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VIFF Welcomes Guest Curators to Honour the Past and Celebrate Brighter Futures

Film still from Union Street. Courtesy of VIFF.

The Goods from VIFF Centre

Vancouver, BC | This February, Vancouver’s premiere independent cinema VIFF Centre honours Black History Month and celebrates Black voices with two new series guest-curated by Union Street director Jamila Pomeroy and Vancouver Art Gallery’s Kika Memeh, along with a free screening of Mighty Jerome in tribute to the late Charles Officer.


In addition to bringing back Jamila Pomeroy’s made-in-Vancouver festival hit Union Street for screenings from February 2-7, VIFF is excited to have the director guest-curate A New Chapter. Jamila has chosen to screen two inspiring international films for this series: Boots Riley’s surreal comedy Sorry to Bother You and Suhaib Gasmelbari’s Talking About Trees, in which four Sudanese cinephiles attempt to resurrect film culture after years of civil war and oppression.


On successive Thursdays in February, writer and journalist Kika Memeh guest-curates Celebrating Black Futures. This series is presented in partnership with the Vancouver Art Gallery.

Highlighting Black and African films that reflect the present and demonstrate the exciting future of cinema, this series kicks off on February 8 with Ben Shapiro’s documentary Max Roach: The Drum Also Waltzes, which delves into the American jazz legend’s creative peaks, personal struggles, and inspiring commitment to Civil Rights. The special event includes live jazz from the Feven Kidane Sextet.

Kika will also showcase Babatunde Apalowo’s All the Colours of the World Are Between Black and White, which tells a tale of forbidden love in an unsupportive society, and Kelly Fyffe-Marshall’s When Morning Comes, which sees a nine-year-old faced with a move from Jamaica to Canada, and his mother dealing with the decision to send her son abroad.

Celebrating Black Futures also encompasses a showcase of four short films on February 22 (Toye Aru’s Gita Boy, Janessa St. Pierre and Courtenay Mayes’ Hair or No Hair, Courtenay Mayes’ DEAD END, and Brandon Wint’s My Body Is A Poem The World Makes With Me). Ranging from humorous dark comedy to sombre drama, these shorts explore existential crises, beauty standards and daring ambitions in the lives of the protagonists.


On February 4 VIFF will pay tribute to the late Charles Officer, one of Canada’s most accomplished and adventurous filmmakers who passed away last year at the age of 48, with a free screening of Mighty Jerome introduced by the film’s producer Selwyn Jacob.

The documentary tracks the rise, fall and redemption of Harry Jerome, Canada’s most record-setting track and field star.

The full program can be viewed at viff.org/blackhistorymonth. Tickets are available now.

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