Black Film Festival Montreal: Clement Virgo & Maya Angelou to Micheal Jackson & Spike Lee

Montreal’s Black Film Festival can’t be described by mere theoretical nouns. It has to be experienced to feel the spirit of our Ancestors come alive through the reincarnated visuals.

This is my second year attending the Festival. I make it a point to attend, not because of the word”Black” in it’s title – I attend because it brings me closer to understanding my heritage as a Black Woman. However, The Montreal Black Film Festival is a safe heaven not only for “Blacks” but for the plethora of  nationalities present from Opening to Closing  nights.


MIBFF Career Achievement Award: The Book of Negroes 

Have you seen The Book of Negroes on Netflix? If you did, you would understand the importance of Clement Virgo at #MIBFF. His #MIBFF Career Achievement Award, is reverence to our Ancestors and those who suffered for our Freedom today.



Clement Virgo at #MIBFF

MIBFF Best Documentary Feature Film – Maya Angelou And Still I Rise 

The tribute to Clement Virgo was followed by the Quebec Premiere of MAYA ANGELOU AND STILL I RISE, by Bob Hercules and Rita Coburn Whack. Needless to say, “And Still I Rise” won the 2016 #MIBFF Best Documentary Feature Film.

#GrowingUpBlack in New York and Montreal, the name Maya Angelou is equivalent to my own grandmother. There was a feeling of resonance while I watched her history on screen. Her pain was mine, her tears were mine, her fight was mine, her discrimination was mine, her loss was mine, and her  legacy is now also mine.



Rita Coburn Whack at #MIBFF

Canadian Premiere: Spike Lee’s Michael Jackson’s Journey from Motown to Off the Wall

Montrealers and New Yorkers a alike packed the room to see two legends: Spike Lee and Michael Jackson. One present and still fighting for our freedom, and one departed and fought for our freedom when our face couldn’t be seen on album covers. The room buzzed with laughing, clapping and basking in an awe.

You don’t have to be an 80’s baby to know the name Michael Jackson. His claim on past and future generations has been grafted in the celestial book of legends. Michael Jackson from “Destiny” to “Off the Wall” is the MJ we seldom hear about nowadays. It was refreshing and captivating to see another freedom fighter on the screen as we paid homage to his legacy carrier: Spike Lee.


The culmination of #MIBFF came upon us too quickly. We need the Film Festival. It is vital to our History and the Understanding of ourselves, and it’s for our ancestors and our future Generations.

Blogged by: @petronajoseph_

Photos Credit: #MIFBB

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