a short film without dialogue set to an original music score. It tells the story of a coal miner in the 1930's, who is an aspiring musician. He struggles with the need to provide for his family and also maintain his creativity and desire to compose his music. The conflict between his music and his job begins to take a toll on him, and he is pushed to making changes. Cape BretonCo-writer of the Proposed Revisions to the BFVN Constitution
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1994Siren SpiritsSolomon, Frances-AnneProlific producer and director Frances-Anne Solomon began her career with the BBC in England, working as a radio and television producer and script editor. She developed and produced several films in the UK on British-Trinidadian and Chinese communities before moving to Canada. In 2001, Solomon founded Caribbean Tales, a multi-platform charity that among other things hosts a film festival in Toronto, has an online streaming network of Caribbean films and an incubator program for emerging filmmakers from the Caribbean and its diaspora."Siren Spirits" is a feature comprising four short dramas directed by women of color, produced by Leda Serene for the British Film Institute and BBC Television.Trinidad & Tobago, UKBFIImdb
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1994SaarWilliams, SelinaBorn in Canada, Selina Williams is British and Jamaican. She studied film, directing, acting and dance at Simon Fraser University in Canada. Selina's short film, "Saar," screened at the Toronto International Film Festival, on CBC, BET and Lifetime. While working behind-the-scenes, David Nutter noted her acting skills and booked her several times on X-Files. Selina has written and/or story consulted for Prairie Dog Productions' ATPN/Showcase series, "Blackstone," "Mixed Blessings," and the Disney series "So Weird." Selina developed the feature film "Jimmy Luvs Sherri" from the Canadian Film Center, Telefilm Canada, and the National Screen Institute and New Line. With the supernatural thriller/sci-fi, The Windigo, Selina became a fellow in the USC Guy Hanks & Marvin Miller Screenwriting Program and wrote sci-fi Electric Blue Souldier. Selina developed Urban Action feature Watchdawgs with Platinum Studios, based on their comic book. Selina has also been an associate producer/writer for the BET, CBS prime-time reality pilot "American Fighter Pilot," and Slice's "X-Weighted."28Toronto International Film Festival, on CBC, BET and Lifetime
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1995Identity in IsolationBailey, Busejesee above16:00Through a unique combination of visual images the video plays with a certain vision of reality and illusion - histories and culture(s) and the ambiguities of a cultural or a national identity. The artist combines the work created - video and computer techno-applications to explore her aesthetics. She explores her connection to image(s) created outside of herself. Her question is how can she identify herself with everyone else's words, when she did not create the descriptives - language. Identity in Isolation occurs because some groups and/or individuals are labelled without regard to history, politics, economics, culture, etc. We come to believe in labels and to limit ourselves within the parameter of that imposed identity. Each set of geographical, political and sociological circumstances prescribe different labels. We have to struggle to mediate between what we know to be the self and the outward deluge of imposed descriptives.VTape Artist Index
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1995You've Got The KeyLawrence, Glacesee above30You've Got the Key video and guide have been designed to assist trainers in mediation and peer mediation in the critical examination of conflict mediation as a forum to address racial conflict. You've Got the Key is a video vignette of high school students involved in a conflict over the school prom. The prom committee, composed primarily of students of European heritage, has refused to consider the suggestions of racial minority students for different food and music. The conflict escalates until, moved by the possibility of headlines in the local newspaper, the principal requests that the disputants resolve the conflict with the help of the school peer mediators. The vignette closes with the peer mediators attempting to define the conflict and setting the stage for the mediation process to begin.EducationalA guide to mediation and peer mediation in the critical examination of conflict mediation as a forum to address racial conflict.VTape Artist Index
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1995Into the Heart of AfricaLovell, LanaLana Lovell’s most recent documentary Resilience: stories of single black mothers screened at film festivals including the Mid Atlantic Black Film Festival in Atlanta where the documentary made the documentary awards semi-finalist list. Other documentary titles include The Incomparable Jackie Richardson, made in 2008 for Bravo Television; it received accolades for its capture of musical performances, and Underground, the award winning short that premiered at Hot Docs in 2006. Lana has also directed several documentary series for Leda Serene Films. Lana began directing in earnest five years ago, after working as a researcher and producer in news and current affairs. She has a degree in anthropology from York University and studied Visual Anthropology at Manchester University. In addition to directing, Lana has been active in the documentary community as a board member for DOC Toronto for the last four years.24In 1990 a controversy erupted in Toronto around the Royal Ontario Museum's exhibit Into the Heart of Africa. Curated by anthropologist Jeanne Cannizzo, the exhibit sought to tell the story of Africa through the eyes of White Canadian missionaries and soldiers between the years 1875-1925. A group of Black community activists (The Coalition For The Truth About Africa), outraged at what they deemed to be the racism that pervaded the exhibit, demanded that Into the Heart of Africa be shut down. For months they picketed outside the doors of the ROM insisting that the museum listen to their concerns. The ROM refused to heed their calls. Eventually, a core group of these young activists, who later became known as the ROM 11, were arrested and charged as a result of their protest. In the end, one member of the group, 24 year old University of Toronto history student spent 3 months in jail. After the exhibit's Toronto run, Into the Heart of Africa was terminated. Influenced by the effectiveness of the Toronto protests, several museums across North America scheduled to host Into the Heart of Africa declined it. Ending the exhibit but not the controversy.DocumentaryTorontoVTape
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1995What My Mother Told MeSolomon, Frances-Annesee above57A young woman from England goes to Trinidad to bury her father. Reluctantly she agrees to meet her mother, whom she thinks abandoned her when she was a child. Her mother tells her stories that reveal her parents troubled and violent marriage and she is forced to face the truth. What My Mother Told Me is one of the few works produced by a Trinidadian woman that deals with the survival strategies of middle-class Caribbean women. Exquisitely beautiful and profoundly moving, it is a dramatic journey towards self-discovery.Trinidad & Tobago, UKImdb
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1995BideshiSolomon, Frances-Annesee above20Days before his death, a Bengali man has a prophetic dream about his journey towards enlightenment.Trinidad & Tobago, UKImdb
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1995RudeVirgo, Clementsee above89RUDE tracks the lives and struggles of three young urban dwellers during one Easter weekend. As the pirate radio disc jockey known as Rude broadcasts throughout a Toronto project, an artist named General arrives at the home of his wife Jessica after serving several years in jail for drug dealing. He’s there to reconcile with Jessica, who is now a police officer, and with the ten year-old son, Johnny,whom he didn’t help raise. Impeding his progress is General’s brother Reece, who covets his brother’s wife and still works for the neighbourhood’s racist white drug lord Yankee – who in turn wants General back in charge of the drug trade. Meanwhile, the young boxer Jordan reluctantly accompanies his fellow athletes on a testosterone-ruled gay-bashing spree, even though he is beginning to believe that he may be homosexual. As all of this is happening, the heart-broken window dresser Maxine face the dissolution of her relationship with her boyfriend after she has an abortion.TorontoJamaicaCannes Film FestivalConquering Lion PicturesOfficial Selection Cannes Film Festival (1995), Un Certain Regard
WINNER: Cannes Camera D’Or (1995)
WINNER: Best Canadian Film – Cinefest
WINNER: Best Canadian Film – Atlantic Film Festival
Honorable Mention, Best Canadian Film – Toronto International Film Festival
8 Genie Award Nominations (1995) for:
Best Motion Picture
Achievement in Cinematography
Achievement in Direction
Achievement in Editing
Achievement in Music
Achievement in Screenwriting
Best Supporting Actor
Best Supporting Actress
Nomination for Claude Jutra Award (1995)
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1995DandelionsWilkinson, DawnDawn Wilkinson is an award-winning director and screenwriter born in Montreal and raised in Toronto. She is an alumni of the 'Norman Jewison' Canadian Film Centre and a graduate of the University of Toronto. Her first feature film Devotion (2005) stars 'Jasmine Richards' Camp Rock (2008). Wilkinson combines comedy, fantasy and scathing social satire in her visually stylized short film Instant Dread (1998) which had its broadcast premier on CBC's Canadian Reflections. Like her mentor Norman Jewison (she was his apprentice on The Hurricane (1999)) Dawn Wilkinson is an actor's director who knows how to get the best performances out of her cast. Her short drama Girls Who Say Yes (2000) charts the complicated emotional journey between two young women whose friendship ends in a menage a trois. Girls Who Say Yes (2000) had its premiere at the Vancouver International Film Festival in 2000. Wilkinson wrote, directed and produced Devotion (2005) a coming of age story about eleven year old Alice Hope who struggles to deal with her mother's death and her father's alcoholism. The fictional film is based on her personal experiences growing up biracial in small town Ontario. Wilkinson explores the universal human themes of her specific ethnic experience by making visible the perspective and emotional journey of her characters. (Her mother is from Jewish Montreal and her father was born in Barbados, West Indies). Wilkinson's feature film script Love Child won Best Screenplay at the African American Women in Cinema Film Festival. Devotion (2005) won the the Star! Audience Award at Toronto's Reel World Film Festival in 2005 and Best Feature at the San Francisco Black Film Festival's Urban Kidz Program in 2005. In 2008, Wilkinson won the Director's Guild of Canada's Emerging Television Director Award from Women In Film and Television Toronto.5:30"Lyrical and full of mirth, this filmmaker wonders out loud in her first film: 'How do I make myself at home in a landscape made foreign to me?' Wilkinson looks at her self - black - and ponders in the white landscape called Canada how can she 'enjoy the flowers' as she cartwheels with great panache through fields of them. What kind of relationship to the land can she have in a place where she sees herself but where others constantly ask: Where are you from? Wilkinson's existence vis a vis the land seems to lie somewhere in between the extreme long shots and the close-ups that make up the film, giving at once the feelings of intimacy and estrangement." - Marian McMahonexperimental16mmAlbertaCFMDCCFMDC
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1996The Road TakenJacob, Selwynsee above52This 1996 documentary takes a nostalgic ride through history to present the experiences of Black sleeping-car porters who worked on Canada's railways from the early 1900s through the 1960s. There was a strong sense of pride among these men and they were well-respected by their community. Yet, harsh working conditions prevented them from being promoted to other railway jobs until finally, in 1955, porter Lee Williams took his fight to the union. Claiming discrimination under the Canada Fair Employment Act, the Blacks won their right to work in other areas. Interviews, archival footage and the music of noted jazz musician Joe Sealy (whose father was a porter) combine to portray a fascinating history that might otherwise have been forgotten.DocumentaryHuman Rights, Discrimination and Stereotyping, Work and Unemployment, Railways Historical Perspectives, Passenger Transportation, Historical Perspectives, African OriginsPRODUCERS Selwyn Jacob, Dale Phillips, Jerry Krepakevich. EXECUTIVE PRODUCER Dale Phillips, Graydon McCrea SCRIPT Frederick Ward. NARRATOR Frederick Ward CAMERA Charles Konowal Les Krizsan, SOUND Arthur McKay, Norman Dugas, George Novotny. EDITING Michel Lalonde
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1997Amazon Wide StyleDavis, Karma ClarkeKarma Clarke-Davis was born in 1970 in Trinidad and Tobago, has lived in Jamaica, Saskatchewan, and Montreal. Currently based in Toronto, she draws on her East Indian, African and Scottish heritage to create works which seek to blur boundaries (racial, sexual, cultural, psychological). Trained as a dancer and in drama, art and music, she graduated from Concordia University, Montreal, Canada, in Studio Art with a degree that included the study of painting, drawing, video, sculpture, installation and interrelated art. It is this past training that she draws on, as well as preoccupation with urban popular culture, to produce multi-layered mixed media works which explore her personal concerns with a dark, questing humour. She recently participated in Version City, an exhibition of Toronto artists in Buffalo at the University at Buffalo Art Gallery. She is also currently part of Pieces d'identite a program of young emerging artists programmed by V Tape Intern Stefan St-Laurent, that will be exhibited at the 12th Video Art Festival in Herouville, France. Karma Clarke Davis is a founding member and curator with Syndicate artist's collective.5:40An experimental work which uses the quick cut techniques of music video, Amazon Wide Style was produced for a Black History Month screening. Amazon Wide Style is a piece which subtly uses the structures of Black Culture, music, dance, graffiti, the jungle (urban and natural) and rhythmic language, in this case a prose poem that reflects somewhat humorously and indeed hopefully on the need to speak up and out for oneself as a means to overcome the obstacles and challenges that life throws you. Do not be daunted by those who tell you that you are too tall, too opinionated, too loud. The piece is a light-hearted, yet true to heart, meditation on the cultural cry to be proud of who you are. I had promised to be part of the presentation of a series of films on dance and then I severely fractured my ankle, this piece is the result.Trinidad and TobagoVTapeVTape
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1997On/Black/Stage/WomenMadiela, Ahdri ZhinaAhdri Zhina Mandiela is a Toronto-based dub poet, theatre producer, and artistic director. She has gained worldwide acclaim for her books, music recordings, film, theatre and dance productions. Mandiela is the founder and artistic director of "b current", a not-for-profit performance arts company in Toronto. In 2006 she was selected to write and direct a project for Winnie Mandela as part of the 50th anniversary of the South African Women's Liberation Movement.51Ahdri Zhina Mandiela's long-awaited documentary about Black Women theatre artists in Toronto was a labour of love, five years in the making. A dub poet, performer and director herself, Mandiela profiles nearly 30 women, including Alison Sealy-Smith, Djanet Sears, Tricia Williams, Jackie Richardson and Sharon Lewis. on/black/stage/women goes behind the scenes and celebrates some 30 years of contributions made by Black women to Toronto's vibrant theatre scene. The documentary also offers archival footage of live stage performances form works that include Dryland, Diaspora... in Dub and the lesbian themed Sistahs. As Mandiela writes, on/black/stage/women "is who we are /is what we've been doing /is how and why we do what we do /because black/stage/women we be."VTapeBranker, Saada. on/black/stage/women. The Word, Feb. 1998, pp. 12,24VTape Artist Index
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1997Jane and Finch Again!McTair, Roger see aboveA documentary film that revisits many of the subjects of Jennifer Hodge da Silva's 1983 documentary Home Feeling. Produced for Vision TV, Jane Finch Again! was written and directed by Roger McTair. The film explores how life has changed over the years for residents of the Jane Street and Finch Avenue area in Toronto, Ontario. The film explores issues of racism, police brutality, urban housing, and immigration.DocumentaryBetacamSP; VHS; DVDTorontoAnti-Black racism, Toronto, police brutality, urban housing, and immigration.Roger McTairArchives of Ontario. 16 centimetres of textual records 1 videocassette (47 minutes, 30 seconds) : VHS 1 videocassette (47 minutes, 30 seconds) : BetacamSP; promotional flyers, newspaper articles, and press releases.Vision TVWho's Who in Black Canada, Archives of Ontario
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1997The Planet of Junior BrownVirgo, Clementsee above91The Planet of Junior Brown was written by Virgo and Cameron Bailey as an adaptation of Virginia Hamilton's 1971 novel The Planet of Junior Brown. The film stars Martin Villafana as the titular Junior Brown, an overweight and schizophrenic child prodigy studying piano from music teacher Miss Peebs (Margot Kidder). The film's cast also includes Rainbow Sun Francks, Clark Johnson, Lynn Whitfield, Sarah Polley, Richard Chevolleau, Denis Akiyama and Dan Lett.Jamaica
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1998Revolution from the BeatAllen, Lilliansee above3:51Spoken word music videoMusic video
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1998Riddim & HardtimesAllen, Lilliansee above10Documentation on the work and performances of dub poet Lillian Allen from early in her career and on.DocumentaryToronto
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1998Quest For HistoryBailey, BusejeMy work is an attempt to explore and understand the diverse arguments and practices within the cultural politics of "difference." In past work I have exposed the nature of my 'being' and the nature of my practice in order to investigate and reconstruct myself in a tangible way -- historically, racially and sexually. The traditions and contemporary practices of artists of colour have been and continue to be excluded from the art hierarchies (though much tokenism and lip service has been paid to inclusion). The rhetoric of postmodern discourse and contemporary art practices have questioned the issue of exclusion and cultural appropriation. The awareness of this discourse by Third World Artists has resulted in the development of a dialogue. This dialogue has resulted in the beginning of a new art community where issues of 'exclusion', cultural appropriation, and visual representation are central. I am a Third World Artist living in an advanced industrial and cultural centre, in a society of privilege. I find myself in an ambiguous location and it is a very difficult place to be. How does rhetoric and this friction affect my political and artistic practice? How do I speak as an individual? Do I represent a mass unit? In this atmosphere how do I challenge myself to work without acceptance, and at the same time increase public understanding and appreciation of my art. These are the questions I am working with. My work "Body Politics" and my videos are an exploration of these issues.23:30The video Quest for history, is a quest for self knowledge. This presentation is a sampler of a much larger story which opens avenues for further research. It brings together personal stories, interviews, history, and memories. These fragments of interwoven conversations of aunts, uncles, sisters and cousins reveal their common link to two brothers who, in the 19th century, went in search of a transition from slave legacy to effectuate self-sufficiency. Through capturing the oral stories and weaving them together with her personal experience of life and travel the video expresses the tapestry of identity of one person and yet this work transfers to the viewer, a shared experience.VTape Artist Index
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1998The Irregular Black StarBruno, Wendellsee above12Spoken Word brings back poetry to its oral traditions and frees poetry and language from its conventions. Most often, it expresses the urban concerns of its artists. Contrary to Rap, a form of oral poetry composed according to rhythms in the music, Spoken Word is never dictated by it. Instead, it pushes the musicality of words in their own right. We will define Spoken Word by exploring Shafiq's lyrical use of language and physical expression in the context of his performance. Visual interpretation will support and give life to the themes inherent in his work. "Shafiq incorporates movement, linguistic nuances and voice manipulations into his poetry that makes his performance an event not to be missed." Jill Battson, Much Music/Virgin Records Word Up project.Trinidad and Tobago
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1998Master F there are people whoDavis, Karma Clarkesee above6Produced for a group or collective based exhibition entitled the "Sex Show", this is a dark, funky, experimental work that uses the banal and everyday, a walk to the corner store to explore certain underlying and painful questions of personal identity, loneliness and alienation. Ultimately, the piece is about empowerment. Although visibly and grotesquely "challenged" the protagonist, the artist herself, navigates the path she walks with confidence.Trinidad and TobagoVTapeVTape
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1998"Super"Davis, Karma Clarkesee above5Fantastical, Romantic, Humourous, Horrific. Originally conceived as a companion piece to Master F, for the Drug Show, Super is a work that mimics contemporary music videos in order to lull the viewer into a sense of recognition. The viewer is taken on a "trip", in this case induced by the female figure, the artist herself who seductively literally blows smoke (a Super Toke) into a young man's mouth. They move closer and closer together suspended in space and time, until the dream is dissolved by an act of revelation on her part. Is this betrayal or simply the true price of love?Trinidad and TobagoVTapeVTape
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1998TakenDavis, Karma Clarkesee above6:35Mixes sampled footage from a movie about Charles Manson and the Manson Family and bootleg footage of Pink Floyd to produce a very personal (based on my upbringing as an eastern child in the west) meditation on my name and my actions in life. Taken, uses these two contrasting media figures, one, Manson, an "artist" gone terribly wrong who traded on his culture's spiritual insecurity to achieve power and a super group stepping for the first time on Japanese soil at the start of their 70s Asian Tour. Both of their stories held for me much personal resonance. These were familiar childhood icons who used eastern culture to achieve power (Manson) or who used their otherness, Floyd, their western difference, to make money. Taken is a statement of my own lack of comfort with their and my own manipulation of people, situations or ideas for our own belief.Trinidad and TobagoVTapeVTape
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1998Corner BuddahDavis, Karma Clarkesee above10A stranger in your own land. A nomad in the urban landscape. Well known banalities, corners of concrete, the stern modernist grid of a sewer grate, an abstract swirl of iridescence- oil on a puddle, reexamined, re-envisioned.The images fade between a third-eye in the forehead of a Buddha like image and as such speak of the both an exterior and interior journey. Suspended for a moment in time like an image poem in the mind's eye, these everyday images are transformed digitally into hopeful shrines. Taken from the alternative pathways the artist sought in her disabled, literally broken state, Corner Buddha is a visual mantra of survival of the other, of finding beauty in the familiar, and overcoming the tediousness of the repeated voyage. Ultimately it speaks to the difficulty of living in a place which promised belonging but bred only familiarity. The androgynous figure sits projected into space, levitating and meditative recalling the never ending cycle of appropriation and immigration.Trinidad and TobagoVTapeVTape
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1998Dirty BootsDavis, Karma Clarkesee above3:35Trinidad and TobagoVTapeVTape
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1998Win, Place or ShowDouglas, StanSince the late 1980s, Douglas has created films, photographs, and installations that reexamine particular locations or past events. His works often take their points of departure in local settings, from which broader issues can be identified. Making frequent use of new as well as outdated technologies, Douglas appropriates existing Hollywood genres (including murder mysteries and the Western) and borrows from classic literary works (notably Samuel Beckett, Herman Melville, and Franz Kafka) to create ready-made contextual frameworks for his complex, thoroughly researched projects. Over the past decade, Douglas's work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at prominent institutions worldwide, including the Canadian Cultural Centre, Paris (2013), Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minnesota (2012), The Power Plant, Toronto (2011), Staatsgalerie Stuttgart and Württembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart (2007), The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (2005), kestnergesellschaft, Hanover (2004), and the Serpentine Gallery, London (2002). In 2012, Douglas received the prestigious Infinity Award from the International Center of Photography, New York.Donny and Bob, the two protagonists of Douglas's double-projection video installation, are caught in a perpetual loop. They engage in a rambling argument involving the news, radio, conspiracy theories and horse racing, which eventually degenerates into a physical fight. The action repeats approximately every six minutes, though with each repeat the film is re-edited by a computer. Using multiple camera angles, Douglas has created enough footage of the brief episode to ensure that the same combination of shots will only occur every 20,000 hours - or once in over two years. This structure has arisen in part from Douglas's interest in the playwright Samuel Beckett (1906-1989): 'I have used repetitious structures from certain musical forms, but much of the repetition derives from Beckett. Almost all of Beckett's plays have this kind of double structure where something happens at the beginning, and the same thing happens at the end - only differently, which I regard as a confrontation with the mechanical world. Something you cannot do with live performance, with humans, is to make them repeat themselves identically.David Zwirner Gallery New YorkTate Gallery
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1998the thickness of guidanceJames, Donnasee above4:07The tape explores the compelling notion that guidance is central principle and a determining element of life. That our choices, however small, all impact in a profound way the direction and outcome of our lives. One woman ruminates off camera on past events in her life and the dramatic cause and effect of her choices. A daughter interviews her mother about her courtship and wedding ceremony, which ended in tragedy. She recounts a childhood incident where she narrowly escaped a disaster. Images of lush greenery, gardens and the ocean are layered with text and underscored by the women's voices. Delving into these incidents in her younger life, the mother reveals a thread of synchronicity that runs through her life and articulates her belief in the rightness of one's own council and her belief in fate.VTape Artist Index
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1998Sando to Samantha aka the art of dikvelPhungula, Thulanie and Jack Lewis50"Sando to Samantha" is the true story of Sando Willemse, aka Samantha Fox, a black drag queen turned soldier in the South African Defence Force. And did she turn soldiers! Sando perfected the art of 'dikvel' - a real thick skinned queen who never let life's challenges get the better of him. Having survived, thrived and found a place in the army, Sando was tested for HIV without his permission. His HIV+ status was disclosed to his entire squad by the army command and he was summarily discharged. He turned to the road to survive, finding a new home and support from other drag queens working Cape Town's streets. He died of HIV related causes in 1996 aged 22 years. This docudrama is narrated by Sando and blends interview and drama to provide testimony to his courage and daring.DocudramaCape Towntranswoman, Drag Queen, South Africa, AIDS, HIV, armyAfrikaansVTape
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1998Peggy Su!Solomon, Frances-Annesee above92A romantic comedy set in a Chinese laundry in Liverpool in 1962. Like the character of Peggy, the film is a small gem and there is much more to it than meets the eye. The main character, Peggy (Pamela Oei) yearns for romance and wants to be married, these are the men she encounters. Oei makes a seemingly plain girl into an interesting, vital personality.Romantic ComedyLiverpoolTrinidad & Tobago, UKCaribbean Tales
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1998Instant DreadWilkinson, Dawnsee above13Kauri, a stylist at the Max ‘n’ Relax Salon, dreams of a spirit who gives her a magical shell pouch. Inside, she finds a secret ingredient for her new invention. Unexpectedly, the product gives everyone instant dreadlocks and Kauri is faced with the charge of selling out her culture.Caribbean Tales Worldwide DistributionCaribbean Tales Worldwide Distribution
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1998Echoes in the Rink: The Willie O'Ree StoryWilliams, ErrolErrol Williams was a pioneer filmmaker who was introduced to filmmaking at the New Brunswick Film Co-op in the late 1980’s. His dramatic and documentary films were screened at festivals around the world. He had a particular gift for documentary filmmaking and after his successful production of Echoes in the Rink: The Willie O’Ree Story (1997), he went on to produce two successful and influential documentary feature films in Bermuda - When Voices Rise and Walking on a Sea of Glass. After his untimely death in 2007, a special award was set up in his honour and was presented to the winner of the Best low-budget New Brunswick Documentary film at the Silver Wave Film Festival. 26Willie O'Ree, a native of Fredericton, New Brunswick, made sports history on January 18, 1958, when he donned the gold and black jersey of the Boston Bruins. That night he broke the colour barrier in hockey and would forever be known as "The Jackie Robinson of Hockey." This compelling portrait of Willie O'Ree includes behind-the-scenes interviews with well-known Bruins players John Bucyk, Ferny Flaman, Doug Mohns, Don McKenney, and coach Milt Schmidt. Archival footage, photographs, and interviews trace O'Ree's experiences in life and sport from his home town of Fredericton to his current home in San Diego. Forty years ago, Willie O'Ree blazed a path into the NHL. Today he is a hero and role model to those who follow in his footsteps.DocumentaryDVD / VHSNew Brunswick and San DiegoGuyanaBlack History, New Brunswick, HockeyMoving Images Distribution, Vancouver BCNew Brunswick Filmmakers' CoOperative, Chris Campbell, Tony Merzetti
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1998OyaWinsomWinsom grew up in Jamaica, lived in Canada for many years and now spends five months of the year in Cristo Rey, Belize where she teaches many art forms to children. Her work is Afrocentric and described as filled with spiritual symbolism, and are often multi-media installations combining painting, textiles, sculptures and video. She infuses her work with African and Arawak spirituality, in particular with the Orishas, which she has studied extensively and of which she is a priestess. Her work also displays an interest in landscape, but from a symbolic angle, and incorporates African and Caribbean religions of the Yoruba and Arawak. Winsom’s works have been exhibited across Canada, the U.S. and Caribbean, and she lectures widely on African spirituality.3:30"Oya" it is an interdisciplinary installation which explore artistically my relationship with the elements. Oya symbolizes wind, hurricanes, tornadoes, twisting storms, death, thunder-bolt, but also adversity. Oya is the wind of change. She is feared by many people because She brings about sudden structural change in people and things. Oya does not just rearrange the furniture in the house - She knocks the building to the ground and blows away the floor tiles. She is the cyclone and the earthquake. Oya fans Her skirts and blows the branches from the trees; should She choose to cry, torrential rains fall on the earth. She is the Mother of Mind. She can impart genius, restore memory, or slap you with insanity. Oya opens Her mouth, flicks out Her tongue, and lightning strikes. No one can be certain of Oya's movement; no one can capture Her smile. She is the mistress of disguises. Oya will shake your soul loose from its foundation; hurl you from the tower of false pride; sweep you clean of debris and madness, and plant you on fresh ground. Oya's duty is to remind us constantly of the brevity of our human lives and the importance of using our time on earth wisely and productively.VtapeVtape, Black in Canada
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1999Roland Jean: A Modernist PortraitBess, Michelle AnneMichelle Anne Bess is a writer and media artist who lives in Toronto. Roland Jean: A Modernist Portrait is her first documentary completed in 1999. She has also completed two short experimental works, The 4th Dimension screened at Woman Shoots! Film Video and Performance in Toronto. Her writings have been published in La Revue Noire in Paris; Possibilities and Images in Ottawa and Montreal; WORD and At The Crossroads both in Toronto. She studied English Literature at Concordia University and took translation courses at l'Alliance Francaise. She recently completed video and writing workshops in the New Media program at Ryerson. Her memberships in film and video organizations include Women in Film & Television, Liaison of Independent Filmmakers in Toronto, The Film Reference Library, Trinity Square Video and Charles Street Video. She has volunteered at BRAVO!; CKUT radio in Montreal and Canadian Black Artists in Action. Roland Jean: A Modernist Portrait is included in the Art2Life: The Canadian Century website produced by the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, York Region District School Board and ecentricarts inc.22Roland Jean: A Modernist Portrait looks at how African and western / European influences shape the life and art of this Toronto visual artist. Jean's complex views on the Modern tradition, jazz and existentialism reveals why Modernism continues to be strong, even after the post-modern era. Since the mid 1990s I have been interested int the apocalyptic vision in the work of Roland Jean. Distorted caricature portraits; ritualized Vodon aesthetic and (re)contextualized Renaissance paintings often lends the work disturbing and controversial. As a writer and first time documentary director I felt challenged to explore the source of those tensions and urgency in Jean's work. Mixing curatorial narrative text and interview footage, Jean's complex views on African consciousness, a dominant European culture, the persistence of the Modern tradition, Existentialism and the significance of jazz emerge the focus of Roland Jean: A Modernist Portrait. These themes are punctuated by interviews with Smithsonian Institution curators Deborah Macanic and Marquette-Folley Cooper as well as Toronto arts writers Carol Laing and John Armstrong. A resistance to cultural domination and the importance of individual freedom find bold expression in the art of Roland Jean.DocumentaryTorontoTorontoJazz, Toronto, modernism, Roland JeanVTape, Who's Who in Black Canada
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1999Another PlanetBrowne, Christenesee aboveSt. Kitts, TorontoWho's who in Black Canada 2: Black Success and Black Excellence in Canada: a Contemporary Directory. 2000 Best Film, Black international Cinema, Germany.christenebrowne.com, CFMDC
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1999No More Secrets: The Talking Circle Part 1; No More Secrets: Understanding Violence Against Women Part 2Hamilton, Sylviasee above38; 29Documents the struggles of the members of the African United Baptist Association Women's Insitute to come to terms with the reality of woman abuse within their own tightly-knit network. Intended to serve as a basis for group discussions. Comes with workshop guide. Documentary and Educational GuideHalifaxBeechville, NSAbuse, Domestic Abuse, Afro-Nova Scotian, United Baptist Church communityThe Women's Program of Status of Women Canada, and the Multiculturalism Program of the Department of Canadian Heritage.McKenna, Katherine. "No More Secrets." Atlantis Critical Studies in Gender, Culture and Social Justice. Vol 29, No 1, 2004. Who's Who in Black Canada, The History of Blacks in Canada
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1999BackHarris, Seth-AdrianSETH-ADRIAN HARRIS is a passionate Jamaican-born filmmaker who grew up in Toronto and Vancouver, Canada. He uses poetry and media to inform, educate, entertain and engage. In 2006 he was the recipient of the Gemini Award for Best Direction of a Performing Arts Program from the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television for his television movie, “When Moses Woke”. His powerful documentary, “Catatonia’s Incantations,” won him the 2005 World Gold Medal for Best Health/Medical Promotion Program at the New York Festivals and in 2002 his film “Back” won the Vision Award for Best Direction at the Vancouver Videopoem Festival. When asked about his cinematic style, he replies that “film making is the art of transformation.” Mr. Harris lives and works in Toronto, Canada with his family. Author of poetry collection Sacred Space-Urban Sprawl (Fetus Fiction Press, 2004)5:00Vancouver, BCTorontore:fresh volume one: African Canadian film and video artists, 2002 Vancouver Videopoem Festival2002 Vision Award for Best Direction, Vancouver Videopoem Festival.In Focus Magazine, seth-adrianharris.com
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1999Welcome to AfricvilleInkster, DanaDana Inkster is an Alberta-based Canadian media artist and filmmaker. Inkster's work often experiments with narrative while exploring the complexities of identify, which stem in part, from her experiences as a black, queer, feminist. Her first film, Welcome to Africville, was released in 1999. In 2008 her film 24 Days in Brooks, which documents a 2005 labour strike at Lakeside Packers, won an Alberta Motion Picture Industry Award for best production reflecting cultural diversity. The film examines the lives of recent immigrant workers drawn to Brooks by numerous entry-level, unskilled labour jobs. Inkster has directed a television ad in a Canadian Race Relations Foundation anti-racism campaign. She has won the best Canadian female film director prize from the Toronto Images Film Festival. The Art of Autobiography was awarded Best Short or Medium-length Documentary by the Association of Quebec Cinema Critics.15:001999 is the 30th anniversary of the destruction of the Halifax community known as Africville. Dana Inkster's Welcome to Africville is the first fiction film to be set in this historical site. This short film gives a glimpse into the hearts and minds of four Africville residents on the eve of destruction of their community. It stars the Genie nominated Alexander Chapman (Lilies); stage, television and film veteran Kathy Imre (Shaft's Big Score); singer/actor Amanda Strawn and Nunya Beckley in her acting debut. MeShell Ndégeocello, the first major artist to be signed onto Madonna's Maverick label and a four-time Grammy nominee, composed Welcome to Africville's soulful original score.DocudramaHalifaxOttawaAfricville, Nova Scotia, Halifax, slavery in CanadaVTapeVTape
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1999Coming To VoiceLawrence, Glace W. and Anthony A. Browne52Documents the emergence of Black film and video makers in Canada.DocumentaryBlack film and video makers in CanadaVTape Artist Index
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1999SandMoxam, Winstonsee above22A beautifully-shot black-and-white film--maybe Moxam's best-looking work--in which two African-Canadian soldiers in World War II have been shipwrecked on a remote shore of north Africa. As the two friends speak about preparing to give their lives in the defense of a country that often treats them as second-class citizens, the conversation alternates between idealism and outrage.
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1999Love SongsPrieto, Clairesee aboveWho's Who in Black Canada, Archives of Ontario
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1999Black, Bold and Beautiful: Black Women's HairValcin, NadineNadine Valcin is the director of Black, Bold and Beautiful: Black Women's Hair. She came to the world of film and television after obtaining a bachelor of Architecture from McGill University. She has since worked in a variety of capacities in the industry, from assistant editor to on-air promotions producer with research, writing and other credits along the way. She has experience in both film and television with organizations such as the National Film Board, CBC and TVOntario's French language network, TFO. Her first short film Independent Modulations has been broadcast on CBC's Canadian Reflections and screened at numerous festivals. She is currently developing a short historical drama entitled Angelique. 40Afros, braids or corn rows--hairstyles have always carried a social message, and few issues cause as many battles between black parents and their daughters. To "relax" one's hair into straight tresses or to leave it "natural" inevitably raises questions of conformity and rebellion, pride and identity. Today, trend-setting teens happily reinvent themselves on a daily basis, while career women strive for the right "professional" image, and other women go "natural" as a symbol of comfort in their Blackness. Filmmaker Nadine Valcin meets a diverse group of black women who reveal how their hairstyles relate to their lives and life choices. BLACK, BOLD AND BEAUTIFUL celebrates the bonds formed as women attend to each other's hair while exploring how everyday grooming matters tap into lively debates about self-determination and society's perceptions of beauty.NFBNFBWomen Make Movies
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1999One Heart Broken Into SongVirgo, Clementsee aboveThe first Nova Scotia dramatic feature to be written and directed by African Canadians and sporting an almost exclusively black cast, One Heart Broken Into Song is a rich poetic and very sensual story of two young lovers Lyla Cromwell (Linette Robinson) and Hank Johnsoun (Rainbow Francks) who escape from rural Nova Scotia during the deepest recesses of the Depression, but the pair struggle to cope with the social problems facing them, only to find a dead end in the legendary village of Africville.DramaHalifaxJamaica
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2000Black SoulChartrand, Martinesee above9:00Black Soul dives into the heart of Black culture with an exhilarating trip though history. Watch as a young boy traces his roots through the stories his grandmother shares with him about the events that shaped their cultural heritage. It was painted on glass directly under the camera. In it, Martine Chartrand uses images and music to create a sweeping portrait of black history. The film has won 23 awards, including the prestigious Golden Bear for best short film at the 2001 Berlin International Film Festival and the 2002 Jutra Award for best animated film. This success led Chartrand to travel to South Korea, Italy, Cuba, Brazil, the United States and within Canada to give lectures, hold master classes and lead paint-on-glass workshops. Visual ArtPaint-on-glass animation shot with a 35mm camera.MontrealBlack History, cultural heritageBerlin International Film Festival 2001NFBThe film has won 23 awards, including the Golden Bear for best short film at the 2001 Berlin International Film Festival and the 2002 Jutra Award for best animated film.NFB, martine chartrand.net
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2000KarmaDavis, Karma Clarkesee above5:40Inspired by the upsurge of visible incidents of youth violence Karma 2000 is a morality tale of transformation and redemption. Set to a re-worked version of the Smith's classic from the 80's How Soon is Now a song about the hope of belonging, Karma 2000 explores the pain of the outsider and the fear of being alone. Drawing on the artists own experience as a minority,her East Indian heritage and the philosophical meaning of her name, Karma 2000 is a work which explores the violator and victim in all of us. Karma 2000 opens with the image of the shy protagonist of the piece, dislocated, and literally removed from the social atmosphere of a club. Leaving on her own, she is attacked when she leaves the club. This undeserved and hate filled inccident of violence is the cruicial crux of the ensuing transformation. Sprouting a third eye, Karma is enlightened as to her own inner strengths and finds the power to fight back. With a tongue in cheek nod to ancient Indian Godesses seeking revenge-Kali and western icons such as Wonderwoman and Kung Fu wielding Blaxploitation heroines , Karma becomes a lightning-bolt sprouting roaring anti-heroine who fights the good fight. Strangely, her attackers have disappeared, and we are left to wonder who exactly her rage is directed against. In the end through the use of the technical re-wind function Karma is brought back to her pre-transformation state as prone figure, a victim of violence. At the end of the work the main instigator of the violence, previously anonymous in his cowardly masked state is unmasked. He is back in the pseudo-club setting at the beginning of the work, and in essence has gone from violator to loner. Karma has worked it's power and it is now his turn to experience the pain of the outcast.Trinidad and TobagoVTapeVTape
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2000Raisin' Kane, A RapumentaryDuke, AlisonIn the mid '90s Alison Duke left the field of journalism and began directing and producing music videos for artists such as K-os, the Rascalz and Nelly Furtado. Her first feature documentary, Raisin' Kane: A Rapumentary (2000), was an inside look at the underground Canadian rap scene. Her work since has dealt with a number of social justice issues such as HIV/AIDS, the environment, violent crime and homophobia. Last year, Duke executive produced The Akua Benjamin Legacy Project, a series of shorts inspired by Canadian black activists. Each of the films in the series were directed by black female directors.72A gutsy doc that crackles with energy, Raisin' Kane takes you into the hidden world of independent hip-hop artists. Hip-hop has been embraced by the mainstream, but independents like Juno Award-nominated Citizen Kane still struggle for music industry respect. The public-housing projects where many young Black men come of age offer no economic power and no political voice. In the eyes of the kids who live there, that equals no future. For the band members, music is their only ticket out. Friends since kindergarten, the members of Citizen Kane are: Jeff Duke, a.k.a. Spade: A brooding first-generation Canadian determined to provide a better life for his daughter, he navigates treacherous industry demands without selling out. Rob Paris, a.k.a. Blye: A fiery-tempered Nova Scotian whose ghetto credo is to live one day at a time. He has no time for "business bull." Adrian Perry, a.k.a. Aje: A university grad from the better side of the tracks, he uses street savvy and professionalism to promote the band. More than a story about overcoming insurmountable odds, Raisin' Kane is about something magical--the reality of artists hell-bent on being heard over the din of a sometimes indifferent world. Warning: the film contains coarse language and scenes of drug use.DocumentaryNFBNFB and Karen King-ChigboHBO Documentary Prize, Urbanworld Film Festival7 African-Canadian female filmmakers you need to know
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2000Portia White: Think on MeHamilton, Sylviasee aboveOnly major work on Portia White, the Canadian contralto, called "Canada's Marian Anderson."Beechville, NSWho's Who in Black Canada, The History of Blacks in Canada