February 12 - 17, 2025

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BEING BLACK IN CANADA TORONTO - Young, Gifted and Black in Today's Society

This panel will feature the 2021 Toronto cohort of the Fabienne Colas Foundation's Being Black In Canada Mentorship program. These young Black women and men will talk about their experiences living in Toronto and what has kept them motivated to continue pursuing their dreams despite the challenges of this unstable, ever-changing climate.

Moderator: Andrea Este: Program Coordinator of the Black Market and Coordinator of the Toronto Black Film Festival

Andrea is a professional Dancer and Choreographer of over 30 years. She has worked with acclaimed choreographers, performed in a variety of stage and TV shows and has choreographed for and performed in musical productions in Canada the US and Europe. Since completing a certificate in public relations and communications at McGill University in 2018 she has worked in Public Relations, Marketing and Communications for Profit and Non-Profit Organisations. In 2019 she joined the Fabienne Colas Foundation as the Black Market series Programming Coordinator and is now also Head Coordinator of the Montreal International Black Film Festival, Toronto Black Film Festival, Ottawa, Calgary and Vancouver International Black Film Festival. She sits on the board of the Revive NCC.



Kharå Martin

Kharå is an advocate, actor, singer, and filmmaker from Pickering Ontario. She has been in love with performing and storytelling since she was 5 years old. Attended Wexford Collegiate School for the arts and the University of Toronto and received an Honours Bachelor of Arts alongside receiving a double minor in English and Law. It wasn't until she graduated from the OYA Emerging Filmmakers program that she fell in love with screenwriting and documentary filmmaking. In her spare time, she runs a community-based organization called the Youth Vote Counts which advocates for voter literacy amongst youth ages 16-24. Her debut short film No Justice No Peace premiered at the TIFF NEXT WAVE Festival and went on to win BEST SHORT FILM at the Emerging Lens Film Festival and the Impact Award at Cine FAM Film Festival in 2021. She hopes to combine her love for acting, film-making, and advocacy work to tell stories for millennial Black Audiences.

Rennae Byfield

Rennae's passion is oration. During her childhood, she instinctively spoke up for the silenced and has always been intrigued by the perspectives of those around her. Now as an adult she continues on the path of community advocacy. The knowledge she has gained from being a film student at York university coupled with her background in social work draws her to be a light shining on the darkness around her.

CJ Mayers

CJ is a 23-year-old, independent filmmaker based out of the Greater Toronto Area. He loves movies and books which is what motivated him to pursue a career in this field. He has directed over a dozen small YouTube shorts, one Instagram web series, two independent features & written one novel which is set to release in 2022. Action, Drama, Suspense, Mystery and Crime are some of his favourite genres to watch and mimic in his own work. He wants to make an industry for black creators where our art can thrive without the shackles of society holding our talent at bay. He aims to create more opportunities for black actors, filmmakers, artists etc, by giving Canadians the chance to participate in his productions and art showcases as well. He will always represent his home country and he guarantees that he will uplift as many of our people as possible by showing them that their dreams can be achieved even when it may not feel that way. HE is incredibly grateful to be a part of this program and believes that it will help further his professional industry skills which will help him grow to new successful heights. Now with this opportunity, the newfound skills it will bring him combined with his past experience, he strongly believes it's only a matter of time.

Marc Samuels

Marc is a writer/filmmaker and all-around dabbler in the arts. He started taking an interest in film when he was around 9, he used to love watching the BTS footage from our movie collection scanning the VHS boxes to see who was responsible for what job. Around that time a family friend let him borrow a canon Powershot to film a wedding and he has never looked back. At around 13 he directed his first music video. It was the first time he learned about pushing the limitations of my (cheap) camera and basic editing software. After getting a taste for more high-end equipment in high school he decided to study screenwriting and later film production at Toronto Film School. Upon graduation, he decided to launch his own production company (QNP Media) collaborating with a few close friends. Working on shoe-string budgets and saving everything he could from his Child and Youth working gig, he acquired some film equipment and directed a few short films while helping out on set with other film projects. Advertising his new business online and through referrals eventually led him to work on music videos, events which allowed him to create two short films "The Apparition (a socially conscious thriller) and Enmity (a crime drama).

Events in that series

Feb 19, 2022 - 1:30PM (EST)
On Facebook

Feb 19, 2022 - 3:30PM (EST)
On Facebook

Feb 20, 2022 - 09:30AM (EST)
On Facebook

Feb 20, 2022 - 11AM (EST)
On Facebook

Feb 20, 2022 - 1PM (EST)
On Facebook

Feb 20, 2022 - 5PM (EST)
On Facebook

Feb 21, 2022 - 9PM (EST)
On Facebook

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