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How it feels to be free

03 Feb 2021


We recently lost a giant of the silver screen with the passing, at the age of 96, of famed Hollywood actress Cicely Tyson (Dec. 19, 1924 – Jan. 28, 2021). Her storied career, which spanned over seven decades, was particularly impactful through her steadfast commitment to breaking prevailing stereotypical representations of the black experience in film. She wanted to portray real people with emotions and heart.

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The legacy of TIFF's Planet Africa, 25 years on

26 Sep 2020

One of the highlights of the recently wrapped-up Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) was the celebration of the Planet Africa series, which began 25 years ago and ran for ten years. Four films were chosen from this year's lineup to highlight Planet Africa's legacy, founded by Cameron Bailey.

From its first edition in 1995, through the program's 10-year-run (1995-2004), Planet Africa highlighted and celebrated cinema from Africa and the African diaspora as part of the annual Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). “Planet Africa is one of the most significant events in Black film history and the Canadian cultural industry, yet much of its story and longstanding impact remains untold,” as Orla La-Wayne Garriques, cultural curator of PlanetAfricaLegacy.com said.

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Ava DuVernay virtually walking into TIFF as the victor

19 Sep 2020

Filmmaker Ava DuVernay speaks to TIFF's Cameron Bailey about social justice, the Black Lives Matter movement, and how she's using the medium of film to tell the important stories of our times.

“I always feel like we're in the presence of history, and I don't understand why people don't see that. But this year, people get it,” as Oscar-nominated producer, writer, director, and distributor Ava DuVernay told TIFF artistic director and co-head Cameron Bailey recently as part of a streamed online conversation during this year's Toronto International Film Festival. “As a storyteller, I work a lot with historical narrative,” as she prefaces.

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Halle Berry on the importance of telling our own stories

12 Sep 2020

Actress Halle Berry speaks to CBC's Amanda Parris as part of the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) about her distinguished career and her most recent film project and directorial debut, 'Bruised.'

I'm of the generation of black youth which came of age in my twenties during the 1990s — which arguably was the golden age of black storytelling on the small screen and big screen. Back in those days, before Netflix and the internet at scale, we eagerly clung to our sacred Wednesday and Thursday nights in front of the TV to catch the iconic 90s black sitcoms and series like A Different World, New York Undercover, and Living Single.

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Before the Black Lives Matter movement

05 Sep 2020

A discussion with filmmakers Ngardy Conteh George (left) and Alison Duke from OYA Media Group on capturing the history of Canadian anti-black racism activism and their film, Mr. Jane and Finch

Toronto filmmakers Alison Duke and Ngardy Conteh George lead OYA media group. The production company is committed to the ongoing support, education and promotion of young black filmmakers.

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Finding Sally: HotDocs features Tamara Mariam Dawit’s intergenerational journey of remembrance and reckoning

30 Apr 2020

 

Each year, the Hot Docs documentary festival — the largest in North America — showcases over 200 engaging documentary films from Canadian and international storytellers for the enjoyment of more than 200,000 audience members in Toronto. But following the announcement of the annual festival's postponement, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a sample of films from the 2020 Festival Selections are being made available for viewing this week on CBC.

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The Last Black Man in San Francisco — a tale of community

23 Nov 2019

The Last Black Man in San Francisco marks the feature-length directorial debut of Joe Talbot. Talbot is a fifth-generation San Franciscan who began developing "The Last Black Man" with childhood friend and star Jimmie Fails after leaving high school early to pursue film. It's a story that is both whimsical and realistic. Think "Planet of Junior Brown" meets "Boys in the Hood" — with dreamy montages intersecting with a bit of the hood.

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HERO: An untold story

26 Feb 2019

"Storytelling is a very fundamental need that we have as human beings to express who we are in our own voice," said Frances-Anne Solomon, the Toronto-based filmmaker, writer, producer, and founder and CEO of the CaribbeanTales International Film Festival. Through her company, Solomon is on a mission to share the experiences of people from the Caribbean and the African diaspora with the world.

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