The Montreal International Black Film Festival (MIBFF), presented by Global Montreal in collaboration with the Fabienne Colas Foundation, has unveiled the program for its 7th edition today at the NFB office. This year’s Festival will run from September 22 to October 2, 2011.
With an impressive line-up of 125 films from over 35 different countries, the majority of which are world, international, Canadian, Quebec or Montreal premieres, as well as a panoply of special events, the 7th edition of the MIBFF is just brimming over with enthusiasm, energy and freshness, and offering its audiences rich and diverse perspectives.
During the 11 days of this highly anticipated event, audiences will be treated to narrative, medium-length and short documentary, fiction and animated films that portray the richness and diversity of productions dealing with the realities of black communities from the four corners of the globe. It’s also an opportunity to discover unexpected new actors, directors, stories and landscapes. And the cherry on top of the sundae: famous writer Dany Laferrière, winner of the 2009 Médicis Award, will present the legendary Souleymane Cissé, the first African filmmaker to win a prize at the Cannes Festival, with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
This year, festival-goers can look forward to a dazzling selection of films being screened by this most daring Film Festival. The 125 films will be grouped under the following 10 themes:
- Drama – Action – Violence
- Art – Poetry – Music
- History – Traditions – Politics
- Immigration – Segregation
- Human Conditions
This line-up of films signifies a sustained and recurrent concern with modern-day slavery through narrative, documentary and animated films. The list of films to see is long but the following hot picks from the Programming Committee should help you in making your choices:
- Lost in Africa
- Colour me
- Mama Africa
- Voir Ali
- A Man’s Story
- State of Violence (Violence dans la cité)
- Le Premier Rasta
- The Bang Bang Club
- The Dream of Elibidi
- Haïti les grands défis
- The Redemption of General Butt Naked
- Waste Land
- War Don Don
- Les Arrivants
- The Black Power Mixtapes
- Matinik Natty Dreads
- Case Départ (back to square one)
- I Am Slave (Moi, Esclave)
The MIBFF has also created a brand new Website with improved navigation so that movie lovers can find what they are looking for more easily. With just a click of the mouse, they’ll be able to find everything they need to know about our program and special events and about purchasing passes and tickets. The following new sections have also been added to the site:
- Latest News
- Get Involved
Charles Biddle Jr. will be the Spokesperson for the 7th edition of the MIBFF. He is taking over for very well-known Cultural Reporter Francine Grimaldi, who has been the Spokesperson for the Festival for the past five years and who will now be the Festival’s Honorary Ambassador.
The CinéRobothèque, the National Film Board of Canada’s showcase, is opening its doors wide to the 7th edition of the MIBFF. In addition to presenting a selection of the best films on the realities of black communities from the four corners of the globe, this year, the CinéRobothèque will become a meeting place for festival-goers and filmmakers alike, and will also be offering a number of special activities.
The Festival will open on Thursday, September 22 with the North-American premiere of CASE DÉPART (back to square one) by Fabrice Éboué, Thomas Ngijol and Lionel Steketee at 7 p.m. at Cinéma Impérial. The film will be shown in its original French version with English subtitles. With more than 1,750,000 viewers in France, this publicly and critically acclaimed film will be presented by Global Montreal and hosted by the two comedians, stars and co-directors, Thomas Ngijol and Fabrice Éboué. CASE DÉPART, a comedy about identity, with an 18th century slavery backdrop, will also be in official competition at the Festival. Hors d’oeuvres will be served before the screening. $25 – Information and reservations: www.montrealblackfilm.com .
The Festival will close on Sunday, October 2 with Gabriel Range’s I AM SLAVE (Moi, Esclave) at 7 p.m. at Cinéma Impérial. The screening will be hosted by the director and will be presented by Rights & Democracy. An Official Selection at the 2010 Toronto Film Festival, I AM SLAVE is Range’s most recent film. The screenplay was written by Jeremy Brock, who also wrote the screenplay for The Last King of Scotland, which won Forest Whitaker the Oscar for Best Actor. Range also directed the film Death of A President. The film stars Wunmi Mosaku, Isaach De Bankolé, Lubna Azabal (Jutra Award for Best Actress – Incendies) and Hiam Abbass. I AM SLAVE is based on the true story of Mende Nazer, a 21st century slave, and it will also be in official competition at the Festival. Hors d’oeuvres will be served before the screening. $25 – Information and reservations: www.montrealblackfilm.com .
Director Souleymane Cissé will receive the MIBFF’s Lifetime Achievement Award at the Hôtel Gouverneur Place Dupuis on Tuesday, September 27 at 6 p.m. The award will be given to him by famous writer Dany Laferrière, winner of the 2009 Médicis Award. The first African filmmaker to win a prize at the Cannes Film Festival and a legend in African cinema, Souleymane Cissé will be awarded this prize for his entire body of work and for his extraordinary contribution to the film industry in general and to the independent and African film industry in particular. The Festival is honouring him for his extraordinary efforts to break down barriers and help create a better understanding of the realities of Blacks through his films.
The MIBFF will present the Fondu au Noir / Fade to Black Debate Conference on Saturday, September 24, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., at NFB Cinema. The theme of this year’s debate conference is: BLACK CINEMA – Definition, Role, Taboos, Funding and the Place of Black People in Quebec and Canadian Cinema and Television Today. Fade to Black is presented by the Fabienne Colas Foundation with the intention of creating a space for dialogue on the realities of black independent cinema from here and abroad. Several reputed panellists will take the floor to speak about the various issues facing and the prospects for this industry.
There will be a huge commemorative evening in memory of popular singer, master drummer and leader of the band Racine Mapou de Azor, Lénord Fortuné, better know as Azor, on Saturday, September 24, at 7p.m., at the La Perle Retrouvée Cultural Centre. Azor passed away in Haiti in July of this year. On the agenda, a screening of the film Haïti Coeur Battant by Carl Lafontant and a Haitian music show. The evening will be presented by Unipharm Gaby Jeanty in collaboration with the Jeune Chambre de Commerce Haïtienne (JCCH) for the benefit of La Perle Retrouvée (7655 20th Avenue, Montreal). $15 (Advance tickets sales $10 at Unipharm Gaby Jeanty, 665 Jarry West).
The Faces of Slavery Exhibition by Frantz Voltaire, co-presented by CIDIHCA, will be held from September 21 to October 3, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Maison de l’Afrique. Visitors will have the opportunity to see photos, video images, texts, objects and books on slavery from the 16th to the 19th centuries. At the Maison de l’Afrique (6256 Henri-Julien, Montreal).
From September 22 to October 2, from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. at NFB Cinema, an exhibition on African hair (with hairstyles, masks, statues, ornaments and headdresses) where visitors will discover that the art of doing your hair is a full-fledged beauty ritual in Africa. Presented in collaboration with the Musée de la Femme at NFB Cinema (1564 St-Denis).
Activities for the entire family on Sunday, September 25, starting at 1 p.m., at NFB Cinema:
Animated films for children in French – 1 p.m. / Free for parents – $5 for children
Kite animation workshop with Anthony Benoît – 1:30 p.m. / In collaboration the NFB – $7, $5 children
Animated films for children in English – 2:30 p.m. / Free for parents – $5 for children
Passes: The Festival is pleased to be offering the following types of passes: a Cine-Access Card for $70 good for 10 films; a Film Buff Card for $100 good for all the films (except for the opening and closing night films); a Passport Card for $150 good for all the films, including the opening and closing night films, plus admission to the Souleymane Cissé Tribute; and lastly a Prestige Card for $250, which gives the holder priority access to all Festival screenings and events, including private and invitation-only events.
Individual Tickets: Starting today, individual tickets are available at the NFB Cinema and at Cinéma du Parc at a cost of $10 each. Tickets for the opening and closing nights are $25 per night and may be ordered on-line. All Festival films will be screened at Cinéma du Parc (3575 du Parc) and at NFB Cinema (1564 St-Denis), except for the opening and closing night films, which will both be screened at Cinéma Impérial (1430 de Bleury). The opening film will be shown again on Thursday, September 29, at 7 p.m., at Cinéma Impérial.