7th HALIFAX BLACK FILM FESTIVAL BACK IN-PERSON AND ONLINE,
TO MARK AFRICAN HERITAGE MONTH, FEBRUARY 24-28
#HBFF23 HOSTS INNOVATIVE, DIVERSE AND BOLD PROGRAMMING,
OPENS WITH FRANK BERRY’S FILM AISHA STARRING LETITIA WRIGHT FROM BLACK PANTHER FAME
Full program, local events schedule, all-access passes and individual tickets available at: HalifaxBlackFilm.com
(Halifax, February 1, 2023) – The 7th annual Halifax Black Film Festival (#HBFF23) is back in-person and online this year to celebrate African Heritage Month by amplifying Black voices and uplifting Black talent from February 24 – 28, 2023.
#HBFF23, created by the Fabienne Colas Foundation, presented by TD Bank Group (TD), in collaboration with Global News, will present 70 films from 10 countries virtually as well as in-person at Cineplex Park Lane along with special events at the Halifax Central Public Library.
“We are proud to be back in person to celebrate African Heritage Month with another impactful and powerful edition of the Halifax Black Film Festival!” says Fabienne Colas, President and Founder of the Black Film Festivals in Montreal, Toronto, Halifax, Ottawa, Calgary, and Vancouver. “Now more than ever, HBFF is an important platform that celebrates Black talent and empowers filmmakers to create meaningful work. Our aim is to connect members of all cultural communities through films, allowing us to better understand one another and to see the world through each other’s experiences.”
#HBFF23’s Opening Night film is Frank Berry’s film AISHA, starring Letitia Wright from Black Panther fame. The story is about Aisha Osagie, a young Nigerian woman who gets caught up for years in Ireland’s immigration system. It will screen on Friday, February 24 at 7pm at Cineplex Park Lane.
Fabienne Colas Foundation’s BEING BLACK IN CANADA, presented by NETFLIX, in collaboration with the National Bank, and supported by Telefilm Canada, the Canada Council for the Arts and various local partners, will screen its 2022 program on Saturday, February 25 at 5pm and 7pm at Cineplex Park Lane. The screening will be followed by a Q&A moderated by local content creator and musical artist, Harmony Adesola.
Young filmmakers, aged 18-30, from Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver, created short documentaries addressing the issues that impact Black communities across Canada. The following four Halifax filmmakers tell their raw and relevant stories about what it means to them to be Black and living in Halifax:
- Juliet Mawusi– My Type of Hair
- Caleb Peters– Mixed Messages
- R’maelynn Downey Roberts – Rambo & Ms. Deb
- Shiquawn Downey – What Was Albert Up Against?
Another short film to watch for in the online offerings is from first-time local filmmaker Tobi Martin Flemming. A Walk in the Sun tells the story of an interracial couple who see their own story’s struggle mirrored in a painting as they try to find their way together across their racial divide.
Young viewers are being treated to a special FREE kid’s screening of Jim Button and the Wild 13 on Saturday February 25 at 1pm at the Cineplex Park Lane. Register online at HalifaxBlackFilm.com.
#HBFF23’s Closing Night film is Brett A. Schwartz’s documentary feature, Raised Up West Side, which follows the inspiring plight of ex-offenders, social activists, and entrepreneurs working and changing lives on Chicago’s West Side. This film closes the in-person festival offerings on Sunday, February 26 at 7pm. It is followed by a special virtual Q&A with director Brett A. Schwartz, facilitated by local award-winning filmmaker and social justice activist, Sobaz Benjamin.
Returning for 2023 is the HBFF Black Market, presented by Bell Fund and co-presented by the Halifax Regional Library. This industry series sees renowned local industry professionals share real-world experience on today’s most critical industry and social issues in an exciting blend of thought-provoking and fun panel discussions.
The FREE in-person panels will take place on Saturday, February 25 from 10:30am – 3pm at the Halifax Central Library. Panels include:
The Art of Networking in a (Post) COVID World (10:30am). Local panelists include:
- Moderator Amber Fryday from Global News
- Floyd Kane, Writer, Creator, Executive Producer
- Alexandra Maclean, Actress, Writer and one of the few Black female stunt performers in Nova Scotia
- Solitha Shortte, TV host, Social Media Specialist, Entrepreneur, Coach
- Jeremy Webb, Artistic Director of Neptune Theatre
Top Funders Talk Top Funding to the Future of Black Filmmaking (12pm). Local panelists include:
- Moderator Osas Eweka-Smith,Publicist and Public Relations Officer, Quebec and Atlantic, NFB
- Lori McCurdy, Feature Film Executive, Atlantic Region
- Morgan Salter, Content Creator Fund Manager, Screen Nova Scotia
- Rohan Fernando, Executive Producer, National Film Board
- Iain MacLeod, Programs & Outreach Coordinator, AFCOOP
- Stewart Young, Executive Producer, Arts and Documentary programming, CBC
Queer Black Representation in the Arts and Media (1:30pm) featuring local panelists:
- Chris Cochrane, also known as Elle Noir, Nikki Martin and Kayla Borden.
There will also be two HBFF Black Market discussions on Facebook Live on Sunday, February 26:
- Can Writers Thrive Outside the Big Cities? (11am AST), moderated by Cory Bowles of Trailer Park Bowles fame, and featuring local writers Nikki Martin and Israel Ekanem.
- Why Racialized Casting Directors Are Key to Boosting Representation On-Screen (1:30pm AST), featuring Hank White, film industry veteran and member of Nova Scotia Native Council Zone 12, a Member of the Northern Woodland Metis, of Mi’kmaq French Acadian Metis ancestry. And Koumbie, Actor, Filmmaker, and Activist, with recurring roles on Mr. D, Diggstown, Addison and Sex & Violence – and directorial work on Hustle & Heart, a 1k wave film, Ariyah & Tristan’s Inevitable Break-Up and Studio Black.
TICKETS & PASSES:
The #HBFF23 online All-Access Pass is available for $59. Individual in-person tickets are $12 for regular film screenings, $20 for the Opening Night film, and $15 for the Closing Night film with Q&A.
The full program, All-Access Passes, and individual tickets, available at: HalifaxBlackFilm.com
Get Social #HBFF23
About the Halifax Black Film Festival
Created in 2017 by the Fabienne Colas Foundation (FCF), the Halifax Black Film Festival (HBFF) is part of a solid affiliated Black Film Festivals’ Network in Montréal, Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary, and Vancouver. The Halifax Black Film Festival is dedicated to celebrating the very best in cinematic work dealing with the varied experiences of black people from diverse communities. Their mandate is to provide an opportunity for filmmakers to shine the spotlight on authentic stories that reflect the realities of black experiences. To learn more, visit: HalifaxBlackFilm.com
Wendy Phillips, Phillips Public Relations / [email protected]