‘Framework’ serves an emotional dinner dialogue at 2022 Halifax Black Film Festival |

When preparing her latest film, Framework, Deborah Castrilli knew she wanted to share a different perspective with the Halifax Black Film Festival audience.

The short film explores what it means to be queer and Black in Nova Scotia. It features three members of the African Nova Scotian community, Robert Wright, Chloe Bramble and Amber Zaza, as they shed a light on the nuances of the queer Black experience.

“Essentially, the film allows us to glimpse into the lives of these two people,” says filmmaker Castrilli.

“Then we see them come together for a conversation in which they are talking about … spirituality, building community, their dreams. It was beautiful … just to witness people connecting on such a level where they not only are sharing their dreams, which is a vulnerable thing, but also seeing each other within them. We were all sobbing; it was very special.”

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Castrilli credits the Being Black in Halifax program with allowing her to tell the story within Framework.

The program gives emerging filmmakers an opportunity to address the issue of social integration of people from Black communities in their city through film. Participants present their films as World Premieres at the Toronto Black Film Festival, followed by the Halifax Black Film Festival, the Ottawa Black Film Festival, the Calgary Black Film Festival, the Montreal International Black Film Festival, and the Vancouver International Black Film Festival.

“The program itself is there to support emerging filmmakers,” Castrilli says.

“This film wouldn’t have been possible … in this way, without the program. To have it being premiered at the Toronto Black Film Festival and also the Halifax Black Film Festival is something that may not have been accessible to me … and it provides a lot of resources for us to create our visions of reality.”

Fabienne Colas, founder of the Halifax Black Film Festival, knew Halifax would embrace the annual event. Now in its sixth year, the festival continues to grow and bring people together to experience diverse perspectives through the art of film.

“You never can tell where a festival will go in a particular city. … It’s all about people in the city that makes a festival grow and the pace of the growth,” Colas says.

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“We knew we would get to six years and beyond … because we had started before in Montreal and Toronto successfully. However, we never expected the festival to evolve that fast, that quickly. It’s really thanks to the people in Halifax and Nova Scotia.”

READ MORE: Halifax Black Film Festival returns with record-breaking number of films

Framework debuts Thursday at the Halifax Black Film Festival. Tickets for the event are available now through the festival’s website. Audiences attending the virtual festival can enjoy short films, documentaries, full-length feature films from Halifax filmmakers and beyond. There are also virtual panel discussions offered through Halifax Black Film Festival’s Facebook page with topics related to film, media, diversity and equity.

“The most important thing for me is being able to see these stories being shared,” Castrilli says. “I’m so grateful to the participants that were involved, that we got to just showcase what they have to say. That’s been the most exciting part for me.”

The Halifax Black Film Festival runs Feb. 24-27 and is presented by TD Bank Group in collaboration with Global News. For more information on the festival, visit

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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