Expect our individual profiles of nteworthy films in this year's lineup, which looks quite strong. I'm looking forward to the scrub.
In the meantime, highlights from the press release below:
Montreal, September 7, 2012 – Today, at the Cinémathèque québécoise, the 8th annual Montreal International Black Film Festival program was unveiled. The Festival is presented by Global Montreal, in collaboration with the Fabienne Colas Foundation, and will run from September 19 to 30, 2012.
The Montreal International Black Film Festival (MIBFF) is back with a diverse and exciting line-up featuring 115 films from nearly 40 countries! Moviegoers will have the chance to watch short-, mid- and feature-length films, documentaries, and narrative and animated films. Most films will be making their global, international, Canadian, or Québécois debut. In addition, a number of international celebrities will be appearing at the Festival.
The MIBFF's mission is to shed light on international Black realities, and this year's program is no exception. The 8th edition of the Festival features bold films that underscore the wealth of diversity and deserve to been seen by the public.
During twelve days of innovative cinema, actors and filmmakers from here and abroad will come to meet festival audiences and share their passion for the seventh art. And there's something for everyone! Productions are divided into ten categories: drama, art/poetry/music, comedy, Haiti, history/traditions, immigration/segregation, human conditions, animation, success and L'Afrique en mouvement (The Changing Face of Africa). Here is an overview of the Festival line up's top picks: Sing Your Song, Le Bonheur d'Elza, Lucky, How to Steal Two Million, LUV, Otelo Burning, Sonny Boy, Winnie, Dear Mandela, Alaskaland, From Zimbabwe to Santa Fe, Hotel Haiti, Ithemba, Slavery by Another Name, Surfing Soweto, The Carrier, The Central Park Five, The Girls in the Band, The Fourth World, The Three Way, Hopelessly in June, On the Wings of Men, MacPherson, and many more!
MORE THAN JUST A FESTIVAL!
MIBFF is broadening its horizons and pushing boundaries! As an arena for debates on major social, cultural and economic issues, its programming is bolstered by renowned guests that have made their mark. Drawing on exceptional personal experiences, these guests bring enthusiasm and inspiration to the Festival. This year, the legendary Harry Belafonte, activist and award-winning actor and musician, will receive the 2012 Honorary Humanitarian Award. Stedman Graham, internationally-renowned speaker, executive and best-selling author, will be awarded the Career Excellence Award.
A BRAND NEW SPOKESPERSON AND HONORARY AMBASSADOR
Sonia Benezra, star television and radio host who has been nominated for two Gémaux awards this fall for her show on Musimax, Bénézra reçoit, has been named spokesperson for the 8th edition of MIBFF. The Festival's honorary ambassador remains cultural reporter Francine Grimaldi.
Opening film – WINNIE and tribute to HARRY BELAFONTE – Presented by Global Montreal
Wednesday, September 19 at 7 p.m., at Cinéma Impérial, the joint Canadian (Equinoxe Films) and South African production WINNIE, directed by Darrell Roodt, will open the Festival, making its Québécois debut. Starring Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson and Oscar nominee Terrence Howard, WINNIE is an intimate, in-depth and impartial film that tells the remarkable story of Winnie Mandela, one of the world's most famous female activists, by exploring both her personal and political life. Winnie Mandela is a complex historical figure, lauded for her role in the fight against apartheid led by her husband. But because of some questionable relationships, Winnie is an equally controversial personality. The director Darrell Roodt and producer Michael Mosca will be present at the opening.
Harry Belafonte, famous activist, musician and actor will be awarded the Festival's 2012 Honorary Humanitarian Award during the course of the evening.
Closing film – THE CENTRAL PARK FIVE – Presented by the Fabienne Colas Foundation
Sunday, September 30 at 7 p.m., at Cinéma Impérial, THE CENTRAL PARK FIVE, directed by Ken Burns, David McMahon and Sarah Burns, will close the festivities with its Québécois debut. In 1989, five Black and Latino teenagers from Harlem were arrested and later convicted of raping a white woman in New York City's Central Park. They spent between six and thirteen years in prison before a serial rapist confessed that he alone had committed the crime, leading to their convictions being overturned. Set against a backdrop of a decaying city beset by violence and racial tension, the film tells the story of this horrific crime, the rush to judgment by the police, a media clamoring for sensational stories and an outraged public, and the five lives upended by this miscarriage of justice. The director Sarah Burns and two of the film's five protagonists, Raymond Santana and Yusef Salaam, will be present.
Special presentation and talk with HARRY BELAFONTE
Thursday, September 20 at 7 p.m., at Concordia University (room H-110), the Harry Belafonte bio-pic, SING YOUR SONG, will be shown. Wonderfully archived, and told with a remarkable sense of intimacy, visual style, and musical panache, this inspiring biographical documentary surveys the life and times of singer, actor and activist Harry Belafonte. From his rise to fame as a singer, inspired by Paul Robeson, and his experiences touring a segregated country, to his provocative crossover into Hollywood, Belafonte's ground-breaking career personifies the American Civil Rights Movement and made an impact on many other social justice movements. Belafonte is a tenacious, hands-on activist who worked intimately with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., mobilized celebrities for social justice, participated in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa, and took action to counter gang violence and the incarceration of youth. The movie will be followed by a talk given by none other than the film's star, living legend Harry Belafonte! Belafonte's appearance is an honor and a privilege for Montreal.
Conference and tribute to STEDMAN GRAHAM
On Thursday, September 27 at 7 p.m., at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, best-selling author, internationally-renowned speaker, and successful executive, Stedman Graham will present his conference entitled The Nine-Step Plan for Success. He will also be awarded the Career Excellence Award. More than just a businessperson, Graham is also an educator and orator. He provides training to corporations and non-profit organizations on identity development, leadership, diversity, personal wellness and personal and professional branding. Graham has written eleven books, two of which have become New York Times best-sellers. He has always shown a commitment to youth and community and actively participates in leadership programs in South Africa. A big name coming to Montreal!
Cinémathèque special presentations
A brand new partnership with the Cinémathèque québécoise gives the Festival the opportunity to screen the powerful three-part documentary NOIRS DE FRANCE, which retraces the construction of the French Black identity, and gives a voice to the actors and inheritors of this story from 1889 to present day (Wednesday, Sept. 26, 6:30 p.m.; Friday, Sept. 28, 8:30 p.m.; Saturday, Sept. 29, 5 p.m.). The Cinémathèque will also present the L'Afrique en mouvement (The Changing Face of Africa) series on Friday, September 21 at 8:30 p.m., which brings together the work of African artists living both in Africa and in Diaspora.
An evening of Haitian cinema at La Perle Retrouvée cultural centre
Haiti is a constant presence in the Festival's programming. This year, it will be featured in a 100% Haitian evening that will take place at the La Perle Retrouvée cultural centre on Saturday, September 22, starting at 7:30 p.m. We will be showing: cinema in a series of five films, JIJ JIJEM BYEN (Mr. Judge, be fair with me), directed by Carl Lafontant, in Créole (two with English subtitles), followed by a dance.
TICKETS and THEATRES
Movie Passes: The Festival is pleased to offer a $70 Movie Pass valid for 10 films, a $100 Movie-Buff Pass valid for all films shown at Cinéma du Parc, a $150 Movie Passport valid for all films (including the opening and closing films, as well as the tribute to Harry Belafonte), and a $300 Prestige Pass granting priority access to all Festival events, including events featuring Stedman Graham and Harry Belafonte.
Individual Tickets: Individual tickets are now available for $10 per screening at Cinéma du Parc or on the Festival website (www.montrealblackfilm.com). Tickets for opening and closing nights, and the special presentation and Harry Belafonte talk are available for $25 on the Festival website. Tickets for Stedman Graham's conference are available for $95 on the Festival's website.
Theatres: All films will be screened at Cinéma du Parc (3575, av. du Parc), except the opening and closing nights, including the Harry Belafonte tribute, which will take place at the Cinéma Impérial (1430, rue de Bleury). The screening of Sing Your Song and the talk with Harry Belafonte will take place in room H-110 at Concordia University (1455, boul. De Maisonneuve West). The conference and tribute to Stedman Graham will take place at the Hyatt Regency Montreal Hotel (1255, rue Jeanne-Mance). The four special screenings are at the Cinémathèque Québécoise (335, De Maisonneuve East) and the Haitian event is at the La Perle Retrouvée cultural centre (7655, 20e ave).