Alicia K. Harris: Celebrating National Canadian Film Day

We are celebrating National Canadian Film Day with DGC Ontario Director Alicia K. Harris! Alicia’s film, Only Light Will Touch Us, was commissioned for the NCFD’s Light(s) At The End Of The Tunnel short film program. All short films will be available to watch live at 7:00 p.m. tonight. Below we chat with Alicia about making this short, Black storytelling and what Canadian films she thinks you should be watching!


Can you tell us more about your NCFD commissioned short Only Light Will Touch Us and how you got involved with the program? 

The film is a celebration of a Black man’s joy and carefreeness. The film follows his journey to vulnerability and as he interacts with a divine light. I wanted to capture the lightness in a Black man’s existence, seeing him vulnerable in his bedroom, a space where he feels safe to just be.

The Reel Canada team asked me to submit an idea and the rest is history!

A still from the film Only LIght Will Touch Us. Photo by Jeffrey Chiu.
Photo by Jeffrey Chiu

What was it like to make a film from start to finish in 9 weeks? 

It came with its challenges, but what I enjoyed about the pace was that it inspired me to develop the concept for the film. I’ve had some form of this idea in my head for years, and this specific ask with the word “light” (the theme is “light at the end of the tunnel”) pushed the initial concept I had into a really poetic and dynamic place…and also gave me the space and resources to create it. Thanks, Reel Canada and Netflix!

Alicia K. Harris on set with an actor, for the film Only LIght Will Touch Us. Photo by Jeffrey Chiu.
Photo by Jeffrey Chiu


Can you tell us how important Black storytelling is to you?

The narrative about Black people has been largely negative. When I was growing up, it was racist stereotypes or no representation at all. Currently, most work about Black people is about pain and trauma. I would love for work about our happiness to be made at the same rate. This film shows the world how I see Us, full of love, joy, light, and brilliance! 

Photo of Alicia K. Harris by Jeffrey Chiu
Photo by Jeffrey Chiu

What do you love about working in Toronto/Ontario?

Being from here, I love finding those hidden gem locations that only the locals know. Many of my projects are shot in my home of Scarborough! I love the people here, especially, and getting to work with other passionate, like-minded people in this city has been a blessing. 

What’s a Canadian film you would recommend on NCFD?

Charles Officer’s Nurse.Fighter.Boy, Emma Seligman’s Shiva Baby and Mina Shum’s Meditation Park. All are contemporary classics!

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