Our Story so Far...
At the heart of our film Brown Girl Begins, is Ti-Jeanne's coming of age story as she chooses to step into the power that is available to her--through her family and ancestral spirits.
Early on we considered telling a larger than life story...but we soon found out we were fronting if we did that. We aren’t Wonder Woman, we are Brown Girl Begins a small story about the frustration of trying to find your voice in a world that doesn’t prioritize a young poor black teenager’s voice.
We designed our T-shirt's with the words "The Future is HER e" emblazoned on the front because we truly believe that the future of our communities lies in the hands of the many women who are working and living in the present, knocking down walls and becoming trailblazers for the next generation of women to come.
We debated amongst ourselves whether this was the right time to release our t-shirt as the whole world is exploding with the hashtags #metoo and #MeAt14. Yes we want to market our film, and yes we want our supporters to have a tangible piece of “Brown Girl Begins” but is this the right time? But we felt YES , ready we ready - we are the future, the future is here, say it, wear the t-shirt, just support it, us, you.
We know that it is important to give voice to women, and want to ensure that the stories of women are heard, believed and prioritized. Women are speaking out, confronting their past and leaving their fears behind, while empowering other women all in the same breath.
This shirt was designed by a group of black women, with the aim of sending a message of solidarity and empowerment. Just because you're not an amazon-like Wonderwoman, ready to kick a door in...doesn't mean you don't have a voice to be heard. Again we say, The Future is HER(E).
NIGEL SHAWN WILLIAMS
"Jab Jab, Papa Legba, Brukfoot Sam"
Brown Girl Begins is an afrofuturist feature film about a young black woman who is trapped in a world forced upon her. Ti-Jeanne, a reluctant priestess, must resurrect Caribbean spirits and survive the possession ritual that killed her mother, or her people will die.
Sharon Lewis, Writer / Director
I was studying directing in Los Angeles at UCLA when I walked into my favorite bookstore and saw my fellow artist and colleague Nalo Hopkinson’s award winning novel, Brown Girl in the Ring on the shelf. #blackgirlmagic unfolded from the moment I read the first page. I knew then that I had to bring this bold and unique story of a young black teenage heroine growing up in a post apocalyptic Toronto to the screen. Just like the epic journey of Ti-Jeanne, the heroine in the book, it has taken me time to acquire the creative skills, experience and resources needed to be ready. And ready we ready. I am now part of a movement of people who have brought this project to life - all working their own magic. Ti-Jeanne. She is the future.
Nalo Hopkinson, Author of "Brown Girl in the Ring"
Nalo Hopkinson is the published author of nine novels, a collection of short stories and a chapbook, and the editor/co-editor of four anthologies. She’s lived in Toronto, Canada since 1977, but spent most of her first 16 years in the Caribbean, where she was born. She is currently a professor of Creative Writing at the University of California Riverside in the U.S.
"If you are wondering why a story that takes the existence of wonder-working spirits for granted is science fiction, then you have not fallen under the spell of Hopkinson’s island-accented prose...I am happy to report that Hopkinson lives up to her advance billing." -Gerald Jonas, The New York Times
Awards for Nalo Hopkinson’s first novel, Brown Girl in the Ring:
About the Producers
Floyd Kane is a graduate of Dalhousie Law School. After spending years working as a lawyer and senior executive within the entertainment industry, including a lengthy stint within DHX Media, Floyd left DHX Media to pursue a career as a Writer/Producer. Some of Floyd's writing credits include shows such as Continuum (Syfy), Backstage (Disney) and the acclaimed feature film, Across the Line. Floyd’s recent producing credits include Across the Line, Jean of the Joneses, and Brown Girl Begins. Floyd is currently finishing production on Angelique’s Isle. Floyd is an alumnus of the Summer Institute, NSI Totally Television Program, the TIFF Talent Lab, the Shaw Media Showrunner Programme and TIFF Studio.
Vince has over 45 credits to his name spanning film, documentary, scripted and unscripted television, sports television, music videos, as well as digital productions, he has worked with some of North America’s most successful writers, producers, directors and on-camera talent. As a result, Vince Buda has developed into a producer whose approach to filmmaking and content creation focuses on both the creative AND its execution, with equal priority. His most recent projects include Line Producer on the ‘Big Brother Canada’ Television series, Producer on the feature film ‘Brown Girl Begins’ as well as, Producer of the upcoming feature, ‘Crown and Anchor’.
Jenn Paul is a Toronto based independent Film Producer and Marketing Creative. During her time as the Marketing & Distribution Manager at Union Pictures, she marketed and distributed several feature length films. She has also produced a number of short films, which have gone on to play at film festivals around the world. She just completed her first feature film as a producer, "Brown Girl Begins". Jenn is a former student of York University’s BFA Film Production Program, and an alumnus of WIFT’s Convergent Media Program, the Summer Institute, and the Telefilm Canada CMPA Marketing Mentorship. In 2014, she was selected by the ReelWorld Film Festival as one of twenty Emerging Artists.