Halifax Black Film Festival celebrates five years

The 2021 Halifax Black Film Festival presents 75 films from 10 countries screening online from February 23-28.

Beautie Masvaure Alt’s Shaina opens the 2021 Halifax Black Film Festival.
Beautie Masvaure Alt’s Shaina opens the 2021 Halifax Black Film Festival.

The Halifax Black Film Festival (HBFF) celebrates its fifth anniversary in 2021 with an online celebration of Black filmmakers featuring 75 films from 10 countries.

The festival opens on February 23 with Beautie Masvaure Alt’s Shaina, a story of resilience in which a Zimbabwe teen faces life-altering events and is forced to rely on her own ingenuity and determination to meet her future.

Following the screening of Shaina, Halifax Film Festival will release all 75 films online available for viewing across Canada and around the world, closing with Cheryl Foggo’s documentary film John Ware Reclaimed, in which the filmmaker uncovers the complex story of John Ware, a Black cowboy who settled in Alberta during the ranching industry’s early years.

Along with Halifax-born filmmaker Jim Morrison IV’s dramatic short Bonecrusher, about African Nova Scotian boxing legend Sam Langford, the five Halifax filmmakers from this year’s Fabienne Colas Foundation’s Being Black in Canada program will also screen their film shorts.

Halifax-born filmmaker Jim Morrison IV brings Bonecrusher, the story of Nova Scotia boxing legend Sam Langford, to this year's Halifax Black Film Festival.
Halifax-born filmmaker Jim Morrison IV brings Bonecrusher, the story of Nova Scotia boxing legend Sam Langford, to this year’s Halifax Black Film Festival.

This year’s HBFF will host several panel discussions and special events in addition to the films. Among them is a conversation with producer Roger Bobb and filmmaker Clement Virgo, two of the most successful Black producers in the film and television industry. On a more local level, HBFF will also present intimate conversations with Halifax musicians and artists Gary Beals, Reeny Smith, Mahalia Smith and Harmony Adesola.

“We are truly humbled to be able to amplify the voices of more Black filmmakers at such an important time in our history,” says Fabienne Colas, president and founder of the Halifax Black Film Festival, in a media release.

“This fifth edition of the HBFF highlights the tales and events that have challenged conventions, left a distinctive mark on our times and changed how we see the world. What an impactful way to celebrate African Heritage Month.”

The 2021 Halifax Black Film Festival takes place entirely online from February 23 through February 28. Visit halifaxblackfilm.com for tickets and information.

Editor’s Note (17 Feb 2021): This article was updated to reflect Bonecrusher as a dramatic short and not a documentary short as originally reported.