By: Stuart Nulman – mtltimes.ca
The Montreal International Black Film Festival begins its second decade with a programming schedule that founding president Fabienne Colas enthusiastically heralded will be part of the “best edition yet” of the festival in its 10-year existence.
“This year’s festival is filled with such rich programming that it will move you, make you aware, and take you surprise,” said Ms. Colas at the press conference to announce the line-up, which took place recently at the old NFB Cinema on St. Denis Street.
The 11th edition of the Montreal International Black Film Festival, which will be presented by Global News Montreal from September 29 to October 4, will commemorate three milestones in American Black history: the 60th anniversary of Rosa Parks’ refusal to give up her seat in a white section of a bus, which led to her arrest and subsequently the Montgomery Bus Boycott, and the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Malcolm X and the monumental Selma to Montgomery March.
The festival begins on September 29 with the screening of its opening film “Sweet Mickey for President” at the Imperial Theatre, which will also include an appearance by Martin Luther King III, who will accept the festival’s 2015 Humanitarian Award, and will be followed by an opening party at Le Petit Olympia with special guest Pras Michel, a founding member of the Grammy Award-winning group The Fugees. Mr. King will also be present at a screening of the Oscar-winning film “Selma” on September 30 at the D.B. Clarke Theatre of Concordia University, where he will lead a panel discussion following the screening. Paul Haggis and David Belle will be present on October 2 to accept the 2015 Social Impact Award at a special event at the Cineplex Odeon Quartier Latin Cinema. Throughout the duration of the festival, the old NFB Cinema will hold a special exhibition called “We Have A Dream”, which pays tribute to 25 trail-blazing African-American women such as Michelle Obama, Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, Oprah Winfrey and Maya Angelou. And the festival will conclude on October 4 with a screening of the documentary “The Black Panthers: Vanguard of a Revolution” at the Hall Building Theatre of Concordia University.
Tickets for individual film screenings are $10 each, and $20 each for the opening and closing film screenings, with passes ranging in price from $20 to $300. For more information, or to purchase tickets, go to www.montrealblackfilm.com.