Thank you very much to everyone who came out to celebrate Stories from the Six: Diaspora Dialogues at Doors Open.
The day began with a screening of David Bezmozgis‘ NATASHA. NATASHA is the story of a forbidden romance between a 16-year-old Russian Jewish immigrant kid in Toronto and his cousin by marriage, a 14-year-old girl from Moscow with a scandalous past. It was adapted from David Bezmozgis’ book of the same name.
Following the screening, actor Genadijs Dolganovs (who portrays Roman in the film) sat down with film critic Tina Hassannia to discuss the film and his experience as an actor.
After a short break, we returned to watch Self, an episode of Moumy Mbacké’s docu-series, On the Topic Of. Following the screening, Moumy discussed her inspiration for the series, as well as her experience as a Toronto-based filmmaker with DD moderator, Miranda Newman.
Next up, we were honoured to share the trailer and behind-the-scenes footage for Sharon Lewis’ film, Brown Girl Begins, adapted from DD mentor Nalo Hopkinson‘s book, Brown Girl in the Ring. The screening was followed by a wide-ranging discussion moderated by NOW Magazine‘s Chris Rattan.
Finally, we closed with a panel called, “Writing Toronto on Screen,” featuring Charles Officer, Lu Asfaha, and Sanjay Talreja. The engaging discussion was moderated by DD’s Zalika Reid-Benta and featured clips from Charles Officer’s Unarmed Verses, Lu Asfaha’s Freedom Summer and Sanjay Talreja’s Cricket and the Meaning of Life, Toronto Taxi, Surkhaab and Looking for Yusuf.
DD would like to thank our wonderful roster of talented filmmakers and writers and Zoomer Media for hosting us as part of their Doors Open programming. We’d also like to acknowledge Mongrel Media, and our supporters, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the Toronto Arts Council, the Michael Decter Foundation, Manulife, the McLean Foundation, and the Kaszas Group – BMO Nesbitt Burns.