NFB marks Black History Month in February with screenings and activitie


January 25, 2024 – Montreal – National Film Board of Canada  

The activities organized by the National Film Board of Canada to mark Black History Month will have a special resonance this year, as they take the form of a tribute to renowned filmmaker Charles Officerwho passed away on December1 , 2023. 

The NFB presents the original version of Charles Officer's film The Great Jerome (Mighty Jerome). Released in 2010, the feature-length documentary chronicles the rise, fall and redemption of Harry Jerome, an extraordinary sprinter and one of Canada's greatest athletes. The film is now available online for the first time, free of charge, at

There’s also a special event in Montreal: a free in-person screening of Mighty Jerome at the Alanis Obomsawin  Theatre, taking place February 7 at 7 p.m.    

In addition, NFB curators will be offering two special Black History Month retrospectives on the NFB Blog

- In " Charles Officer: poet of the screen " Marc St-Pierre takes us to the heart of Charles Officer's life and career

- In " Celebrating BHM with a Look Back at Three Pioneering Filmmakers " Camilo Martín-Floréz looks back at the work of Roger McTair, Claire Prieto and Jennifer Hodge de Silva, and introduces cinephiles to the classic docudrama Fields of Endless Day - a recent addition to onf. ca - which traces the history of Blacks in Canada over more than three centuries.

Black History Month allies from across Canada’s film sector will also be taking part online, with six guest curators providing their selection of their favourite NFB works by Black filmmakers.    

The NFB website will be spotlighting two playlists:   

- Spotlight on the work of black filmmakers is made up of 25 productions, past and present, by black creators, including exceptional documentary and animated works. 

- A new selection is launched for Black History Month 2024. Entitled NFB Abroad: Africathis selection of 19 NFB films from the four corners of Africa highlights the continent and its people, its arts and cultures, and the ties that have been forged between Canada and Africa over the years.  

The NFB is working with local partners across the country to mark Black History Month with community screenings. To find out about events in your community, Canadians can visit the NFB website.  

Tributes to Charles Officer 

When Charles Officer died on December 1, Canada lost a compassionate storyteller and a great champion of stories  from Black communities.  

Online at 

The 83-minute unabridged version of the first film Charles Officer directed at the NFB, Le grand Jeromewill be presented free of charge on  

Special screening in Montreal 

February 7th, Le grand Jerome will be presented (with French subtitles) at 7 p.m. at the Alanis-Obomsawin theatre, located at the NFB headquarters in the heart of the Quartier des spectacles :  

- 1501 De Bleury (Place-des-Arts metro station)  

The evening will open with a presentation by the curators and guests, followed by a minute's silence. The screening of the feature film Le grand Jerome will be preceded by a screening of Martine Chartrand's award-winning animated short MacPhersonproduced at the NFB.  

Those wishing to attend this free screening must confirm their attendance on Eventbrite.

Guest curators 

Strong voices from across Canada participate online in Black History Month events as guest curators, and some of these individuals will also take part in the Montreal event: 

- Carla Beauvais and Tracy Paulotte, from Fondation Dynastie ; 

- Patrice Bernier, sports legend, former Montreal Impact player and community leader;

- Dalton Higgins, advertising executive, author and broadcaster;  

- Ella Cooper, founder of Black Women Film! Canada ; 

- Michael P. Farkas, President of Black History Month in Quebec; 

-, the most widely read online magazine for black Canadians.


"The National Film Board was privileged to be able to work with Charles Officer, and we were deeply saddened to hear of his passing. I hope that this year's Black History Month activities at the NFB can be a fitting tribute to his great talent and immense spirit, and I would like to thank the guest curators for their special contribution. By consistently collaborating with Black creators from coast to coast, the NFB is committed to celebrating and honoring the country's diverse Black communities, and to presenting innovative and powerful perspectives and stories." 

- Suzanne Guèvremont, Government Film Commissioner and Chair of the National Film Board of Canada 

"Anyone who had the privilege of working with Charles Officer, in film or theater, soon realized how talented he was. But it wasn't until the project was over that you fully understood the effect he had had on you on a personal level. Charles respected everyone, and everyone respected him. He was a unique person with a lot of heart. In the e-mails he wrote to me, he used to end with "Much love to you, dear Sir!" I am honoured to be able to share this sentiment with him: "Bien de l'amour pour vous, cher Monsieur!" " 

- Selwyn Jacob, producer of Great Jerome

" Fondation Dynastie is delighted to act as guest curator with the NFB as part of this initiative, which highlights the outstanding achievements of Canadian creators of African descent. I'm an avid cinephile myself, and I love discovering cinematic marvels that depict the realities of members of our communities. The fact that we can also tell these stories from our own point of view is all the more gratifying. Congratulations to the NFB team for creating this important catalog of films made by black people, available to everyone. I invite you to view them without delay!" 

- Carla Beauvais, co-founder and managing director of the Fondation Dynastie 

– 30 – 

Media relations 

Marie-Claude Lamoureux 

Press Officer, NFB 

Cell. : 438-304-6358 

Lily Robert 

Director, Communications and Public Affairs, NFB 

Cell. : 514-296-8261 

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