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Tackling the conflicts, resolutions, joy, and pain experienced by African women in the diaspora, demystifying art creation in new technologies and a Canadian scourge on community, responsibility, ownership and race, are the themes for the film and video program:
Telling Our Own Stories on issues such as a Black aesthetics in cinema and how Black Canadian film and video artists from across the country see themselves in the diaspora and the wider community of artists; Inner Visions - Dramatic ,documentary and experimental works primarily by Black women about women issues; Art Production in New Technologies - Black artists experimenting with new technology and the medium of film-making; Canadian Shorts -  in documentary, drama, animation, comedy, and experimental works take their cue from themes of responsibility and ownership


The CELAFI 1997 Film & Video Program took shape based on five years of primarily Canadian Film Production since our CELAFI 1992 festival.  Over the years we've witnessed a move from documentary production to dramatic and experimental piece. the film and videomakers who were coming into their own five years ago have arrived! And they are joined by new artists making bold new waves from Ontario to British Columbia

From our Myth & Dreams, pre-festival program that allows us to present films by some of the masters of African cinema, to our "Brothas & Sistahs" program which give us the unique opportunity to collectively screen works by African Canadian film and videomakers tackling a variety of issues utilizing a range of genres. Added to this already rich program is our Late Nite Screening of Canadian directed and produced musical video documentaries 

Glace Lawrence, CELAFI 1997 Film and Video Programmer

Film & Video Directors: Dawn Wilkinson, Can; Yvonne Weldon, US; Zan Chandler, Can; Nadine Valcin Can; Cheryl Dunye, US; Nicole Thompson, Can; Selina Williams, Can; Palesa ka Letlaka-Nkosi, South Africa; Joanne Burke, Zimbabwe/US; Tsitsi Dangarembga, Zimbabwe; Jason Romilly, Can; Stephen Williams, Can; Terence Anthony, Can; Mduduzi Mokgakala Can; Clement Virgo, Can; Prairie Soul, Black Rhythms from the Heartland, Can; Richard Wright, Can; Colina Phillips, Can; Alfons Adetuyi, Can; Anthony Sherwood, Can; Souleymane Cissi, Mali; Djibril Diop Mambety, Senegal; Adama Drabo, Mali;

Artistic Director & Program Coordinator CELAFI 1997: Glace Lawrence

Assistant Programmer - Cinemathaque, Ontario: Susan Oxtoby

Co-curator:  Pearl Bowser

Programming support: Black Film & Video Network

Program Co-presenters:  Cinematheque Ontario, Black Film & Video Network,

Myth & Dreams

African cinema has resisted building a canon for the usual good reasons, but such things often arise unbidden.  If there must be an African pantheon, then let the four films comprising "Myth & Dreams" stand as the pillar devoted to strong timeless beauty.

African cinema reached a watershed with YELLEN.  It was as if Cisse had found a cinematic language to match the richness and complexity of oral tradition.  Countryman Adama Drabo responded with TA DONA, whose fluid narrative flips the usual story and has a trained agricultural expert submitting to the rigour of ancient knowledge.  And Djibril Diop Mambety, who had leapt into international cinema twenty years earlier with his anarchic Gordardian TOUKI-BOUKI, returned with HYENAS, a film that drinks from the twin wells of European literature and African mysticism.

Home to the world's oldest cultures, Africa might be expected to exert an overwhelming burden of tradition on it filmmakers.  But as these four films reveal, tradition can be borne with grace.  Verbal style can be made visual-all four films are quite simple dazzling -

Cameron Bailey - Excerpted from MYTH & DREAM pre-program introduction

Myth & Dreams


Pre-CELAFI Film Program

Jackman Hall @ The Art Gallery of Ontario

June 27 & 28

- Yeelen (Brightness), dir Souleymane Cisse, Mali, 105 min, 35mm, 1987

- Finye (The Wind), dir Souleymane Cisse, Mali, 105 min, 35mm, 1982

- Ramatouo (Hyenas), dir Djibril Diop mambety, Senegal, 110  min, 1992

- Ta Dona (Fire), dir Adama Drabo, Mali, 100min, 1991

Brothas & Sistahs:

From the humorous to the haunting, four rich programmes of film and video, divided according to gender – “Brothas” and “Sistahs.” Primarily featuring African Canadian artists, the programme presents a challenging mix of drama, documentary, and experimental pieces. Perspectives on race gender, and identity illuminate these works dealing with hot issues: racism, violence, AIDS, spirituality, isolation and relationships.

Sistahs: Program 1

Sistahs  Program 1:

John Spotton Cinema, National Film Board

Thursday, July 10, 1997

- Dandelions, dir. Dawn Wilkinson, Can, 16mm, 5mins, b/w, 1995

- Monique,  dir  Yvonne Welbon, USA,  16mm, b/w, 1990

- Individual Illumination Untangles, dir.  Zan Chandler, Can, 16mm, 5:50min, b/w, 1995

- Modulations, dir Nadine Calvin, Can, 16mm, 21:15min, 1995

- Greetings From Africa, dir. Cheryle Dunye US, 16mm, 8 min, 1995

- Mumsi, dir. Nicole Thompson, Can, 16mm/video, 30min, 1997

- SAAR, dir. Selina Williams, Can,16mm, 30min, 1994, 


Sistahs: Program 2

Sistahs: Program 2:

John Spotton Cinema, National Film Board

Friday, July 11, 1997

-  Mamlambo, dir Palesa Ka Letlaka-Nkosi, South Africa, 35mm/video, 30min,

- Voices of Change: Women of Zimbabwe, dir Joanne Burke, Zimbabwe/USA, 26:30min,  video, 1996

- Everyone’s Child, dir Tsitsi Dangarembga, Zimbabwe, 90min, 35mm,

Brothas: Program 3

Brothas Program 3:

John Spotton Cinema, National Film Board

Saturday, July 12

- Alone, dir Jason Romilly, Can, 16mm, 20min, 1996

- A Variation on the Key of Life, dir.  Stephen Williams,  Can, 27 min, 1993

- Soul Survivor, dir Stephen Williams, Can, 89 min, 1994


Brothas: Program 4

Brothas Program 4:

John Spotton Cinema, National Film Board

Sunday, July 13

- Blackout, dir. Terence Anthony, Can. 14min, video 1995,

- Anguished Spirits, dir Mduduci Mogakala , Can, 16mm, 7min, 1993

- Save My Lost Nigga’ Soul, dir. Clement Virgo , Can, 16mm, 30min, 1993

- Rude, dir. Clement Virgo , Can,  35mm, 89min, 1995

Late night screenings

Late night screenings

Gekko Restaurant/Bar
 July 9 - July12


Nite I - Midnight, Wednesday July 9

Praire Soul, Black Rhythms From The Heartland

dir. Mark Block, Can, 55min, video col., docu, 1996

Nite II - Midnight, Thursday July 10

- Steel Drums

dir. Richard Wright & Nadine Valcin, Can. 19min, video, col., docu., 1996

- Making Change

dir Colina Phillips, Can., 18min. 16mm, b&w/col., drama, 1995

Nite III - Midnight, Friday July 11
It Aint All Jazz

dir. Alfons Adetuyi, Can. 48:38 min., video, col., docu., 1996

Nite IV - Midnight, Saturday July 12

Music: A Family Tradition

dir. Anthony Sherwood, Can., 48 min., video, col., docu., 1996


Caribbean Cinema

Caribbean Cinema

Studio Theatre, Harbourfront Centre

Sunday, July 13

 4:30 - 6:30,

Caribbean Cinema  showcases films of the islands at CELAFI 1997
Carol Ann Agard, Programmer

(ORLA CAN YOU MOVE THIS TO THE BOTTOM) Canadian Shorts, Phat Phlix

Studio Theatre, Harbourfront Centre

Sunday, July 13



Experimental films and videos works by aspiring young filmmakers

Derek Bascom, Programmer: 

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ORLA USE AN OLDER CB PIC Telling Our Own Stories: Black Canadian Film & Video

Telling of Our Own Stories individual screenings were organized around the telling of history, or reclaiming the representation of a “social problem" – such as the policing of Black communities – or challenging mainstream (including Black mainstream) images of Black subjectivity.

Since its relatively recent beginnings, with the apprenticeship of filmmakers such as Jennifer Hodge de Silva on National Film Board projects in the mid-1970s, Black film making has under gone rapid development.  Most of the films made by African Canadians have been social issue documentaries, reflecting in part the strength of the Canadian Documentary.  They are, however, also indicative of a more culturally-specific response that could be termed a "will to responsibility."

Given that African people worldwide have been subject to wild misrepresentation throughout Western culture - whether through ethnographic films, colonialist narratives "crisis" news report, or TV sitcoms - when a Black filmmaker takes up a camera, he or she must necessarily feel the urge to connect.  Given also that Blacks have been under-represented in the ranks of those producing images in Canada, each Black Canadian film and video bears the burden of telling a "true" story.   African Canadian film and video comes out of a very complex set of cultural circumstances and the works needs to be understood in many contexts.  These include the history of Canadian film Production including the significance of institutional involvement; the debates concerning black artists in relationship to avant-garde and "socially responsible" art hierarchies: the position and priorities of Black Canadian communities; the legacy of centuries of racists images of African peoples; and worldwide debates in Black cultural practice.... By examining what Black Canadian cinema has been in the past and what it has become most recently, i hope this program will aid our understanding of where the next steps lies.  Cameron Bailey, Curator


Telling Our Own Stories and The Films of Ousmane Sembene

CELAFI 1992 (Celebrating African Identity: Strategies of discovery, Affirmation & Empowerment)

Film & Video Program

Telling Our Own Stories and The Films of Ousmane Sembene:  This 1992 retrospective accomplished many firsts.  It is the first exhibition in Canada of a body of work produced and/or directed by Black Canadian film & video makers. It is also the first time that a complete retrospective of the work of Senegal's Ousemane Sembene was screened in Canada.  The retrospective was presented simultaneously in Ottawa at the National Gallery.  Ghana's Kwaw Ansah was also present for the Canadian Premiere of his second feature film Ganja & Hess.  The Film & Video Program of CELAFI 1992  goal was to introduce to a Canadian audience the existence of a body of work by Black Canadian film and video makers from across the country, while serving as a unique opportunity for Black Canadian artists to dialogue with international renowned filmmakers on issues such as a Black aesthetic in cinema and how these film & video makers in the diaspora see themselves as artists in the wider community  - Glace Lawrence, Artistic Director/Coordinator Statement

Film and Video Directors:  Alfons Adetuyi, ON; Jennifer Hodge de Silva, CAN; Roger MctTair, CAN; Kwaw Ansah, Ghana; Bill Gunn, USA; Christine Brown, ON; Andrew Davis, ON; Donna James, Nova Scotia; Nicole Thompson, BC; Claire Prieto, ON; Sylvia Hamilton, Nova Scotia; Selwyn Jacob, Alberta; Julia Brown Figuereo, Quebec, Glace Lawrence, ON; Clarence Hamilton, ON; Debbie Douglas, ON; Gabrielle Micallef, ON; Jim Banks, ON; Errol Williams, New Brunswick;  Ousemane Sembene, Senegal.

Curators:  Cameron Bailey, Francoise Pfaff

Co-curator:  Pearl Bowser

Artistic Director & Program Coordinator: Glace Lawrence

Programming support: Black Film & Video Network

Program Co-presenters:  Cinematheque Ontario, Black Film & Video Network,

The Films of Ousmane Sembene – A Retrospective

The Films of Ousmane Sembene: A Retrospective

Presented by CAN:BAIA and Cinenamatheque Ontario

Studio Theatre, Harbourfront Centre & Canadian Film Centre (CFC)

Thursday July 9, thru Sunday July 12

A Retrospective of Senegalese Filmmaker Ousmane Sembene films was the center-piece of CELAFI ’92 FILM Program.  

It was the first time a complete retrospective of  Ousmane Sembene films had been screened in the Canada,. The filmmaker was in attendance.

A socially oriented writer, a progressive and provocative independent filmmaker, a social activist and critic as well as a spokesman for sub-Sahara African artistry, Ousmane Sembene, has relentlessly advocated a type of cinema that would inform, instruct and raise the African viewer's sociopolitical awareness.  The Senegalese cineaster, is a man of iron strength who has not sacrifice his integrity  to the lures of escapist commercial movie-making. He has been a model for many independent filmmakers in Africa and the Black Diaspora.

Guest Curator: Francoise Pfaff

- Camp De Thiaroye, 16mm, 152mins, 1987, French, pidgin French & Wolof with English subtitles)presented in support of
   the Canadian Film Centre (CFC)

- Borom Sarret (16mm, b/w, 20mins, 1963, French with English subtitles)

- Black Girl (16mm, b/w, 60mins, 1966, French with English subtitles)

- Auw (16mm, b/w, 24mins, 1970, In Wolof with English subtitles)

- Mandabi (The Money Order) (16mm, 105mins, 1968, In Wolof with English subtitles)

- Emitai (16mm, 95mins, 1971, In Diola with English subtitles)

- Xala (16mm, 116mins, 1974, In French with English subtitles),

- Ceddo (16mm, 120mins, 1976, In Wolof with English subtitles)

Telling Our Own Stories: Program 1:

Telling Our Own Stories:   Program 1:

Studio Theatre, Harbourfront Centre

Wednesday, July 8, 7:30 and

Sunday July 12, 2:15

- Survivors:  dir. Alfons Adetuyi, Toronto/Can, 16mm, 54min 1992

- No Choice:   dir. Christine Browne, ON/Can, 16mm, 8 min, 1990,

- Good Hair, Pretty Hair, Curly Hair:  dir. Andrew Davis, ON/Can, 16mm, b/w, 24min, 1991

- Jodi Drake: Blues In My Bread:  dir. Christine Browne, ON/Can, ¾” video, 30min, 1991,

- Maigre Dog:  dir. Donna James, Nova Scotia/Can , ¾” Video, 5min, 1990

Telling Our Own Stories: Program 2

Telling Our Own Stories:  Program 2:

Studio Theatre, Harbourfront Centre

Friday, July 10, 3:30

- Maigre Dog:  dir. Donna James

- The Aliennation:  dir. Nicole Thompson, British Columbia,  ¾” video, 12min, 1992 (world Premiere),

- Black Mother, Black Daughter:  dir. Claire Preito and Sylvia Hamilton, Nova Scotia, 16mm, 30min, 1989

- Home To Buxton:  dir. Claire Prieto, Ontario, 16mm, 30mins, 1987

- The Saint From North Battleford:  dir. Selwyn Jacobs, Alberta, 16mm, 23mins, 1989

Telling Our Own Stories: Program 3

Telling Our Own Stories:  Program 3

Studio Theatre, Harbourfront Centre

Saturday, July 11, 2pm


- Traces:   dir. Julia Browne Figuereo, Quebec, 16mm, 4mins, 1991

- D-I-S-I-R-E:  dir. Glace W. Lawrence, Ontario 16mm, b/w, 5mins, 1989

- Older, Stronger, Wiser:  dir. Claire Prieto, Ontario, 16mm, 30mins, 1990

- Sketches For Triangles:  dir. Clarence Hamilton, Ontario, 16mm, b/w, 45mins, 1990

- Another Love Story:  dirs. Debbie Douglas, Gabrielle Micallef, Ontario, 3/4” video, 30mins, 1990

(ORLA TO BE MOVED TO END) Telling Our Own Stories: Program 4

Telling Our Own Stories:  Program 4

Studio Theatre, Harbourfront Centre

Sunday, July 12, 4pm

- Mr. Metro:  dir. Jim Banks, Ontario,  3/4” video, 5mins, 1989

- Driftwood:  dir Errol Williams, New Brunswick, 16mm, 14mins, 1989

- Home Feeling - Struggle For A Community:  dir Jennifer Hodge de Silva

- Jennifer Hodge - The Glory And The Pain:  dir Roger McTair


Telling Our Own Stories:  Program 1 (second screening)

Studio Theatre, Harbourfront Centre

Sunday, July 12, 2pm

- Survivors:  dir. Alfons Adetuyi, Toronto/Can, 16mm, 54min 1992

- No Choice:   dir. Christine Browne, ON/Can, 16mm, 8 min, 1990,

- Good Hair, Pretty Hair, Curly Hair:  dir. Andrew Davis, ON/Can, 16mm, b/w, 24min, 1991

- Jodi Drake: Blues In My Bread:  dir. Christine Browne, ON/Can, ¾” video, 30min, 1991,

- Maigre Dog:  dir. Donna James, Nova Scotia/Can , ¾” Video, 5min, 1990



Hosted by CAN: BAIA and the 3rd International NCA Conference  With the support of Telefilm Canada.


Filmmaking in Africa & the Diaspora… a Cinema of Duty?

When looking at this issue in a Canadian framework, there is evidence that the work produced in Canada bu Black film and videomakers has had a heavy focus on the documentary form, sometimes refered to as "cinema of affirnmation." In contrast, many 'first films' in West Africa have affirmed the exsitence of culture and heritage, but presented in the dramatic form. Panelists (filmmakers & critics) made illustrative presentation in support of their perspective on these issues


Facilitator: Francoise Pfaff (USA)

Panelists: Ousmane Sembene (Senegal), Kwaw Ansah (Ghana), Errol Williams, Cameron Bailey and Claire Prieto (Canada)

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