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Saturday, March 2, 2024

Art imitates life in Tobi Martin Flemming’s A Walk In The Sun

Halifax filmmaker Tobi Martin Flemming's A Walk In The Sun screens as part of this year's Halifax Black Film Festival digital offerings.

Playing as part of this year’s Halifax Black Film Festival, Halifax filmmaker Tobi Martin Flemming’s A Walk In The Sun is the story of an interracial couple who sees the struggle of their story mirrored in a painting as they try to find their way together across their racial divide.

At its core, a Walk In The Sun is a love story that challenges whether love can conquer all. Perhaps people will be wondering whether or not they think it can. – Tobi Marting Flemming

Available as part of the Halifax Black Film Festival’s digital offerings, the film will play online from February 24-28. Visit halifaxblackfilm.com for tickets and information.

In this Q&A with the filmmaker, we find out more.

This interview has been edited.

Tell us about your film short. What can audiences expect?

A Walk In The Sun is a story of an interracial couple who see their love story mirrored in a painting. In this story, we see how the difference challenges their relationship. The main characters, Jack and Eden, find themselves in the same situations but have vastly different experiences. They then have to decide whether they will fight to save their relationship and continue together despite the challenges they’ll face because of their racial difference or walk away from one another.

The audience is also left to decide what they think Jack and Eden with choose. What would I do in their place? And hopefully, also examine what difference we’ve ignored in the people we hold dear.

How did you find the story/what was your inspiration for the film?

Halifax filmmaker Tobi Martin Flemming (photo above) makes her film debut with A Walk In The Sun.
Halifax filmmaker Tobi Martin Flemming (photo above) makes her film debut with A Walk In The Sun.

As a person of colour, and the daughter of a biracial couple, I spent most of my life never seeing myself or my family reflected in the films, TV, or media I saw. A Walk In The Sun was an opportunity to consider stories like mine and my sister’s, the writer of A Walk In The Sun, Nikki Martin. Working on this film together allowed us to unearth our own stories and experiences and see some of that in Jack and Eden.

Why this particular film now?

This is the time in our lives and work when we felt emboldened to have this kind of conversation. This story feels relevant to what’s happening around racial tensions in the world today. Nikki and I and our producer, Israel Ekanem, also found this was a great time to collaborate on this project; it feels relevant to all of us.

What was your biggest challenge in making the film?

As this is my first film, one challenge was putting all of the production pieces together and getting a handle on the process of making a film in its entirety. I also found creating Jack and Eden’s story in a short film very challenging. I always wanted to expand a story, discover more about characters, who they are, and what motivates them, and try to display their story effectively in a short time was a challenge.

What will surprise audiences about your film?

I think audiences will be surprised that we don’t give them the answers. We don’t tell people what Jack and Eden will do and what choices they’ll make. We leave it up to the audience to decide, and I think that forces people to look internally, in their hearts, to ask themselves some difficult questions.

What do you hope audiences walk away talking or thinking about after seeing the film?

I hope people will be thinking about their own experiences, whether they are a person of colour or not. I hope they’ll wonder more about the people around them and how their perspectives and world positions differ. At its core, a Walk In The Sun is a love story that challenges whether love can conquer all. Perhaps people will be wondering whether or not they think it can.

What’s next for Tobi?

We are currently developing the feature-length version of A Walk In The Sun. The feature film is called The Space Between. Nikki Martin writes the script, and we’re working again with our wonderful producer Israel Ekanem, with me as the director. We’ll be applying to Telefilm for their Talent to Watch funding. We also have several other projects in early development that we are excited to move forward.

Available as part of the Halifax Black Film Festival’s digital offerings, the film will play online from February 24-28. Visit halifaxblackfilm.com for tickets and information.

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