The third annual Vancouver International Black Film Festival will begin on December 1 with an award-winning feature about a disturbing turn of events in the south of France. Ellie Foumbi’s Our Father, the Devil (Mon père, le diable) stars Babetida Sadjo as an African refugee who has become head chef in a retirement home. She believes that a new priest in town, played by Souleymane Sy Savané, perpetrated atrocities in her homeland.
The Cameroon-born Foumbi has an MFA in directing from Columbia University’s School of the Arts. She describes Our Father, the Devil as an “ethical thriller”. Last month, it captured the Africa Movie Academy Awards prize for Best Diaspora Narrative Feature.
“Ellie’s work often explores pressing social-political issues within the African diaspora, aiming to shine a light on marginalized populations whose voices are seldom heard or included,” Foumbi’s IMDb bio states. “Drawing from her experience as an actress, she crafts flawed complex characters who challenge stereotypes.”
Watch the trailer for Our Father the Devil.
Fest will screen films by young Black directors
The Fabienne Colas Foundation created the Vancouver International Black Film Festival. This year, it will present 40 films from five countries from December 1 to 4. The program includes in-person shows at the Vancity Theatre and online screenings.
One of the highlights will be the presentation of short films from 35 Black Canadian filmmakers—all between 18 and 35 years of age—at the Vancity Theatre from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. on December 2. Each young director received professional coaching at every stage of the process. This Fabienne Colas Foundation event, Being Black in Canada, will be presented by NETFLIX in collaboration with the National Bank. It’s supported by Telefilm Canada, the Canada Council for the Arts, and others.
Being Black in Canada will be preceded by in-person discussions from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the VIFF Centre Studio Theatre. Those unable to attend in-person can participate in online discussions from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on December 2.
Watch the trailer for the 2023 Vancouver International Black Film Festival.