More relevant than ever in this year when the Black Lives Matter movement has gained momentum, the Montreal International Black Film Festival (FIFBM) takes off on Wednesday. More than 120 films addressing the realities of the black community from here and elsewhere are on the menu for this 16th edition of the event which will take place entirely online due to the pandemic. Here are five not to be missed:
The Cuban “> The Cuban
Screened at the opening of the festival and already awarded at several other international festivals, this Canadian film by director Sergio Navarretta tells a story of friendship between a young woman who works in a home for the elderly and an elderly Cuban musician suffering from dementia. This meeting will change their lives forever. The Cuban stars in particular Louis Gossett Jr., who already won an Oscar in 1983 for his role in Officer and Gentleman .
Black Boys “> Black Boys
Burning news, this documentary addresses the problem of racism in the United States through testimonies of young black American men and boys. The film, which will be presented at the closing of the festival, was produced by activist and American football player Malcolm Jenkins.
The Last Tree
The Last Tree “> The Last Tree
This film from director Shola Amoo chronicles the coming of age of a young British man of Nigerian origin who has to live with the reality of being black in London. Launched at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival last year, The Last Tree has often been compared to the drama Moonlight, which won the Oscar for Best Picture in 2017.
The Toronto Raptors' triumph in the NBA Championship Finals last year has rekindled the interest of young Torontonians – and even Canadians – in basketball. In this documentary produced by the NFB, director Ryan Sidhoo went to meet young players from Queen City who are trying to find their way into the world of junior basketball.
Buster Williams Bass to Infinity
Buster Williams Bass to Infinity “> Buster Williams Bass to Infinity
American double bass player Buster Williams has performed alongside jazz legends like Miles Davis, Chet Baker, Sarah Vaughan and Art Blakey. This documentary directed by Adam Kahan paints the portrait of Williams through testimonies and exchanges with several great musicians who have worked with him, including Herbie Hancock, Benny Golson and Rufus Reid.
► The 16th International Black Film Festival of Montreal will take place from September 23 to October 4. All films will be available for rental online.