England | 1994 | 80 minutes | Color/BW | 16mm/DVD | Order No. 99417
Ngozi Onwurah’s WHITE MEN ARE CRACKING UP uses a murder mystery to explore the legacies of British colonialism and the exoticization of Black women.
Using magic realism, MEMSAHIB RITA by Pratibha Parmar looks at the physical and emotional violence of racism. Shanti is haunted by both the racist taunts of nationalist white youths and the memory of her white mother.
Dani Williamson’s GET ME TO THE CREMATORIUM ON TIME is a moving portrait of undying love and grief. When her husband of twenty years dies, Bonetta is overcome by her loss and is taken to a mental hospital; but she knows she must escape to get to the crematorium to say farewell to the man with whom she has shared her life.
In Frances-Anne Solomon’s BIDESHI a 50-year-old Bengali man lies in a coma in hospital, his soul stuck in a dark tunnel near death, until a resolution of his conflict with his daughter liberates his spirit.
SIREN SPIRITS shows the powerful complexity of family and race relations in contemporary society and is testament to the brilliant creativity of these four directors. SIREN SPIRITS is only available as an 80-minute program.
SCREENING HIGHLIGHTS AND AWARDS
- Vancouver Film Festival
- Bombay International Film Festival
- Clacutta International Film Festival
- Flanders Film Festival
- Boston Int’l Women’s Film Festival
Pratibha Parmar is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, video artist and professor. Awarded The Visionary Award from the One in Ten Film Festival and the Frameline Film Festival Life Time Achievement Award, Pratibha is Writer/Director/Producer of over 16 documentaries and her films are included in THE PLACE IS HERE (2017) retrospective on 1980's British Black Arts movement, which highlighted issues of race, gender and the politics of representation. Her film SARI RED is retained in the permanent collection at MOMA, NYC and Pompidou Center, Paris. She is the author and editor of several ground breaking books notably, "The Empire Strikes Back: Race and Racism in 1970s Britain," and editor and publisher at Sheba Feminist Press (1980's), the first UK publishers of Audre Lorde. Pratibha was Visiting Artist at Stanford University, Theatre & Performance Studies Department (2013) and is currently an Associate Professor in the film department at California College of the Arts, San Francisco. (07/19)
Black British filmmaker Ngozi Onwurah takes on the issues of time and space in her work which embraces heterogeneity and multiple sites of subjectivity. Onwurah consistently navigates and challenges the limits of narrative and ethnographic cinema by insisting that the body is the central landscape of an anti-imperialist cinematic discourse.
An accomplished director with several episodes of the top British TV drama series "Heartbeat" to her credit, Ngozi Onwurah also wrote and directed the prize-winning feature "Welcome II the Terrordome." Sometimes fierce and at others more gently humorous, Onwurah tackles the clashes and ironies of the apparent gulf separating black and white, whilst showing that under the skin, emotions are universal.
Onwurah’s films have won prizes at the Berlin Film Festival, Germany; Melbourne Film Festival, Australia; Toronto Film Festival, Canada; and at NBPC, USA. (09/09)
Frances-Anne Solomon is an award-winning filmmaker, writer, producer, curator, distributor and entrepreneur in film, TV, radio, theatre, and new media. Born in England of Trinidadian parents, she was raised and educated in the Caribbean and Canada before moving to Great Britain where she built a successful career with the BBC as a TV Drama Producer and Executive Producer.
She moved to Toronto in 2000, where she continued to create, write, direct, and produce her own projects. Her most recent film, A Winter Tale, received many prestigious international awards, including most recently at FESPACO 2009 (Africa’s Oscars held biannually in Burkina Faso West Africa) where it was won Special Mention in The Paul Robeson Diaspora Category.
Her other directing credits include: the feature film Peggy Su! (BBC Films, 1997); the drama What My Mother Told Me (Channel 4 1995), and Bideshi (British Film Institute 1994); and documentaries Literature Alive (Bravo!/OMNI, 2006), Reunion (BBC,1993), and I Is A Long Memoried Woman (Arts Council of England 1991).
As well as directing, Frances-Anne is the Artistic Director and President of the two companies she founded, Leda Serene Films, her film and television production vehicle, and CaribbeanTales, a prolific not for profit company that makes multimedia products aimed at the educational market.
In September 2011, CIPAVE - the CaribbeanTales Incubator Program for Audio Visual Entrepreneurs and CaribbeanTales Scholarship Fund was formally launched at the Toronto International Film Festival.
She began her television career at Banyan Productions in Trinidad, and studied Theatre at the University of Toronto with Steve Martineau and Ken Gass, and poetry with Jay MacPherson. She trained as a film director in the UK at Bristol University’s RFT Programme and the prestigious BBC Drama Directors Course. (8/14)