The Department of Cinema and Media Arts presents A Round Table on the Art and Politics of Black Cinema in Canada.
This exclusive round table features four of Canada’s most dynamic producer/director/activist filmmakers Alison Duke, Charles Officer, Jennifer Holness and Suds Sutherland.
Moderated by filmmaker and MFA alumnus Esery Mondesir.
Date: Tuesday, November 3, 2020
Time: 2:30 – 4:00 PM
Co-founder of Oya Media Group, Alison produced and co-wrote Mr. Jane and Finch, a CBC POV Documentary and also directed Cool Black North, a two-hour TV documentary for City TV. Current activities see her producing Laurie Townshend’s feature documentary, Mothering in the Movement, kickstarting year 2 of Black Youth! Pathway2Industry, a 3-year initiative to support Black youth access to essential training, mentors, networks, and film industry spaces and developing her feature documentary Bam Bam: The Story of Sister Nancy. She recently finished post-production on, Promise Me, a dramatic short. Alison also won the 2019 WIFT Crystal Award for Mentorship for her mentorship of young filmmakers and for work with Pathways 2 Industry.
Jennifer attended York where she studied political science and met “Sudz” Sutherland, kickstarting their extraordinary collaboration. Jennifer is the producer of the recent film Stateless by Michelle Stephenson which premiered at Hot Docs and won the Special Jury Prize – Canadian Feature Documentary. She directed the documentary film Speakers for the Dead. Jennifer’s production and writing credits include the feature film Love, Sex and Eating the Bones. She has also written for the television including the series Guns, She’s the Mayor and Shoot the Messenger.
Sudz is an alumni of the BFA in Film Production at York and has since developed an illustrious career as a film director and screenwriter. Credits include the films Doomstown, Love, Sex and Eating the Bones, Guns, Speakers for the Dead and Home Again, as well as episodes of Drop the Beat, Da Kink in My Hair, Degrassi: The Next Generation, Wild Roses, Jozi-H, Reign, She’s the Mayor, Designated Survivor, Shoot the Messenger, Murdoch Mysteries, Frankie Drake Mysteries and Batwoman. He and Jennifer Holness co-produced Shoot the Messenger, for CBC and Sudz directed several episodes.
Charles was a professional hockey player before working as a graphic designer and creative director. He is a triple threat: acting, directing, writing and has appeared in multiple film, television and stage productions. Officer’s short films When Morning Comes
and Short Hymn_Silent War premiered at Toronto International Film Festival to wide acclaim. In 2005, Charles helmed the video Strugglin’ 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. He has directed episodes of series television including Da Kink In My Hair for Global Television. His first feature Nurse.Fighter.Boy was theatrically released in 2009 and garnered 10 Genie nominations. His feature documentary Mighty Jerome: The Greatest Comeback in Track & Field History was produced by the NFB. Unarmed Verses, a feature documentary was released in 2016 and won Best Canadian Documentary at Hot Docs. He recently premiered a new feature film at a drive-in at TIFF: Akilla’s Escape.
Moderated by Esery Mondesir. Esery is a Toronto-based artist-filmmaker who was born in Port-au-Prince, Haïti. He worked as a high school teacher, a book designer and a labour organizer prior to receiving an MFA in cinema production from York University (Toronto) in 2017. His work, which includes documentary, fiction and experimental narratives, takes a critical stance on modern-day social, political and cultural phenomena to suggest a reading of our society from its margins. In 2016, he received the Lawrence Heisey Graduate Award in Fine Arts and, in 2017, he received the Paavo and Aino Lukkari Human Rights Award. His short film, Dangerous Weapons, was among the ten finalists at the 2016 TVO Short Doc Contest.