13th Montreal International Black Film Festival

66 Films From 25 Countries Change How We See The World!

The 13th Montreal International Black Film Festival (MIBFF) highlights the tales and events that have challenged conventions, left a distinctive mark on our times, and changed how we see the world.

Featuring 66 films from 25 countries; most of these films will be viewed at Cinéma Impérial, Cinéma du Parc, the former Cinémathèque (Annexe Judith-Jasmin, UQAM), and the Concordia University Theatre Hall.

Created by the Fabienne Colas Foundation, Canada’s biggest black film festival returns for a breathtaking 13th year that promises to be inspiring, shocking, entertaining, moving, thought-provoking, and surprising. The program features international and North American films as well as Quebec premieres, an MIBFF Black Market space dedicated to the cinema industry, special events, and a tribute to Oliver Jones.

Our absolute favourites are inspiring stories that combine cultural heritage, the struggle against injustice, and inequality with passion, determination, strength, and great feats. You don’t want to miss Kalushi: The Story of Solomon Mahlangu, Carpinteros (Woodpeckers), Kafou, Black Lives Matter, Krotoa, Vazante, Dabka, Cargo, Marvin Booker Was Murdered, Boys 23: The Forgotten Boys of Brazil, Oliver Jones: Mind Hands Heart, Walking in My Shoes, Jewel’s Catch One, Brown Girls Begin, Uprize, Amerika, Jacques Schwartz Bart :  la voix de nos ancêtres.

The Montreal International Black Film Festival always had the goal of promoting diversity and giving minorities a voice. This has been done by opening our eyes to certain realities in the world through the 7th art. “Today, more than ever, we want to challenge the many inconsistencies, inequalities, and injustices that still claim many victims,” explained Ms. Fabienne Colas, the Festival president and founder. “The fact remains that not everyone has access to opportunities. We cannot pretend everything is okay. Everyone has a part to play if we want things to change.”

Speak up / Exprime-toi is this year’s underlying theme. Through the selected films, special events, round tables, and guests of honour, the 2017 program has attempted to showcase a story, a person, or a movement that is not afraid to be heard, has overcome conventions, and has not been afraid to make demands and change the state of affairs. The official poster for the 13th MIBFF, an original work by Portuguese artist Bruna Campos, is the perfect reflection of this theme.

By Mandla Dube
Official Selection of Seattle Intl Film Festival and Durban International Film Festival
Wednesday, September 27 – 7pm –  Cinéma Impérial | $25

Kalushi is a true story about nineteen-year-old Solomon Mahlangu, a hawker from the streets of Mamelodi—a ghetto township outside Pretoria, South Africa. He is brutally beaten by police. Following the 1976 Soweto uprisings, Kalushi exiles himself to join the liberation movement. He returns from military training in Angola en route to his mission, where his friend and comrade Mondy loses control and shoots two innocent people on Johannesburg’s Goch Street. Mondy is severely beaten and tortured; Kalushi is forced to stand trial under the common purpose doctrine. The state seeks the highest punishment from the court: death by hanging. Kalushi has his back against the wall and uses the courtroom as a final battlefield. His sacrifice immortalizes him into a hero of the struggle and an international icon of June 16, 1976.

Saturday, September 30 – 3pm – Cinéma du Parc | $20

The MIBFF will pay tribute to OLIVER JONES, the renowned Canadian pianist who has recorded two dozen albums and has performed around the world. He also taught music at Laurentian and McGill universities. Mr. Jones was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1993 and a Chevalier of the Order of Quebec in 1994, and is the recipient of a Governor General’s Performing Arts Award, the Oscar Peterson Award, and a Special Achievement Award at the SOCAN Awards. He has won two Juno Awards and several Félix awards. In 2014, Montréal unveiled a 95-square-metre mural honouring Mr. Jones in the neighbourhood where he spent many of his early years. He will receive the 2017 MIBFF Lifetime Achievement Award for his legendary career. To celebrate his contribution to Montreal culture, a new mural will honour him and a building will bear his name this year.

The film Oliver Jones: Mind Hands Heart, by Rosey Ugo Edeh, will precede the tribute and discussion with film director Oliver Jones.

By José María Cabral
Official Selection of the 2017 Sundance Film Festival
Sunday, October 1 – 7pm – Theatre Hall – Concordia University | $20

Julián finds love and a reason for living in the last place imaginable: the Dominican Republic’s Najayo Prison. His romance with fellow prisoner Yanelly must develop through sign language.

The Festival’s official award ceremony will precede the film screening.

Saturday, September 30 – 7:30pm – Theatre Hall – Concordia University | $20

A new generation of Haitian artists is giving new momentum to the country’s film industry through Kafou, a film produced by Bruno Mourral. The industry is described as an unsubsidized “guerilla” sprinkled with creativity, love, passion, and determination. An unprecedented discussion will take place after the film screening on the current challenges of Haitian cinema, testimony of the journey in making Kafou, the future of the Haitian cinema and this new generation of filmmakers. Kafou tells the story of Port-au-Prince by night. Doc and Zoe are just hired to deliver an unknown package. Their job comes with three essential rules: never stop the car, never roll down the windows, and never open the trunk. At a crossroad, they stumble upon a dog. Each crossroad requires a sacrifice. Their decision will change their path irreversibly.

Cinéma Impérial: Centre Sandra and Leo Kolber: 1430, rue de Bleury, Montréal
Former Cinémathèque (Annexe Judith-Jasmin): 1564, rue St-Denis
Concordia University, Theatre Hall: 1455, boul. de Maisonneuve O., Montréal
Cinéma du Parc: 3575, av. du Parc, Montréal
L’Inis: 301, boul de Maisonneuve E., Montréal

For more information, including the full list of films and events, visit: www.montrealblackfilm.com