When I had the idea💡, I was 23 years old & in my final year of undergrad in #HonoursPsych at the Univ. of Waterloo.
I saw a need. At the time, there were a few #Black film #initatives in the country— but no #filmfestival focused exclusively on #Canadian content.
I approached #wpirg about sponsoring my idea 💡 and in 2001, the first #ICEDINBLACK: #CanadianBlack Experiences on Film was held at #UniversityofWaterloo, pre-social media era. Volunteers signed up and helped me to run the event. By year 2, I received grant funding and toured the #festival to 3 cities in #Canada. By year 3, a larger grant allowed the festival to go to 9— #Toronto, #Waterloo, #Ottawa, #Montreal, #Halifax, #Winnipeg, #Edmonton, #Vancouver, and #Victoria. While still a student, I went to all of these cities and a few #filmmakers were able to join parts of the tour.
I don’t talk very much about #ICEDINBLACK. By 2003, the model wasn’t sustainable. That I understand now.
But at 25, I felt like it was a huge failure. I was financially broke, burned out, and felt humiliated bc the persons who doubted/laughed at my festival turned out to be right. Afterwards, I avoided the #film and #arts scenes. It took me several years to recover.
But if I could speak to that young woman now, I would hug her, send her on vacation, and tell her how proud I am of her. She had a lot of guts and vision for #ICEDINBLACK. Since 2003, many of the #filmmaker alumni are doing amazingly and the number of #BlackCandian filmmakers has increased tremendously.
Thanks all who were part of the journey.ck here to edit.