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Black Voices in Canda Rise Up with the 9th annual Toronto Black Film Festival (TBFF) — VIRTUAL — February 10 – 21, 2021
By Lapacazo Sandoval, Contributing Writer 
Published February 5, 2021

Documentary Stateless screens at the Toronto Black Film Festival beginning February 10. (Courtesy of the Toronto Black Film Festival)

The power of the Black storyteller continues to grow. Our stories, so long forgotten and dismissed, refuse to go away. To that end, it’s a celebration of the will that the Toronto Black Film Festival (TBFF) still lives and is entering its 9th year, presented by TD Bank in collaboration with Global News.

Running February 10 – 21, 2021 the official online program and events, created

by the Fabienne Colas Foundation, will feature 154 films from 25 countries focusing on such diverse topics as mental illness, women’s rights, US politics, music, human rights, systemic racism, immigration, and Black Lives Matter.

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All in #TBFF21 will present 51 World Premieres, 27 International Premieres, 39 Canadian Premieres, 3 Ontario Premieres, and 19 Toronto Premieres.

 

TD’s 2021 Black History Month Series, the Festival will open on Wednesday, February 10 at 7 pm EST with Youssef Delara’s FOSTER BOY, starring Louis Gossett Jr., Shane Paul McGhie, Matthew Modine, and executive-produced by Shaquille O’Neal. Then, as of 10 pm EST, all the films will be accessible online. The Festival will close with Mia Donovan’s DOPE IS DEATH. The TBFF Black Market returns with insightful panel discussions, conferences, and masterclasses with leading members of the Canadian and international TV and film industries. The TBFF Kids Festival is getting a makeover this year with new and exciting activities for the whole family on Family Day (Feb. 15). Finally, Festivalgoers can cap off their day with the TBFF Live Performance Series.

 

All tickets and passes can be purchased on the Festival’s website.
Fabienne Colas, President, and Founder of the TBFF offered this: “Film festivals like Toronto Black Film Festival are needed now more than ever. We created TBFF to showcase filmmakers who otherwise wouldn’t be seen or heard. Black artists represent the most marginalized and underserved group in the Canadian arts community. The festival allows us to celebrate them by going beyond ‘awareness’ with concrete ‘actions’ to foster the inclusion of diversity off and on camera.
Black filmmakers don’t lack talent, they just lack opportunities. When given an opportunity, they have done wonders. We just have to think of: Clement Virgo (Book of Negroes), Jennifer Holness & Suds Sutherland (Shoot the Messenger), Floyed Kane (Diggstown), Martine Chartrand in animated films which have won international prizes, Trey Anthony (Da Kink in my Hair)… and many more. We are also happy to have greatly contributed to the Canadian Film Industry through the Montreal, Toronto, and Halifax Black Film Festivals as well as the Fabienne Colas Foundation’s Being Black in Canada (Canada’s largest incubator for emerging Black Filmmakers).”

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Dope Is Death, a documentary about Tupac Shakur’s stepfather Mutulu Shakur, screens at the Toronto Black Film Festival beginning February 10. (Courtesy of the Toronto Black Film Festival)

TBFF “SHOW ME THE MONEY” SERIES!

The TBFF Black market is proud to present the FREE Show Me the Money Series. Everything Black Creators and Producers need and want to know about how to access funding! A special 4-part series featuring Canada’s primary funders:

  • Part 1. Funding for Canadian Artists and Arts Organisations with the Canada Council for the Arts, The Toronto Arts Council, and the Ontario Arts Council
  • Part 2. Funding and Support for Film and Television with The Canada Media Fund, Telefilm, and Ontario Creates. Co-presented by the Canada Media Fund
  • Part 3. Funding and Support for Film, Television and Digital Content with The Harold Greenberg Fund and the Shaw Rocket Fund
  • Part 4. A Canada Media Fund Case Study.Co-presented by the Canada Media Fund

 

TBFF PANELS, CONFERENCES, MASTERCLASSES!

The TBFF Black Market is thrilled to present its lineup of FREE compelling Panel discussions & Masterclasses featuring some of today’s most powerful and influential Black voices addressing important social and industry topics that affect us all:

  • BIPOC: Is the word BIPOC just another acronym to make Black, Indigenous, and People of Color invisible? Co-presented by Directors Guild of Canada
  • This Seat is Taken: The Absence of Black Leadership Roles in Performing Arts Institutions.Co-presented by ACTRA Toronto
  • Black Wealth Matters: Encouraging Black entrepreneurship
  • What Has Changed Since the BLM Movement?
  • The Fashion “Oh So White” Industry”: Racism in the Fashion Industry
  • Not Just Another “N-WORD”: In the context of the art of storytelling, should the N-Word be permitted?
  • In Conversation with Wes Hall: Wes Hall’s Journey to success – MacLean’s 2021 Power List of Top 50 Most Powerful Canadians. Co-presented by Black North Initiative
  • Fabienne Colas Foundation’s Being Black in Canada: Canada’s largest mentorship, training, and creation program to be entirely dedicated to Black filmmakers – 20 emerging Filmmakers from the 2020 cohort talking about creating their first documentary shorts.

 

TBFF LIVE PERFORMANCE SERIES

The TBFF Live Performance Series showcases different genres of music, representing the Afrocentric community. In the past three years, we have been on location in various cafes and bars with these performances, but this year we go Virtual! The line-up includes Steele and Hardcore Reggae Band, Joanna Majoko, Eddie and Quincy Bullen, MelDubé, and Kobèna Aquaa-Harrison.

 

TBFF KIDS FILM FEST

TBFF Kids Film Fest is an Online fun-filled, Family Day celebration, taking place on Monday, February 15, 2021, from 11 am to 3 pm EST. Children ages 4-12 will get to enjoy a variety of activities from the comfort and safety of their homes. Yoga with Vonnette Forde of Higher Love Yoga; Arts ‘n’ Crafts with Craftopia DIY; Story Book Reading with Jeff Martin and Denise Lopes – sponsored by Notability Mobile Bookstore; Afro-Caribbean Dance with Keishia Facey of RiddimFit.

 

Also introducing this year: the PUBLIC’S CHOICE AWARD!
For full #TBFF21 programming and events, visit www.TorontoBlackFilm.com

Get Social #TBFF21

Facebook.com/torontoblackfilmfestival | Twitter @TOBlackFilmFest | Instagram @torontoblackfilmfest

Categories: Entertainment | News (Entertainment)
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