What To Watch This Black History Month: DGC Ontario Productions Available Online Now

To celebrate the many achievements of Black Canadian filmmakers this Black History Month, we’ve put together this handy list of fantastic DGC Productions and films and television made by DGC Ontario Members you can stream right now.

This month, we’ll also be featuring insightful and inspiring interviews from Black creatives and Members who are making game-changing contributions to the Canadian film and television industry. Stay tuned!

A scene from Subjects of Desire.

Subjects of Desire (2021)
Director Jennifer Holness

Subjects of Desire explores the intersection of race and beauty standards by looking at the cultural shift of embracing Black female aesthetics and features while simultaneously exposing how these aesthetics are only valued when they are accepted by white women. Directed by veteran TV and film producer Jennifer Holness and produced by DGC Ontario Director Sudz Sutherland

Watch on TIFF Digital Lightbox


A scene from Akilla's Escape

Akilla’s Escape (2021)
Director Charles Officer

Directed by DGC Ontario’s Charles Officer and a 2020 Toronto International Film Festival Official Selection, Akilla’s Escape looks at the cycle of violence and the toll it takes on Black lives by telling the story of a drug dealer who confronts his tragic past after being compelled to help a young thief escape a life of crime. 

Watch on TIFF Digital Lightbox


A scene from the movie Pick

Pick (2019)
Director Alicia K Harris

This powerful short film by DGC Ontario Director on the rise Alicia K Harris won a Canadian Screen Award for Best Live Action Short Drama and focuses on the unexpected consequences that occur when a young girl wears her hair in an afro on picture day. 

Watch on CBC Gem


A scene from the movie Mr. Jane and Finch

Mr. Jane and Finch (2019)
Director Ngardy Conteh George

Directed by DGC Ontario’s Ngardy Conteh George, Mr. Jane and Finch follows 80-year-old community activist Winston LaRose, an impassioned advocate who runs for ward councillor in 2017 to protect the Jane and Finch neighbourhood from gentrification. 

Watch on CBC Gem


Utopia Falls
Director R.T. Thorne

Hundreds of years in the future, in the last living colony on earth, 24 teenage candidates are chosen to take part in an annual musical competition known as The Exemplar. Created by DGC Ontario Director R.T. Thorne, Utopia Falls blends hip-hop with science fiction to create a unique young adult drama.

Watch on CBC Gem


A poster image of the cast of Overlord and The Underwoods

Overlord and The Underwoods
Director Anthony Q. Farrell

Created by DGC Ontario Director Anthony Q. Farrell, Overlord and The Underwoods is a fun, fresh spin on the family sitcom. The Underwoods are a typical blended North American family whose lives are totally normal – until their intergalactic supervillain cousin Overlord decides to drop by for an extended visit. 

Watch on CBC Gem


Superfly

A remake of the 1972 blaxploitation film Super Fly and helmed by DGC Ontario Director and prolific music video auteur Director X, this stylish thriller also features the talents of the late actor Michael K. Williams. 

Watch on Netflix


Jean of the Joneses

DGC Ontario Production Jean of the Joneses stars Zola’s Taylour Paige as a writer descended from formidable Jamaican-American matriarchs, who discovers a series of long-buried family secrets. Jean of the Joneses was nominated for two Canadian Screen Awards at the 5th Canadian Screen Awards in 2017. 

Watch on CBC Gem


Next Stop

Next Stop is a hilarious, surreal urban comedy anthology series that chronicles the lives of young Black Torontonians as they confront the challenges of online dating, debate which TTC station sells the better beef patty, and discuss the realities of living in a rapidly-changing and expensive city. Season 2 of Next Stop was directed by DGC Ontario’s Alicia K Harris. 

Watch on CBC Gem


A scene from Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker

Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker (2020)

This DGC Ontario Production tells the inspiring story of Black entrepreneur Madam C.J. Walker, who built a haircare empire that made her America’s first female self-made millionaire.

All four parts of this miniseries are available on Netflix.

Watch on Netflix


The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel

This film centers on the formation of the gospel group The Clark Sisters and follows their journey from their hometown of Detroit to becoming the highest-selling gospel group in music history. This DGC Ontario Production was nominated for Outstanding Television Movie at the NAACP awards as well as a Critics Choice Award.

Watch on Hoopla


Salt-N-Peppa

This DGC Ontario Production is a fun and moving look at the pioneering group known as the first ladies of hip-hop, who challenged the male-centric rap world and sold more than 15 million records. 

Watch on the Lifetime Channel


Enslaved

This DGC Ontario Documentary Production follows Samuel L. Jackson, along with a team of investigative journalists and divers, as they uncover the hidden history of the transatlantic slave trade in this eye-opening 5-part series. 

Watch on CBC Gem


Title card for 21 Black Futures, presented by Obsidian Theatre & CBC Arts

21 Black Futures 

DGC Ontario Production 21 Black Futures explores the future of Blackness as envisioned in filmed monodramas from 21 Black playwrights, directed by 21 Black Directors, and performed by 21 Black actors. Features segments by DGC Ontario Directors Charles Officer, Alicia K Harris, Weyni Mengesha, Alison Duke, and Katia Café-Fébrissy. 

Watch on CBC Gem


DOC Institute & Hot Docs: Black Light series

The DOC Institute is teaming up with Hot Docs this Black History Month to present a series of 6 docs by leading Black documentary voices in Canada, available to stream for free all of February. The series features the documentary Mighty Jerome directed by DGC Ontario’s Charles Officer, chronicling the rise, fall, and redemption of Harry Jerome, Canada’s most record-setting track and field star. 


The Toronto Black Film Festival

A scene from Call Me When You Get There
CALL ME WHEN YOU GET THERE (2021), directed by Shawn Gerrard, screening as part of the 2022 Toronto Black Film Festival

The 10th Annual Toronto Black Film Festival will take place online this year from February 16 to 21, 2022 and features 200 films from 30 countries showcasing the best of Black cinema while creating a space to debate major cultural, social and socio-economic issues. The festival this year features two films by DGC Ontario Directors – Shawn Gerrard’s moving family short Call Me When You Get There and Sharon Lewis’ documentary exploring the intersection of the Queer, Christian community of colour, With Wonder

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