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In Martine Chartrand’s animated short, a young boy traces his roots through the stories his grandmother shares with him about the events that shaped their cultural heritage. Chartrand captures this journey through a vibrant score and evocative paint-on-glass animation technique, adding a dreamlike beauty to the tale.
Content advisory: depictions of racialized violence
Kelly Fyffe-Marshall’s ability to generate searing emotions with images and situations drawn from Black lived experiences is on full display in this earlier work — a forerunner to Black Bodies, which won the inaugural Changemaker Award at TIFF 2020.
The first beauty salon young Jada is introduced to is the space on the floor between her mother’s legs. It’s a place where innocence is treasured, bonds are strengthened, and confidence is boosted. As her mother, Janice, is routinely doing her hair, Jada finds enough solace to confess earth-shattering news.
Content advisory: reference to child sexual abuse, coarse language
Mariner is a taut and unsettling drama about an ambitious marine navigation cadet on the verge of cracking during his final exams. The recruit is haunted by an incident from his past — and fights to find a way to turn his personal demons into a source of strength. KATHLEEN MCINNIS, TIFF SHORT CUTS
Official Selection, 2016 Toronto International Film Festival
Content advisories: sexually suggestive scenes, drug use, coarse language, mature themes
With its boldly simple design, this smart and incisively scripted two-hander by director Sasha Leigh Henry dissects — over a double scotch on the rocks — the romantic power dynamics between a mature couple. LISA HALLER, TIFF SHORT CUTS
Official Selection, 2020 Toronto International Film Festival
Between working as a nurse and taking care of her uncle, a poet living with memory loss, Nadege lives a routine existence — that is, until she discovers a new passion for wrestling that will bring out a hidden side of her. Wanted: Strong Woman is a colourful film bristling with poetry and feminine strength.
As they get ready for the day, three young Black women discuss the public perception of their Blackness in relation to their cultivation of a strong sense of self. Wash Day is an intimate exploration into how private, domestic acts such as washing your hair or putting on makeup become a significant re-acquaintance with the body, before and after navigating the politics of one’s outwardly appearance.
Content advisory: coarse language