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Promise Me: Panel discussion with Alison Duke and cast and crew moderated by Alanna Thain and Émilie Poirier

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Queer History Month at McGill University, in collaboration with the Institute for Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies, Archive/ Counter-Archive, Mediaqueer and the Moving Image Research Lab present "Promise Me: a Roundtable Discussion"

On Friday October 23rd, 5PM EST, join us for a panel discussion with Alison Duke and Promise Me cast and crew moderated by McGill professor Alanna Thain, and Festival du nouveau cinema representative Émilie Poirier as they reflect upon the film about a mother and daughter who are ripped apart by illness, an unjust system, and a failure to face the truth.

Promise Me is a film that is inspired by events while filming a documentary called The Woman I have Become (2006) about eight African, Black, and Caribbean women living with HIV/AIDS in Toronto trying to build awareness about their struggles in the Canadian health care system. The child of one the mothers was apprehended by Child Welfare, because she was too sick to mother. A week later her mother passed away. Alison Duke carried the story with her and wrote an article about it called The Missing 17 Minutes for the Project Muse journal. The story has haunted her psyche for years and recently, she turned it into a short dramatic script. Promise Me, is her first fictional work to date.

The film is currently available for viewing as part of the RPCE Short Films Competition 2. To learn more about the film festival and view the film, visit

To watch an interview between produced by Mediaqueer with Alison Duke visit, https://vimeo.com/468413552

Register for the panel discussion here https://www.eventbrite.ca/.../alison-duke-roundtable...

Alison Duke (Co-Writer, Director) •
With 20+ years of experience as a writer, director, producer, and visual artist, Alison Duke aka "Golde" is a storyteller, in every sense of the word. Duke made her directorial debut with the ground-breaking 2001 documentary Raisin' Kane: a rapumentary. Raisin' Kane was produced by the National Film Board of Canada and went on to win numerous local and international awards. She works with producers, directors and artists on projects that bring diverse audiences together to affect positive change. Recently she founded OYA Media group with filmmaker Ngardy Conteh George.

Lindsey Addawoo (Co-Writer) •
Lindsey is a filmmaker from Toronto area and graduate of Ryerson University's RTA School of Media (fka Radio & Television Arts) program. In 2014, she earned a Tara Award nomination ('Best Upper Year Script') for UNDERside, a student-based webseries project highlighting underprivileged youth based on their social class, gender, and race. In the past, she has worked in TV broadcast journalism as a freelance news writer and chase producer at CTV News Channel. With a strong interest in sci-fi, fantasy, supernaturalism, and cultural mythology, she now lends her efforts to diversify the speculative fiction world.

Olunike Adeliyi (Actor: Yolanda) •
Olundike Adeliyi was born in Toronto, Ontario to Sunday Adeliyi, a Nigerian computer scientist and Roxiana Bell, a Jamaican nurse. Raised in both Jamaica and Canada, the well travelled actress ultimately earned a place at the highly coveted American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City. After graduating from AADA, Olunike returned to Toronto to pursue a film, television, and theatre career which ultimately landed her the series-regular role of Leah Kerns in the highly rated and vastly popular television series, Flashpoint. Olunike's popularity gained momentum after her appearances in films and TV shows such as SAW 3D, French Immersion, The Listener, Two Cities, Being Human, Republic of Doyle, Group Home, A Christmas Horror Story, The Emmisary, Lost Girl, Killjoys, Boost, and The Girlfriend Experience, to name a few.

Breonna Morrison (Actor: Charlie) •
Patience Breonna Morrison came into this world strong, determined and never taking no for an answer. Breonna believes in doing her best at all she can, however, she’s not quite as organized as her mother would like her to be but her reply to that is “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, then what is an empty desk a sign of?” - Einstein. Taking on her first major role, as Rafiki in a theatre play Breonna’s acting skills grew into her securing a lead role in Promise Me. Overall, this avid reader, wonderful team player, loving sister and caring individual who's always willing to help take her time to know that things are going to be okay no matter what. She is an animal lover sometimes putting them before humans.

Alana Bridgewater (Actor: Mrs. Gail Woods, Teacher) •
Alana Bridgewater (born Newmarket, Ontario) was raised in Scarborough, Ontario and discovered her love for performing at an early age. She was a member of The Canadian Children's Opera Chorus, The Toronto Mendelssohn Youth Choir and founding member of The Nathaniel Dett Chorale. She attended The University of Windsor, studying with Steven Henrickson and Richard Householder. Alana was the voice of the 2008 Olympic Bid. In 2007 she was nominated for a Gemini Award for her contribution to The Gospel Christmas Project (CBC).

Angie Reid (Actor: Maxine Nicols, Social Worker) •
Angie Reid, a rising film and television star, whose breakout performance in the acclaimed TIFF short film CLINCH (TIFF 2014) is recognized as one of the industries brightest new talents. She portrays "Kelly Ewing", a wife, mother, and former professional boxer who is forced to face her greatest opponent when she discovers she has cancer. Her talent brought her to the attention of Three Finger Films Production where she is in pre-production and is rumored to be considering playing the lead role in the forthcoming television series "Bottoms Up" where she will be playing a Social Worker moderating a group of substance abusers while trying to balance her troubled life. Angie can also be seen in "The Diner" (2014) another short film premiering at the 2015 Toronto Film Festival.

Alicia Boatswain-Kyte (McGill University, Assistant Professor) •
Dr. Alicia Boatswain-Kyte is a social worker with over ten years of clinical experience working with marginalized individuals, families, and groups. The majority of this experience has been in the area of child protection. Her research interests center around the systemic oppression of racialized individuals and how this contributes to their unequal representation within systems of social control. Alicia advocates for transformative social change within our institutions and social policies to ensure that all individuals and groups are able to participate as full and equal peers within society. Her work seeks to identify innovative solutions to facilitating service accessibility to marginalized populations. She is involved with several community organizations aiming to improve the health and social outcomes for Black children and families in Montreal.

This workshop will be conducted online via Zoom. Please let us know if you have any accessibility needs that we can work to accommodate by emailing mediaqueer.project@gmail.com

This event is also part of Queer History Month at McGill, a series of events over the month of October that celebrate and highlight the history and achievements of 2SLGBTQ+ communities at McGill University and more broadly in Montréal, Québec, and Canada. To learn more about Queer History Month at McGill visit : https://www.facebook.com/2SQHM/

Queer History Month and Mediaqueer are located in Tiohtiá:ke/Montreal, situated on the traditional and unceded territory of the Kanien’kehà:ka, a place which has long served as a site of meeting and exchange amongst many First Nations including the Kanien’kehà:ka of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, Huron/Wendat, Abenaki, and Anishinaabeg. We recognize and respect the Kanien’kehà:ka as the traditional custodians of the lands and waters on which we meet today. We would also like to share this acknowledgement for our distanced times, developed by the Feminist Media Studio at Concordia University: while Zoom is the technical “custodian” of the platform on which we gather, this makes us no less occupants of the multiple territories on which we are all physically located. The platform on which we gather also does not emerge out of the ether: it is a product of Silicon Valley, a “unicorn” valued at $1 billion five years after launching. It became a public traded company in 2019 and added 2.2 million users so far in 2020. Its shares are up more than 100% since social distancing measures were enacted, even as the economy crumbles around us. Zoom’s headquarters are located on mah-wek-mah
Ohlonee Territory. The Ohlone have historically understood about sustainability, about communal societies, about giving gifts to those who passed by, and about sharing space. Their horizontal organization might inspire different emergent models of peer-to-peer “networking” in the pandemic than we’re enacting here in Zoom.

This event is made possible with the support of the Institute for Gender Sexuality and Feminist Studies, McGill University, the Réseau québécois en études féministes (RéQEF), the Festival du Nouveau Cinéma and the Fonds de Recherche du Québec - Société et Culture.
Supported by Mediaqueer.ca and Archive/Counter-Archive