In our commitment to amplify Black voices, we are compiling and promoting links to disseminate the work of Black Canadian Film-makers and Media Artists. This is now an ongoing project and will have a permanent space on our website. We want to see this project grow, so please reach out with additions that have yet to be listed: firstname.lastname@example.org.
From their website:
“Born in St. Kitts, Browne moved with her family to Regent Park, Canada’s oldest and largest low income community in 1970. Her very first two films Brothers in Music a film about two struggling jazz musicians and No Choices, a 6 minute film that looked at the abortion issue and how it relates to women living in poverty debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival in 1991 and launched Browne’s film career. In 1999 Browne completed the semi autobiographical film Another Planet her first dramatic feature film and the first feature film to be directed by a Black woman in Canada. In 2008, she completed Speaking in Tongues: The History of Language a ground breaking five-part documentary series that looks at the History of Language from prehistoric time to the present day. Noam Chomsky and many other notable linguists are featured in this series. In addition to her film and literary work, Browne has also worked as a film programmer, curator and media arts instructor.
Michele Pearson Clarke
From their website:
“Michèle Pearson Clarke is a Trinidad-born artist who works in photography, film, video and installation. Using archival, performative and process-oriented strategies, her work explores the personal and political possibilities afforded by considering experiences of emotions related to longing and loss. Recent exhibitions and screenings include Here We Are Here: Black Canadian Contemporary Art at Le Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal (2018); All That is Left Unsaid at ltd los angeles (2018); Black Radical Imagination at Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (2016); Parade of Champions at Ryerson Image Centre, Toronto (2015); and a solo exhibition, A Welcome Weight on My Body (2018) at Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Art, Toronto.”
From their website:
“Hubert Davis has built a strong reputation in Canada’s documentary film scene as one of the most acclaimed contemporary directors of the genre. Davis’ directorial debut Hardwood was nominated for both an Academy Award® and an Emmy®, it explored the relationship between Hubert and his Harlem Globetrotter father Mel Davis. Hubert’s next project Aruba had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival and won the Grand Jury Prize at Palm Springs Film Festival. Hubert’s most recent feature documentary Giants of Africa which followed Toronto Raptors President Masai Ujiri, made its world premiere at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival.
Hubert has directed commercials and short docs with clients such as Audi, Chevrolet, Coca-Cola, Ford, Gatorade, Nike and Pfizer. Hubert has consistently directed Cannes Lions winning work for Volkswagen Once More, Special Olympics Canada Sport, and HP's Rivolta, which followed notorious hacker Michael “Mafiaboy” Calce, and was the recipient of a Cannes Film Lion in 2017.”
From their website:
“Fil Fraser was an Edmonton based book author, columnist, radio personality, television program director, and radio, television & feature film producer. He was born and educated in Montreal.” He has been lauded as the first Black Canadian broadcaster.
From the Canadian Encyclopedia:
"Sylvia D. Hamilton, filmmaker, writer, educator (born in Beechville, NS). Sylvia Hamilton specializes in re-evaluating sanitized accounts of Canadian history and focusing on the perspectives of Black Canadians, particularly Black Canadian women. Her films include Black Mother Black Daughter (1989), the Gemini Award winner Speak It! From the Heart of Black Nova Scotia (1993), the biographical documentary Portia White: Think On Me (2000) and The Little Black Schoolhouse (2007). In both her essays and films, Hamilton draws on collective experiences to document diverse and inclusive communities, bringing to light what previous historians have overlooked. “
“Filmmaker, interdisciplinary artist. Ottawa-bred, Queen’s- and Concordia-trained Dana Inkster is best known for Welcome to Africville (1999, 15). Africville was the African-Canadian community in Halifax that was razed for “urban renewal” in the late sixties. Against a backdrop of black and white archival footage of this neighbourhood under demolition unfolds a slice-in-time narrative set on the eve of destruction. Highlighted are three generations of women in an Africville family, including a proud and lustful, thirty-something dyke, plus the friendly and queer local bartender (Alexander Chapman). Lushly photographed against brightly coloured settings, the film raises the question, not only of a lost community history, but also of lost sexual histories and identities. Well known on both the queer international and the African diaspora circuits, Inkster’s 2003 documentary is The Art of Autobiography.”
“Selwyn Jacob is an award-winning filmmaker, based in Vancouver, who has produced or directed more than 40 films since joining the NFB in 1997. His recent projects include, Mighty Jerome, a feature-length documentary on Vancouver sprinter Harry Jerome, directed by Charles Officer (2010); and When You Give of Yourself, a short film directed by Lynne Stopkewich for the 2010 Governor General’s Awards.”
“Stella Meghie is a director and writer, known for Jean of the Joneses (2016), The Weekend (2018) and The Photograph (2020).”
From the Canadian Film Centre:
“Officer’s debut short film, When Morning Comes premiered at the 2000 Toronto International Film Festival to wide acclaim. His second film, Short Hymn_Silent War received a Special Jury Citation at TIFF ‘02 and a Genie nomination in 2004. In 2005, Charles helmed the video clipStrugglin’ by international recording giant K’Naan.
He developed and directed the television pilot Hotel Babylon, then followed up with a short documentary commissioned by Canadian reggae, punk band Bedouin Soundclash entitled, In The Year of Our Lord”
“Most recently executive producer of documentary series Echo and co-producer on feature film Step; Claire Prieto-Fuller has built a reputation for developing the talents of emerging filmmakers of colour in Canada as producer of the New Initiatives in Film program at the National Film Board in the mid-1990s and as founding president of the Black Film & Video Network. Claire has directed, produced, line produced and production managed a variety of productions, including: Lord Have Mercy, Love Songs, Raizin’ Kane and Exhibit A – Secrets of Forensic Science and the award-winning, Survivors, Black Mother Black Daughter and Older Stronger Wiser for the NFB, Some Black Women, It’s Not an Illness, Home to Buxton, and Jennifer Hodge: The Glory and the Pain.”
“Mark Simms is the executive producer for Jane-Finch.com. He oversees multimedia development and community outreach activities. His background includes broadcast television and corporate video production. His videos and documentaries have aired for a national audience. In 2006, Mark spent a year working with CBC's The Fifth Estate following the lives of gang-involved youth in the Gemini-Award nominated Lost in the Struggle.”
From their website:
“Frances-Anne Solomon is an award-winning filmmaker, writer, producer, curator, and entrepreneur in film, TV, radio, theatre, and new media. Born in England of Trinidadian parents, she was raised and educated in the Caribbean and Canada before moving to Great Britain where she built a successful career with the BBC as a TV Drama Producer and Executive Producer. Productions included Love is the Devil by John Maybury, and Speak Like A Child by John Akomfrah, both of which she executive produced for the BBC. She also produced and directed films and television programs through her production company Leda Serene Films.
She moved to Toronto in 2000, where she continued to create, write, direct, and produce her own projects. She is currently in production with the feature HERO – Inspired by the Life and Time of Ulric Cross. Her film A Winter Tale received many prestigious international awards, including at Fespaco 2009 (Africa’s Oscars held biannually in Burkina Faso West Africa) where it won in The Paul Robeson Award for Best Diaspora Film. Other directing credits include the feature film Peggy Su! (BBC Films, 1997); What My Mother Told Me (Channel 4 1995), Bideshi (British Film Institute 1994); and documentaries Literature Alive (Bravo!/OMNI, 2006), Reunion 2 (BBC,1993), and I Is A Long Memoried Woman (Arts Council of England 1991). She produced the multi-award winning feature Kingston Paradise, with director Mary Wells – the first feature film written and directed by a Jamaican woman.”
From The Canadian Film Centre:
“Sudz Sutherland is an award-winning writer/director. His first feature was a comedy called LOVE, SEX AND EATING THE BONES. Premiering at TIFF, Bones won best first feature and was nominated for three Genies. His next movie, DOOMSTOWN won 3 Gemini Awards including Best TV Movie and Best Direction. Next was the dramatic Miniseries Guns for CBC. It won five Gemini Awards including Best Direction, and Best Writing. THE PHANTOMS is his latest CBC movie and it premiered fall 2012. Sudz’s latest feature is a hard-hitting drama called HOME AGAIN. Its world premiere was at TIFF 2012 and had its major theatrical release across Canada on March 22nd, 2013 and premiered in Trinidad & Tobago on April 2nd, 2013. HOME AGAIN won the prestigious BAFTA award at the 2013 PAFF down in LA.”
From their website:
“Clement Virgo is one of Canada’s foremost film directors. His TV directing credits include The Get Down (Netflix), Empire (Fox), The Wire (HBO), The L Word (HBO), American Crime (ABC), and the first three seasons of the OWN network drama series Greenleaf (2017), on which he is also serving as Director and Executive Producer with Oprah Winfrey.
In 2015 he directed and co-wrote a six-part miniseries adaptation of Lawrence Hill’s The Book of Negroes which debuted to record-breaking numbers on the CBC in Canada and on BET in the U.S. and won 12 Canadian Screen Awards and was nominated for two U.S. Critics Choice Television Awards for Best Limited Series and Best Actress in a Limited Series (Aunjanue Ellis).”
“Patrice James holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Film Studies from Carleton University. Ms. James is presently the Executive Director of the Independent Filmmakers Co-operative of Ottawa Inc. (IFCO). She is herself a practicing filmmaker with approximately eight film credits to date. Ms. James has contributed to the cultural life in Ottawa for nearly 20 years, as a strong advocate for the media arts both locally and at the national level, currently serving on the Board of Directors of both the Independent Media Arts Alliance (IMAA), and the Media Arts Network of Ontario (MANO). Patrice James was one of three finalists in 2012 vying to receive Ottawa’s top annual arts prize; the Victor Tolgesy Award, which is given annually to an individual who has “contributed substantially” to culture in Ottawa. Ms. James continues to live and work in Ottawa.”
“Donna James was born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1960. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and undertook graduate studies in Architecture at the University of Calgary.
Her art practice has evolved from text-based photography to video and most recently film/video installation. From using photography as objective portraiture and a means to challenge preconceived notions of black women, her work has evolved to a more personal exploration of storytelling, oral history and the imprint of memory in the construction of self. Her work benefits from story telling, commemoration and familial histories. She finds the inquiry into memory important to the politics of representation, particularly for people of colour whose representation has often been dictated by others. Her work often focuses on reconciling loss through personal exploration, and a re-examination of story telling and oral history using interviews as a dialectic tool.”
“A Canadian artist of Haitian origin, Yvon has lived and studied in Montreal, Vancouver, Banff, and Winnipeg. In 1989, after having earned his bachelor of Fine Arts (honours) from the University of Manitoba, he moved to Ontario. Since then, he has lived in the Outaouais Region and has graduated with a Certificate of Education from the University of Ottawa. He now works as an art educator and guide at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa.”
From Mois De La Photo:
“Ramona Ramlochand was born in Guyana. Her art practice focuses on photography and video-based installations, inspired by travel in developing countries. Her collaborative projects include The Night Has a Thousand Eyes, with British artist Keith Piper; A Mazing Place, with photographer Diana Shearwood; and Distillation, with the contemporary classical music group Continuum. She has received several Canada Council and Conseil des arts et des lettres grants, and her work is held in several public collections, including the Museé du Quebec, the Canada Council Art Bank, and the City of Ottawa. She has earned both a BFA (University of Ottawa) and an MFA (Concordia University), and she lives and works in Montreal.”
“Originally from Edmonton, Alberta (Canada), Christina Battle holds a B.Sc. in Environmental Biology from the University of Alberta and an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. Her film, video and installation works explore themes of history and counter-memory, political mythology and environmental catastrophe. She has exhibited internationally in festivals and galleries including: The Images Festival (Toronto), The London Film Festival (UK), The International Film Festival Rotterdam (The Netherlands), YYZ Artists' Outlet (Toronto), White Box (New York), The Foreman Art Gallery at Bishops University (Sherbrooke, QC), Nuit Blanche (Toronto, 2006) and in the Whitney Biennial, Day for Night (New York, 2006).”
From the Manitoba Historical Society:
“Born at Birmingham, England on 7 August 1963, his family moved to Jamaica a few years later and eventually settled at Winnipeg. He graduated from the University of Winnipeg in 1987 with a BA in Anthropology/ Theatre and, in 1989, with a Film Production Diploma from Confederation College at Thunder Bay, Ontario. In the course of work as a director, producer, writer, and editor, he completed the films The Barbeque (1993), Barbara James (2003), and Billy (2010). He made several documentaries for the National Film Board of Canada and he served on juries for the Manitoba Arts Council, Canada Council Media Arts, and the Winnipeg Film Group. He was the Director-in-Residence at the Academy of Broadcasting Corporation, the Cultural Liaison Coordinator at Video Pool, and as an Assistant Editor at CBC, CTV and NFB. He died at Winnipeg on 13 April 2011, of complications following heart surgery.”
From Rebels and Misfits Media:
“Nadine Valcin is an award-winning bilingual producer, writer and director. Her factual and documentary work has been shown in Canada on CBC, CBC News Network, TVO, W, Artv, Canal D, Réseau de l’information (RDI), Société Radio-Canada (SRC), TFO, as well as TV One and the History Network in the United States.
She has directed four documentary projects for the National Film Board of Canada, including the critically-acclaimed Black, Bold and Beautiful (1999) and Une école sans frontières (A School without Borders, 2008). Her current focus is on dramatic projects. She has written and directed three short films, and is developing two feature films, Trajectoires (in French) and My Own Angel (in English) as well as the dramatic television series Deep Shadows”
Other Links for More Information
The State of Blackness Database through OCAD
Film in Colour is an online tool intended to showcase Canadian POC Filmmakers:
Black Canadian Filmmakers
The Black Film and Video Network
Black Canadian Film
Black in Canada Visual Artists
The 50 Greatest Movies by Black Directors:
A Selection of Black Film Festivals in Canada
Image: "are we going to get blown off the planet [and what should we do about it]" by Christina Battle, 2020