This short film is set in the haunted sites of Toronto’s slave-owning past. A young boy meets a Moko Jumbie ancestor who guides him in a dream-like journey inspired by Carnival rituals. He finds crystalline seeds that grow into potent visions of Black pride, love and anguish. Directed by Hyghly Alleyne and Produced by Eric Black, including a collaboration with acclaimed artists; designer Michael Lee Poy and sculptor-architect Philip Beesley.

Narrated by Lillian Allen, the seminal book “Emancipation Day – Celebrating Freedom in Canada” by Natasha L. Henry, was a source of inspiration for key messages in the film.

Hyghly Alleyne is a Toronto-based photographer and filmmaker. While romantically dedicated to his craft, he is also passionate about creating collaborative environments that push the creative community forward. This is why, in 2010, he co-founded the in-house production company XO. Follow @hyghly to see where he’s been, where he is, and where he’s going.

Philip Beesley RCA FRAIC (Professor School of Architecture, University of Waterloo; Director Living Architecture Systems Group/LASG, Director Riverside Architectural Press) is a practitioner and researcher developing sculpture and architecture that approach near-living functions. His collaborative research integrates multiple disciplines from art, science and technology. He is widely cited as a pioneer in the rapidly expanding fields of interactive systems and responsive architecture.

Michael Lee Poy – Black OCAD U is an Afro-Caribbean artist-activist and architect in Trinidad and Tobago. His practice and interests are centered on post-colonial Caribbean design and fabrication in the festival arts – especially carnival. A graduate of Pratt Institute of Technology in Architecture (B. Arch.) and the Yale Graduate School of Architecture, Environmental Design (MED), Michael aims to use interdisciplinary to augment the innovative, creative, and collaborative process of design.

Eric Black was born and raised in the heart of Toronto, at first he pursued professional football playing for the Toronto Argonauts until his calling shifted. Today, his focus centres around creative production and photography. Working with various brands and organizations, Eric produces meaningful and thought-provoking work through visual narratives. @ericblack_

Narration by Lillian Allen. Poet. Educator. Spoken Word Performer, Lillian Allen is a professor of creative writing at Ontario College of Art and Design University (OCAD). Two time JUNO Award winner and trailblazer in the field of spoken word and dub poetry.

Watch it on YouTube

Viewers please note: A brief sequence in this film includes flashing lights and visual patterns that may affect those with photo-sensitive epilepsy or other photo-sensitivities.

Awakenings Reflections

It Takes a Village

This Awakenings Reflection, unique of its kind, takes you behind-the-scenes of the making of the film, the powerful intention and the personal meaning for everyone involved.

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