PLANET AFRICA 1995-2004

TIME CAPSULE: A DECADE OF BLACK FILM HISTORY, LEGACY & IMPACT

A celebration of Black History is a celebration of Canadian History  

A Behind-The-Scenes Look at the Digitization of the Black Cultural Archives  

INTRODUCTION

September 2020, we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the inception and legacy of Planet Africa, a jewel in the crown of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).

1994, the year the song “T-Dot”, anthem of an era, put Toronto on the map. That year the Festival of Festivals rebranded itself as the Toronto's International Film Festival (TIFF) and launched Planet Africa, a program devoted to African cinema and films of the African diaspora. A ten-year cinematic feast (1995-2004), it featured 170 films,150 filmmakers, across 40 countries, with thousands of industry professionals (writers, producers, talent, journalist), and a decade of legendary parties.​

The 60’s & 70’s had seen global waves of immigration and settlement. In the UK, US and Canada in particular, communities had been painstakingly built over several generations, and hard-fought, positive gains in the area of the civil rights movement had established a global African Diaspora and created a creative and professional foundation built on rich traditions and heritage by the 80s.....  As the children of this generation, building on the sacrifice of our elders, we were free to establish ourselves, pursue our art, practice our crafts and connect.

The 90’s were the beginning of an explosion of Black arts and culture in America - films, music, and collaborations. Boomerang (Grace Jones, Eddie Murphy, 1990); Boys in the Hood (John Singleton 1991); Crooklyn (Spike Lee 1994) enjoyed huge critical and box office success. Buffalo radio station WBLK Radio (80-90’s), ran advertising aimed across the border at Toronto audiences. The Canadian black art scene was underpinned by 2 significant national organizations CAN:BAIA, a multidisciplinary arts organization, and Black Film & Video Network (BFVN). Black filmmakers made inroads in 2 significant National organizations: the Canadian Film Centre (CFC) and the National Film Board (NFB).  

 

The mid-90’s: Apartheid fell in South Africa (1994); the first Million Man March on Washington (1995); Canadian black filmmakers Clement Virgo's “Rude” and Stephen Williams' “Soul Survivor” made history premiere at the Cannes Film Festival; Inner City Films forged the first African Nation’s Co-Production treaty with South Africa (1997);  NBA's expansion into Canada, with the Vancouver Grizzlies and Toronto Raptors 1995, Caribana an international and economical draw for the city, Toronto's becoming a destination...and mecca of black creativity

 

Planet Africa captured the zeitgeist of these times. A period of creative and cultural impact, influence, and economic stimulation and growth. A network of designers, artists, partners, and patrons came together as a community of supporters. The Black Film & Video Network (BFVN) represented the professional filmmakers and worked to attract a who’s who of Black Filmmaking. Media ord Magazine, the hippest cultural entertainment magazine at the time, City TV’s Much Music, and radio pioneer Flow 93.5 (2001) promoted the festival and the films.

Ahead of its time, ​Planet Africa was instrumental in demonstrating mainstream audiences’ appetite for black content on the world's premiere Festival stages. Featuring works from a mixed group of creators with a singular focus of showcasing the diversity of the black experience, stories and cinematic styles, it was an International launchpad, a hub and exchange for talent and ideas.

There were many other black films and filmmakers that screened at TIFF outside the Planet Africa program, but Planet Africa provided a focused, inclusive mix, and the party was where all industry, community, black, white united to celebrate.

This website is a time capsule, a digital footprint to celebrate this important decade in black filmmaking, to honour the creators, the work and contributions of the many extraordinary artists whose effort came together as Planet Africa.

My intention was to document this period of impact and positive change, and to create an opportunity to revisit it as a memory for those who were there, an inspiration and a foundation for those who were not, and a model for the future (and a nod to the future from the past) , capturing the vibrance of films and soundtracks, celebrating the body of work we represented.  

Planet Africa was my introduction to the film industry. It was renaissance time, and I was awe-struck by the fierceness, boldness and passion of the work and proud to be a part of curating and disseminating it. 25 years later, it’s legacy still resonates. This site is my give-back to my industry and community. I hope you will be as excited at the discovery of the wonders in these curated works as I was, and continue to be.

Orla La-Wayne Garriques

Cultural Curator, PA 

P.S. That's my Planet Africa Story, what's yours?

___________________________________

 

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Orla La Wayne Garriques

Jennifer Nobel

Cherise Solomon

Dave Campbell

NOLYWOOD

2017 Toronto, Canada - Nigerian filmmakers, producers and actors are hoping a spotlight on Lagos at this year's Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) will open Nollywood up to the world.

https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2016/09/nollywood-nigeria-stands-toronto-film-festival-160919065811387.html

ORIGINS, HISTORY & LEGACY

September 2020, we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the

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After joining TIFF in 1990, Five years into being a part of the Film Festival’s team that selected the Canadian content, Cameron Bailey created Planet Africa in 1995. Under that division, Cameron viewed and selected the films from the continent of Africa and the African diaspora that would be shown at the Festival, along with hosting the annual Planet Africa party. In the ten years that Planet Africa ran, it successfully created a new audience to view the talented productions by the African Diaspora.

CONTRIBUTORS, COMMUNITY & CULTURE 

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The partners  both community, corporate and foreign ...orem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tOxfam Canada and to the Black Film and Video Network and our media partner, The Metro Word

 

THE FILMMAKERS

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THE LEGENDARY PLANET AFRICA PARTY

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THE LEGACY OF PLANET AFRICA

25 years later...​

Despite questions of its ending, the legacy of Planet Africa, and Cameron’s commitment can now be seen as laying the foundation for a more widely viewed niche market. In recent years, black created and focused films have been integrated into the festival as a whole; and are now regarded as some of the worlds best.

Today, Cameron Bailey continues to be an integral part of the success of both the Toronto International Film Festival, as Artistic Director and Co-head of the Toronto International Film Festival, and a champion of black (filmmakers, writers, curators, etc) June Givanni (BFI) Black Star psum dolor sit um dolor si um. amet Gaylene Gould um dolor sum dolor sii Maxine Bailey (Share Her Journey), ipsum Julie Crooks (AGO) dolor sit amet Karen Carter (BAND) um dolor si

SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 6, 2020

Celebrate the 25th anniversary and premiere of the online collection and research data base chronicling the Planet Africa era of  film and ...

TIMELINE 

2020 - BLM

2000 - 9 11

Million Man March 1995 (25 year ago from 2020)

The Million Man March was a large gathering of African-American men in Washington, D.C., on October 16, 1995. Called by Louis Farrakhan, it was held on and around the National Mall.

1979 - Africa vile (49 years/50 year) 

The destruction of Africville. The destruction of Africville took several years. Residents who could prove they owned their land were offered payment equal to the value of their houses. ... In the end, despite resistance, all residents were relocated; the last remaining Africville home was destroyed in January of 1970.

1963 - Martin Luther King Jr  Civil rights movement (56 years ago)

They promoted the march by selling buttons, featuring two hands shaking, the words "March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom", a union bug, and the date August 28, 1963.

End date: Wednesday, August 28, 1963

Civil act of 1965

1955 - Bus Boycott -  45 year 

The boycott took place from December 5, 1955, to December 20, 1956, and is regarded as the first large-scale U.S. demonstration against segregation. Four days before the boycott began, Rosa Parks, an African American woman, w

‎May 31 – June 1, 1921The Tulsa race massacre (99 years) 2021

The Tulsa race massacre (also called the Tulsa race riot, the Greenwood Massacre, the Black Wall Street Massacre, the Tulsa pogrom, or the Tulsa Massacre) ...

Date‎: ‎May 31 – June 1, 1921

Injured‎: ‎800+; 183 serious injuries; exact num...

Location‎: ‎Greenwood, Tulsa‎, Oklahoma, U.S

Target‎: ‎Black residents, their homes and busin...

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