The Planet Africa Legacy website is a digital archive and time capsule to commemorate and preserve an important period of our collective history and creative wealth.
A work-in-progress, it exhibits over 150 films from 120+ filmmakers that premiered in the Planet Africa program over its ten-year period. Film notes, poster graphics, bios and links to articles and interviews will be available as the site continues to be populated.
This digital archive serves to:
Celebrate the richness and diversity of the Planet Africa program and the films and talents from the African diaspora.
Highlight significant contributions to the Canadian film industry.
Provide future filmmakers, programmers, creators, researchers and educators with a credible searchable resource.
2020 marks the 25th anniversary of the launch of Planet Africa, a jewel in the crown of the Toronto International Film Festival. For ten years (1995 - 2004) Planet Africa was a platform to showcase Black-centred stories from the African diaspora and shine a light on the filmmakers, actors, writers, and artists whose works were showcased during that pivotal moment when TIFF was transitioning from the "Festival of Festivals" into one of the world's premier international film festivals.
In honour of its 25th anniversary, TIFF presents Planet Africa 25, film screenings, online panels and parties taking place during the festival September 10 - 19, 2020.
Planet Africa is one of the most significant events in Black film history and the Canadian cultural industry yet much of its story and longstanding impact remains untold. My first job in film was as Program Assistant at TIFF for the Planet Africa program, it was also my introduction to the film industry. I witnessed a shift in the international landscape as it successfully created new audiences to access and view original productions by talented Black filmmakers.
I was proud to be part of its evolution because at the heart of Planet Africa, was a creative community comprised of exceptional filmmakers from around the world, producers, writers, talent, musicians, artists, media moguls, corporate investors.
For us, Planet Africa was a vibrant program and a new cultural model.
25 years later, its legacy still resonates. I hope you will be as inspired at the discovery of the wonders in these curated works as I was, and continue to be.
Orla La-Wayne Garriques
Cultural Curator, PlanetAfricaLegacy.com