The Montreal International Black Film Festival is back, from Sept. 20 to 25

With events online and in-person, the MIBFF only continues to grow.

Back for its 18th edition, the Montreal International Black Film Festival (MIBFF) is back from Sept. 20 to 25, 2022. Canada’s largest Black film festival will screen 95 films from 25 countries, including 12 world premieres, 10 international premieres, 25 Canadian premieres and 9 Quebec premieres. After two years hampered by the pandemic, the festival is back in-person with an online component, with new venues, activities and events. Most films are available in-person or online with worldwide access. 

Opening night, on Tuesday, Sept. 20 at 7 p.m. at the Imperial Theatre, promises the international premiere of Matt Waldeck’s Lovely Jackson, followed by a Q&A session with the director and Rickey Jackson, an exonerated prisoner. The film is Jackson’s daring first-hand account of the psychology of survival and spiritual fortitude required to withstand 39 years of incarceration for a murder he didn’t commit.

Closing night at Cinéma du Musée will feature Manuel Schapira’s Tropique de la violence, about a 13-year-old boy named Moses facing deportation after the death of his mother and how he joins the slums where dozens of other children live by themselves, abandoned by society. 

This year’s new events include the launch of festival founder Fabienne Cola’s Foundation’s Festwave Institute, a program aimed to train, support and empower the next generation of Black Canadian film and TV professionals. The MIBFF Black Market will also feature several panel discussions in French and English touching on issues and questions like representation, how to get your project off the ground and more. 

Some festival highlights include:

How (Not) to Build a School in Haïti; A documentary that examines where development, history, and colonialism collide when a seemingly simple aid project spirals out of control in Haiti. Headstrong American Tim Myers clashes with Haitian leader Anselme Saimplice, forcing a reckoning on privilege and power.

Kaepernick & America; A doc on activist and quarterback Colin Kaepernick, tracing his ascent through the NFL and his game-changing protests. Kaepernick & America examines the man and his protest, exploring the remarkable conflict stirred by such a symbolic gesture.

Perejil; In 1937, near the border between the Dominican Republic and Haiti, a young Haitian woman named Marie is expecting her first child with Frank, her doting Dominican husband. After her mother’s burial, she is awakened in the middle of the night by distant screams as the immediate execution of all Haitians on Dominican soil has been ordered — the so-called “Cut” — and what seals a victim’s fate is whether or not they can pronounce “perejil” (parsley). Marie takes off to find Frank in the next town over, with nothing but the clothes on her back.

One Pint at a Time; Craft beer generates billions of dollars annually for the U.S. economy. Despite beer’s Egyptian and African heritage, these traditions have been mostly forgotten and are rarely found in American brewing culture. Today, Black-owned breweries make up less than 1% of the nearly 9,000 breweries in operation. Eager to shift the historical perception of who makes and drinks beer, Black brewers, brand owners, and influencers across the country are reshaping the craft beer industry and the future of America’s favourite adult beverage. 

Robuste; Gérard Dépardieu stars as ​​Georges, an aging film star. He has been assigned a replacement named Aïssa when his assistant and only partner has to be away for many weeks. The disillusioned actor and the young security agent will forge a unique bond. ■

For the full program and ticket and pass details, check out MIBFF’s website.

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