African Canadian Cinema


Populations of African descent have been geographically present within the territory that constitutes Canada for over three centuries. While cinematic representation is a relatively recent phenomena that has only been a factor over the last few decades, it may serve as an archive or library that preserves the memories of past, current and future generations of African Canadian and Afro-Québécois populations. There has been a substantial history of film production by African Canadians beginning with the pioneering work of National Film Board (NFB) documentary filmmakers such as Jennifer Hodge de Silva and Sylvia Hamilton. In 2005 Hubert Davis was the first African Canadian nominated for an Academy Award for his documentary Hardwood.  African Canadian directors have also made their mark in feature film through the works of Clement Virgo, Stephen Williams, David “Sudz” Sutherland and Frances-Anne Solomon.  Please use the following online resources for further research.


Clement Virgo, Director (African Canadian Filmmakers in Profile)

Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director, TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival)

Toronto Black Film Festival

ReelWorld Film Festival

CaribbeanTales International Film Festival

African Canadian Online @ York University


Coming To Voice (Documentary Feature Film) written & directed by Glace W. Lawrence; produced by Glace W. Lawrence & Anthony Browne.

Jennifer Hodge de Silva Biography, Library & Archives Canada.

Dorraine Mitchell, “Not always in Black and white: Toronto’s Black film industry” in Excalibur: York University’s Community Newspaper, February, 2012.

Kass Banning, “Conjugating Three Moments in Black Canadian Cinema” in North of Everything, 84-99.

Sheila Petty, “Mapping New Boundaries: Discourses of Blackness in Rude” in Contact Zones: Memory, Origin, and Discourses in Black diasporic Cinema, 224 – 258.

Christopher Gittings, “Multicultural Fields of Vision,” in Canadian National Cinema: Ideology, Difference and Representation, 231-262.

Greg Tourino, “Online Representations of African Canadian Cinema: An Ethnographic and Archival Analysis”, MA Project Thesis, 2010.

Greg Tourino, “Online Representations of African Canadian Cinema: An Ethnographic and Archival Analysis”, MA Project Presentation at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, British Columbia, August 13th, 2010.


National Film Board of Canada (African Origins subject collection)

National Film Board of Canada (Black Community subject collection)

Ryerson University

Cinémathèque Québécoise


Alison Duke

Charles Officer

Cheryl Foggo

Clement Virgo

David “Sudz” Sutherland

Dawn Wilkinson

Deanna Bowen

Dionne Brand

Erskine (Skin) Forde

Fil Fraser

Frances-Anne Solomon

Glace W. Lawrence

Hubert Davis

Hyacinthe Combary

Jennifer Hodge de Silva

Maryse Legagneur

Nicole Brooks

Roger McTair

Sabrina Moella

Selwyn Jacob

Stephen Williams

Sylvia D. Hamilton

Sylvia Sweeney

Tonya Lee Williams


Toronto Black Film Festival

Montreal International Black Film Festival

ReelWorld Film Festival

Witness As Desired / A Celebration of African Canadian Film

Art Gallery of Hamilton World Film Festival

CaribbeanTales International Film Festival