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network 09/07/2019 - 02:00PM


Image above: Guest curators for Bring it Black Henri Pardo and Ella Cooper.

The representation of Blackness and the lives of Black people on screen has a long, dynamic and troubled history in Canada. On the one hand, white supremacy has shaped the Canadian film industry, and as such, the cultivation of on-screen Black stories and identities has often been in the hands of non-Black, usually white film professionals.

On the other hand, Black lives, histories and identities have been represented on screen in compelling, diverse and rich ways by talented and dedicated Black filmmakers working in Canada. Trailblazers like Dionne Brand, Sylvia Hamilton, Christene Browne, Alison Duke, Claire Prieto, Jennifer Hodge de Silva and Clement Virgo innovated a fierce creative path that has been taken up by contemporary artists like Martine Chartrand, Charles Officer, Philip Pike, Hubert Davies, Elizabeth St. Philip, Ella Cooper, Cory Bowles and many, many more.

Coupled with this outpouring of cinematic vitality is a groundswell socio-political shift, one led by the Black Lives Matter movement and the scores of anti-racism activist groups across the country fighting against police carding, economic segregation, carceral injustice, poverty and more.

Cinema Politica seeks to recognize, celebrate and foreground the force of Black creativity in the media arts by featuring a special curated program of Black-made political film under the name “Bring it Black: Films By Black Artists in Canada.” 

We are seeking films of any length and any genre that engage with socio-political, cultural-political, economic-political or environmental-political issues from a Black perspective, and where the lead creative on the film project identifies as Black or of Afro-heritage.

Bring it Black will launch in February 2020 and will comprise 15-20 works by emerging and established Black filmmakers working in Canada. The program will tour throughout the Cinema Politica Network and artists will be paid screening fees if selected.

The program is co-curated with senior Cinema Politica programmers and our amazing guest curators below - Ella Cooper and Henri Pardo.


The deadline for submissions to both above calls is August 31, 2019.

Please send online screener links to: programming AT cinemapolitica DOT org, with GENERAL SUBMISSION or BRING IT BLACK written in the subject field. Please include contact information for rights holders in your submission email. You may also submit your film by way of our online form at

Cinema Politica pays public performance screening fees for the films we program, and fees vary according to length and screening details. There is no cost to submit your work to Cinema Politica. Our submission guidelines can be found at

If you have any other questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact us at programming AT cinemapolitica DOT org.


CP is thrilled to be presenting this program with two stellar guest curators, who will collaborate with our Director of Programming, Ezra Winton, to select the films for Bring it Black. You can read about Ella Cooper and Henri Pardo below.

Filmmaker and organizer Ella CooperELLA COOPER is an award winning independent filmmaker, photo-video artist, educator, impact producer, consultant and programmer based in Toronto who has been working in the arts and culture sector for over 18 years. Her creative work explores the diaspora, the creation of positive representations of the Black body in Canada, equity and arts for social change, community storytelling, contemporary dance and hybrid identity.

She is also the founder of Black Women Film! Canada a new initiative and leadership program supporting the development of emerging Black women filmmakers that she created with support from TIFF, CBC, CFC, the Nia Centre for the Arts and 40 local Black women filmmakers here in Toronto.

Her documentary film debut ‘Black Men Loving’ won ‘Best Canadian Film’ at the International Caribbean Tales Film Festival, plus she received ‘Best Canadian Presentation’ award for her work in collaboration with Alison Duke and the Akua Benjamin Legacy Project series she directed with five other Black female directors, celebrating 50 year of Black activism in Toronto.

In addition, her new short dance film documentary series ‘Dance for Life’ recently launched on Fibe TV1.

Ella continues to create and facilitate leadership, anti-oppression and arts empowerment programs for diverse communities across Canada, the US, Europe, the Caribbean and South Africa. She is a part time lecturer at University of Toronto Scarborough and has been a featured speaker and guest facilitator for national and international conferences. Ella was recently selected as one of the 2017 Toronto Arts Council's Cultural Leaders.

Filmmaker and organizer Henri PardoHENRI PARDO is a graduate of the Institute of Image and Sound (Inis) in 2005. Henri wrote and directed the short film Sous-bois, which was funded by Sodec, and produced and directed the documentary series Black Wealth Matters.  In 2016, Henri founded Black Wealth Media, a production company dedicated to developing and producing Afrocentric movies and film series. 

More recently he worked as a producer developing four fiction web series,’ and has also produced the feature documentary Afro-Prosperity.  In 2019, Black Wealth Media received funding from the CBC and the Corus Fund for the development of a documentary series on the history of African Canadians. 

Henri has received support from the Documentary Chanel for the feature documentary Dear Jackie ... from Little B., which is produced by Katarina Soukoup of Catbird Productions, as well as support for the writing of the feature film Kanaval, which is financed by Sodec and produced by Yzanakio films. 

Henri has sat on the Doc Québec Executive Committee, a chapter of the Documentary Organization of Canada. He is a founding member of Black on Black Films, the filmmakers collective of afrodescendants. He regularly participates in many panels on cultural diversity.


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