BLACK STORIES MATTER
Canadian television and film have still not made a significant space for Black artists, nor does it adequately reflect the 22% of Canadians who are people of colour when it comes to who is both behind and in front of the camera. Characters who are Black tend to exist in the margins — they give the appearance of diversity, but they exist in white worlds and their stories are told largely by white writers.
Kizzie Sutton: Executive Director - Calgary Society of Independent Filmmakers
Kizzie Sutton is a social justice advocate, speaker, facilitator, mentor, and artist in the mediums of Film, Theatre, and Visual Arts. She is currently the Executive Director for the Calgary Society of Independent Filmmakers. She holds a Diploma in Broadcasting, Radio and Television from the School of Communication Arts at Seneca College, and Bachelor of Arts Honours degree in Theatre and Film Studies from Queen's University. Kizzie has applied her education to a gamut of capacities nationally and internationally including lighting and sound design, dramaturgy, production management, directing youth mentorship, and program management.
Cheryl Foggo: Award-winning Author, Playwright and Filmmaker
Cheryl Foggo is a multiple award-winning author, playwright and filmmaker, whose work over the last 30 years has focused on the lives of Western Canadians of African descent. Her full-length National Film Board documentary John Ware Reclaimed will have its World Premiere at CIFF on September 24th. The 30th-anniversary edition of her book Pourin’ Down Rain: A Black Woman Claims Her Place in the Canadian West, has just been released by Brush Education Press. She also recently directed the short film Kicking Up a Fuss: The Charles Daniels Story. Her play, John Ware Reimagined, won the 2015 Writers Guild of Alberta Award for Drama and was produced most recently at Workshop West Theatre Company in November 2017. Also in 2017, she was recognized by the YWCA as one of 150 outstanding Calgary women. She is a past recipient of the Sondra Kelly Screenplay Award from the Writers Guild of Canada. In 2014 she co-produced Alberta’s first Black Canadian Theatre Series with Ellipsis Tree Collective Theatre Company.
Nauzanin Knight: Writer-Director and Producer
Nauzanin is a Canadian writer/director/producer of Caribbean and Middle Eastern descent. She began her career in creative writing before directing film projects such as, “My Lyric I Never Knew” (CBC GEM 2020); “From the Grassroots” (Bahai.org); #ShadesofWorth (Toronto Black Film Festival). As a storyteller, Nauzanin is interested in exposing striking stories which tell us about the universality of human emotion despite the diversity of human experience. She is the founder and CEO of 1844 Studios Inc., a production company that creates thought-provoking, transformative content.
Sylvester Ndumbi: Award-winning Filmmaker
Sylvester is an award-winning filmmaker with over 10 years of experience. Recently, Ndumbi was selected as one of 15 filmmakers to participate in the Alberta Accelerator Producer Program where he was mentored by Chris Bell from eOne and Adam Steinmann from Warner Brothers.
Misha Maseka: Writer and Director
Misha is an eSwatini born, South African and Australian raised, Zambian-Canadian writer, director and musician always looking to tell and highlight small, unseen stories of the African diaspora.
Badria Abubaker: Documentarian Filmmaker
Badria Abubaker is a multimedia journalist based in Calgary, Alberta. As an emerging artist, she enjoys storytelling through all media types, but her passion lies within film production, specifically documentaries. Most of Badria’s content revolves around social issues and racial inequalities.