Canada’s largest Black Film Festival, the Montreal International Black Film Festival (MIBFF), returns with a meaningful 17th edition that promises to inspire through bold programming – online and in person – September 22 to October 3, 2021.

This year, the Festival is honored to present the MIBFF 2021 Career Achievement Award to Cesar winning actor Omar Sy (Lupin, The Untouchables); award winning Haitian-Canadian visual artist and filmmaker, Martine Chartrand (Black Soul, MacPherson); and Guadeloupean/French activist and actress, Firmine Richard (8 women, La première étoile). All three Honorary Guests will sit down with MIBFF President and Founder Fabienne Colas to discuss, in an intimate conversation, their respective career evolution, their journey to success and the importance of Diversity off and on screen today.

The #MIBFF21 will present 17 World premieres, 9 International premieres, 40 Canadian premieres and 35 Quebec premieres. Opening night will take place on Wednesday, September 22 at 7:00pm at the Imperial Theatre with Glenn Kaino & Afshin Shahidi’s With Drawn Arms, a feature documentary about track-and-field gold medalist Tommie Smith who famously raised a gloved fist at the ’68 Olympic games to protest racial inequality in America. Then at 9:00pm, 134 uncut films will be available ONLINE until October 3. MIBFF21 will close with Claus Drexel’s narrative feature, Under the Stars of Paris. The film tells the story of a homeless women in Paris who meets an orphaned 8-year-old Eritrean boy. Bound by their marginal conditions, they embark together on an emotional journey to find his mother in Paris.

MIBFF’s film selection is from 30 countries including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Curaçao, Dominican Republic, France, Ghana, Guinea, Haiti, Ivory Coast, Martinique, Nigeria, Peru, Qatar, South Africa, Sudan, Tunisia, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, and more.

Some of this year’s must-see films, in person and online, include Rumba Kings, Subjects of Desire Regard Noir, Belly of the Beast, Since I Been Down, Another Paradise, Poppie Nongena, The Special, Under the Stars of Paris, With Drawn Arms, Under the Stars of Paris, Uprooted and more!

“We are beyond grateful for the opportunity to present another extraordinary MIBFF edition so we can spotlight Black films and filmmakers who normally wouldn’t be seen or heard. They don’t lack talent, they just lack opportunities. The festival allows us to celebrate them by going beyond ‘awareness’ with concrete ‘actions’ to foster the inclusion of diversity off and on camera. It is also a true privilege to honour exceptional artists like Omar Sy, Martine Chartrand and Firmine Richard who have shown us that when given the opportunity, Black filmmakers and actors can do wonders and inspire the world. Cheers to our first hybrid edition!” – Fabienne Colas, President and Founder of MIBFF.


An Intimate Conversation with OMAR SY: Omar Sy opens up about his career trajectory, the success of Lupin and moving to the US from France, the importance of Diversity off and on screen and what’s next for him. Presented in French with English subtitles
An Intimate Conversation with TARAJI P. HENSEN: (Rebroadcast from earlier this year at the Toronto Black Film Festival (TBFF)), Academy Award nominated actress Taraji P. Henson talks about her path towards Hollywood fame as a Black actress.
An Intimate Conversation with MARTINE CHARTRAND: Haitian-Canadian visual artist and filmmaker, Martine Chartrand, is an influential and devoted personality in Canadian animation.
An Intimate Conversation with FIRMINE RICHARD: Guadeloupean actress and activist Firmine Richard discusses how she got her start on the silver screen in her forties and how she navigated the not always calm waters of the film and television industries.

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