Canada’s biggest black film festival returns for a breathtaking 15th year that promises to inspire through a strong, diverse, and bold programming which highlights the tales and events that have challenged conventions, left a distinctive mark on our times, and changed how we see the world.

Moviegoers will get the chance to watch 90 uncut, quality films from 25 countries. MIBFF is honoured to open the festival with Harriet Tubman’s long awaited biopic, HARRIET. The film, directed by Kasi Lemmons and starring Tony-winning Broadway actor Cynthia Erivo, will be a Quebec Premiere at the Montreal International Black Film Festival following its world premiere at TIFF.

MIBFF’s mission remains, as always, to give minorities a voice on and off screen and to shine the spotlight on diversity within the industry by presenting a rich and bold program. This year the festival will pay tribute to Euzhan Palcy, César winning director and the only Black female filmmaker to have directed Marlon Brando; César winning actor Isaach De Bankolé; Iconic Quebec filmmaker Jean-Claude Lord; and Haitian-American Hollywood star Jimmy Jean-Louis. As well as Yusef Salaam & Kevin Richardson of the The Central Park Five whose story was told in Ava Duvernay’s Emmy Award nominated Netflix series, When They See Us.

The 15th annual MIBFF promises to entertain but most importantly to inspire through thought-provoking films. The program features a record 90 films, among some of which are World, International, North American, Canadian or Quebec Premieres; the MIBFF Black Market space dedicated to the cinema industry; and presenting the MIBFF Kids Program. One of the highlight events is an initiative from The Fabienne Colas Foundation’s Youth & Diversity Program: Being Black in Canada. Fifteen emerging Canadian directors (18-30 years old), from black communities of Montreal, Toronto and Halifax, will screen their first short documentary films – produced through the program – as World Premieres.

“We created this festival in 2005 in order to showcase filmmakers who otherwise wouldn’t be seen or heard in Montreal. By giving a voice to the marginalized and showing films that shatter taboos, our festival’s aim is to promote professional collaboration and foster the development of independent film. Today, our focus is to go beyond ‘awareness’ with concrete ‘actions’ to foster the inclusion of diversity off and on camera! The MIBFF is more than ever looking to the future by empowering the next generation of black filmmakers.” – Fabienne Colas, President and Founder of the MIBFF.

Our absolute favorites 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: Harriet, Princess of the Row; Ellen: The Ellen Pakkies Story; Jim Button and The Engine Driver; Unarmed Man; Subira; Wheels; Mabata Bata; Rwanda; The Tokoloshe; Césaire vs Aragon; While I Breathe, I Hope; No promised Land; Rumba in the Jungle; Dilili à Paris, Restless and many more!

By Kasi Lemmons
Tuesday, September 24, 7PM | Imperial Theatre | $25 | Quebec Premiere
Kasi Lemmons’ HARRIET tells the extraordinary tale of Harriet Tubman’s escape from slavery and transformation into one of America’s greatest heroes. Her courage, ingenuity, and tenacity freed hundreds of slaves and changed the course of history.
Harriet will be screening at MIBFF following its World Premiere at TIFF. This long awaited biopic will hit theatres across Canada on November 1.
The MIBFF’s Opening Film screening will be preceded by a tribute to French Caribbean trailblazer and Cesar-winning Filmmaker Euzhan Palcy, and Québécois legendary filmmaker Jean-Claude Lord, who will both receive the The Montreal Intl Black Film Festival’s 2019 Pioneer Award. Palcy is the first woman and the second person to receive the MIBFF’s Pioneer Award after Spike Lee.

From the Fabienne Colas Foundation’s Diversity Program
Wednesday, September 25, 7PM-11PM | Cinéma du Parc | $20
Supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, Being Black in Canada, an initiative from The Fabienne Colas Foundation’s Youth & Diversity Program, supported 15 Canadians, 18 to 30 years old, from black communities in Montreal, Toronto and Halifax in the creation of 15 short documentary films (8 to 10 minutes). The filmmakers received professional coaching for each stage of the audiovisual production process then made a short documentary film under the tutelage of industry professionals. A unique project that ensures inspiring emerging artists from culturally diverse backgrounds.

Presented by the Fabienne Colas Foundation
By Daryne Joshua
Sunday, September 29, 7PM | Cinéma du Musée | $20 | Quebec Premiere
Based on true events, Ellen tells of the troubled relationship between a mother and her drug-addicted son – a relationship that will eventually drive her to the edge and lead to his murder. In 2007, the death of 20 year old Abie Pakkies created a stir in South Africa and the world. The most disturbing part of the case was that the murderer was his mother, Ellen. The powerful film Ellen was South Africa’s choice for the 2019 Golden Globes.

For the full program and tickets, visit:

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