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OPENING NIGHT: HARRIET movie + TRIBUTE TO EUZHAN PALCY & JEAN-CLAUDE LORD
The extraordinary tale of Harriet Tubman’s escape from slavery and transformation into one of America’s greatest heroes. Her courage, ingenuity, and tenacity freed hundreds of slaves and changed the course of history.
+ TRIBUTE TO EUZHAN PALCY & JEAN-CLAUDE LORD
The MIBFF’s Opening Film screening will be preceded by a tribute to French Caribbean trailblazer and Cesar-winning Filmmaker Euzhan Palcy, and Québécois legendary filmmaker Jean-Claude Lord, who will both receive the The Montreal Intl Black Film Festival’s 2019 Pioneer Award. Palcy is the first woman and the second person to receive the MIBFF’s Pioneer Award after Spike Lee.
When she directed Sugar Cane Alley (Rue Cases Nègres) in 1983, Euzhan Palcy put the French Caribbean on the cinematography map, winning The Silver Lion, Best Actress Award at the Venice International Film Festival and a Cesar (French Oscar), breaking the directorial glass ceiling in French cinema. She continued her journey as a film trailblazer in 1989 with A Dry White Season (also starring Marlon Brando, Susan Sarandon, Donald Sutherland), a bracing drama made at the height of apartheid and in so doing became the first black female director produced by a Hollywood studio, MGM/ UA. Among her other films is the colorful musical fantasy Siméon.
Jean-Claude Lord is best known for Les colombes, La grenouille et la baleine, Lance et Compte, Visiting Hours (starring William Shatner and Michael Ironside) and many others. However, for us at the Montreal Intl Black Film Festival, he is mostly known for being a big supporter of diversity; for casting black actors in lead roles in Lance et compte (1986); and for casting a black actress, Linda Malo, as the lead character in the crime and investigation TV series Jasmine (1996), it was historic in Quebec – at a time when «diversity» and «inclusion» were not very fashionable words.