Culture  The Montreal International Black Film Festival

What to see at this year's festival

The 11th Montreal International Black Film Festival (MIBFF) takes place this week with an outstanding lineup of films. Films of all lengths and styles exploring identity, history, tradition, immigration, and segregation will play on five different screens around the city. Here’s a guide to some must-see films.

Tuesday, September 29
Sweet Micky for President
7 p.m., Imperial Cinema

Come to the opening night of the MIBFF to see Martin Luther King III accept the festival’s Humanitarian Award for his work addressing youth violence as a public health issue, among other projects. Stay for the screening of Sweet Micky for President, a film that follows founding member of the Fugees Pras Michel as he returns to his homeland of Haiti after the 2010 earthquake to help musician Michel Martelly, nicknamed “Sweet Micky,” with his campaign for the Haitian presidency. A panel discussion with Pras Michel will follow the screening.

Wednesday, September 30
7 p.m., Salle D.B. Clarke – Concordia University

Join Martin Luther King III, Reverend Darryl Gray, special assistant to the national president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in Atlanta, and others for a panel discussion on the power of non-violence. The panel will follow a screening of Selma, the Oscar-winning biopic of Martin Luther King Jr.’s involvement in the U.S. Black civil rights movement. Laura Gallo, interfaith facilitator at Concordia University’s Multi-faith Chaplaincy, will moderate the panel.

7 p.m., Former NFB Cinema

Not to be missed is Dry, actress and director Stephanie Linnus’ feature-length drama. Inspired by a true story, Dry chronicles the return of a successful Nigerian OB/GYN to her birthplace, where she explores the far-reaching consequences of child marriage in northern Nigeria. Dry addresses both the medical and social issues surrounding maternal health in the country.

Thursday, October 1
Thina Sobabili (The Two of Us)
7 p.m., Former NFB Cinema

Thina Sobabili (The Two of Us), South Africa’s submission to the Oscars’ foreign-language category, recounts the lived experience of two siblings making a life in the Alexandra township of Johannesburg. Hulas, the older brother of Zanele, grows more and more protective of his younger sister as she meets a well-to-do older man promising her a better life. Catch Thina Sobabili in Montreal before it wins that Oscar.

Friday, October 2
3 1/2 Minutes, Ten Bullets
9 p.m., Former NFB Cinema

Part of the festival’s Special American Program, which features screenings of films made by American directors and actors, 3 1/2 Minutes, Ten Bullets deconstruct the 2012 shooting of Jordan Davis in Jacksonville, Florida. See the ramifications of the stand-your-ground self-defense law and the failings of the U.S. criminal justice system as they unfold after this tragic event.

Saturday, October 3
Game Face
7 p.m., Former NFB Cinema

Game Face chronicles the lives of two  LGBTQ athletes and their struggles for acceptance and equality in competitions. Highlighting mixed martial arts fighter Fallon Fox and college basketball player Terrence Clemens, the film details their coming-out process and the rampant heterosexism and cissexim apparent in the media firestorm surrounding each of them.

Battledream Chronicle
9 p.m., Cineplex Odeon Quartier Latin

The first Martinican animated film, Battledream Chronicle tells the tale of Syanna, a Black slave who fights for her freedom in a world where harvesting on the plantation comes in the form of accumulating points in a video game.

Sunday, October 4
The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution
7 p.m., Salle Theatre Hall – Concordia University

A mix of archival footage and interviews with police officers, FBI agents, and journalists, The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution is a documentary that explores the cultural movement that changed the conversation about Black civil rights. Closing the festival, this film about the limitations of non-violent civil rights protest brings the MIBFF full circle, highlighting the relevance of the fifty-year-old movement today.

For a full listing of films, head to: