The Calgary Black Film Festival showcases the best of local and international film talent

Established and up-and-coming black filmmakers walk the red carpet during the opening night of the Calgary Black Film Festival at the Globe Theater on Thursday, May 26, 2022. The festival, which showcases the best in international, Canadian and Calgary black films, May 26-29. ARYN TOOMBS / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY

Connection is at the heart of the Calgary Black Film Festival.

Whether connecting viewers in the cinema or on their television screens to powerful film noir, or through the filmmakers themselves who attend the festival.

The festival runs May 26-29 at the Globe Cinema, Contemporary Calgary, Calgary Public Library and online.

“I think it’s important to have platforms like the Calgary Black Film Festival to hear a diversity of voices and to watch films that you don’t get exposed to every day and won’t see anywhere else.” , said Fabienne Colas, President and Founder. of the Calgary Black Film Festival.

“We are so excited to be in the beautiful city of Calgary and to bring some diversity to the screen here with great authentic black stories and uplifting and inspiring panel discussions with local film professionals,” he said. she declared.

Among the festival’s offerings this year are local, Canadian and international films that are either directed by black filmmakers or feature primarily black actors.

Also this year, in collaboration with the support of Netflix and the National Bank, the world premiere of the films of the Being Black program will take place in Canada.

Among the emerging Calgary filmmakers who will have their films screened are Shae Kubur, Sarah Uwadiae, Ryan Wilkes and Kamika Guerra-Walker.

Tickets for individual cinema screenings and online passes are available on the CBFF website at www.calgaryblackfilm.com.

Calgary Black Film Festival founder Fabienne Colas, left, festival coordinator Andrea Este, and Aldona Barutowicz take to the red carpet during the Calgary Black Film Festival opening night at the Globe Theater on Thursday, May 26, 2022. The festival, showcasing the best of international, Canadian and Calgary noir films, May 26-29. ARYN TOOMBS / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY

Local Calgary artist launches ‘Home’

Sarah Uwadiae, one of Calgary’s emerging Black filmmakers, premieres her short Home on May 29. It is the story of a young woman who reflects on her journey as an immigrant to Canada and what it means to find a community and a home in a foreign country. ground.

His film is shown as part of the Being Black in Canada showcase of films from Calgary and Ottawa at the Calgary Central Library.

“It’s a dream,” she said.

“It’s very exciting to have my showcase of films here, and other beautiful black artists and films featured here as well.”

Uwadiae has also produced a pair of earlier shorts which are currently available to stream on his website.

Local theater patrons are likely to know Uwadiae best for her work as set and costume designer on a number of high-profile productions. But, she says, turning to film is not a leap from her work in theatre.

“I’ve always been a curious person and always had an interest in storytelling across multiple disciplines,” she said.

“I’m just grateful to have the opportunity and the privilege to explore my curiosities and my storytelling through theater and film, through design, directing and writing – it’s just another extension of me as an artist.”

She said Calgary is lucky to have the CBFF because while there are plenty of film festivals, there are fewer opportunities to showcase the stories of people of color.

“Whether it’s a story of black immigrants, a story of black Canadians, and stories of all dimensions of being black, it’s such a good thing.”

Filmmakers Kamika Bianca Guerra-Walker, left, and Sarah Uwadiae on the red carpet during the opening night of the Calgary Black Film Festival at the Globe Theater on Thursday, May 26, 2022. ARYN TOOMBS/FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY

CBFF connects established filmmakers to the community

Kachryn Fasegha is one of the established filmmakers who will speak at a filmmakers panel during the CBFF on Saturday.

When LWC met Fasegha on the red carpet, she had just returned from the Cannes Film Festival.

“I went to three movies at the Grand Lumiere, which is a big theater and I walked on this big red carpet, but I kept saying to everyone, ‘oh, I have to go'” , she said.

“When someone says, ‘oh, can you extend it for a day?’ I can’t, I have to go to the Calgary Black Film Festival, it’s so important to me because it’s my hometown.

Fasegha, who immigrated to Calgary from Nigeria in 2001, completed her first feature film Treacherous Heart in 2012. This film put the city center stage.

His second feature, 2 Weeks in Lagos, is currently streaming on Netflix. And she has several other film projects in pre-production with global funding deals having been worked on at Cannes.

Fasegha said locally the film and TV industry is booming.

“I found Calgary to be a place where you can actually shoot anywhere, like you can be anywhere: Europe, anywhere in America, you can shoot here in Calgary,” said she declared.

She said the FFBC was an opportunity to put black artists on the world stage. Eventually, she thinks the film festival will take on international significance.

With this, it would allow black filmmakers and artists to connect beyond the glitz and glamor of the red carpet, and build a part of the film industry.

“It’s very, very important because young filmmakers have to understand the business of making films. It’s so easy when you’re young to see the red carpets, we’re all dressed up to say ‘I love it, I want to make movies,'” she said.

“But it’s a real business, and to be successful in it, you have to understand the business part. You need to prepare properly to be successful.

Darcy J. Skinner