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17th Montreal International Black Film Festival Kicks Off With the Quebec Premiere of Glenn Kaino & Afshin Shahidi’s WITH DRAWN ARMS

 Tuesday September 22, 2021 – 7pm – Imperial Theatre

The 17th Montreal International Black Film Festival (MIBFF), created by the Fabienne Colas Foundation, will be co-presented by Desjardins from September 22 to October 3, 2021.

 Tickets on sale now at

Full programming and festival passes available
on Tuesday August 31.


Montreal (August 26, 2021) – The 17th edition of the Montreal International Black Film Festival will open on Wednesday September 22, at Imperial Theatre with Glenn Kaino and Afshin Shahidi’s Quebec Premiere of With Drawn Arms. The feature documentary’s main subject is track-and-field gold medalist, Tommie Smith, who famously raised a gloved fist at the ’68 Olympic games to protest racial inequality in America. Tickets are on sale now on MIBFF’s website.

At the 1968 Olympics, Tommie Smith raised his fist during the medal ceremony. This defiant gesture has reverberated ever since, adopted by generations of civil rights activists in the fight for social justice. 50 years later, in an attempt to unpack the true scope of his sacrifice, artist and filmmaker Glenn Kaino partners with him to finally tell his story through art.

The film features conversations with Tommie Smith, the late John Lewis, member of House of Representatives; former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick; US Soccer Gold Medalist, Megan Rapinoe; activist-former Grey’s Anatomy co-star Jesse Williams and more.

Watch the trailer HERE.

“We are honored to open the Montreal Intl Black Film Festival’s 17th edition with such a powerful and emotionally charged story! With Drawn Arms will touch the viewer’s soul in an impactful way. This film is simply a masterpiece!” declared Fabienne Colas, President and founder of MIBFF.

Glenn Kaino is an Emmy and Webby Award-winning producer and documentarian, whose films have been featured at the Tribeca Film Festival and SXSW.

Afshin Shahidi is an Iranian-born American photographer and filmmaker. He has worked on a variety of projects, ranging from films and documentaries to music videos and commercials. Early in his career, Shahidi worked as a camera assistant on Prince’s music video sets in Minnesota.

#MIBFF21 is thrilled to present a hybrid edition with online events as well as events in person. Full programming and passes will be available on their website on Tuesday August 31.

The 17th Montreal International Black Film Festival (MIBFF), created by the Fabienne Colas Foundation, will be co-presented by Desjardins from September 22 to October 3, 2021 

Get Social – #MIBFF21
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NB: The Montreal International Black Film Festival takes the safety and health of its staff and the community very seriously and adheres to the evolving health instructions put in place by the Government of Quebec as they arise.

About the Montreal International Black Film Festival (MIBFF)

Created in 2005 by the Fabienne Colas Foundation, the Montreal International Black Film Festival (MIBFF) is currently the largest Canadian film festival entirely dedicated to black realities from all four corners of the world. It aims to offer the public the most spectacular productions in black cinema and debate the great cultural, social, and socio-economic issues facing society. The MIBFF goal is to promote the development of the independent film industry and showcase more films depicting black realities around the world. The festival seeks to prioritize local and international films that do not necessarily come under the spotlight, a new cinema that moves its audience and raises awareness – and a few eyebrows. In so doing, the MIBFF addresses issues and showcases art that makes you think and smile, provokes, bewilders, and shocks you – a new, fresh look at black cinema from all parts of the globe!

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For media inquiries:
Talar Adam

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