Tag Archives: TAN-The Afro News.

The Man Who Invented Christmas! A Must See Film!










The Man Who Invented Christmas! A Must See Film!

Elevation Pictures brings us another priceless gem just in time for the holidays, opening across Canada this Friday, November 24!

The Man who Invented Christmas features the what is behind  the work of Charles Dickens as he wrote a Christmas Carol, the inner workings of a writer as he dealt with creative blocks and  his personal demons from his childhood. The film is outstanding in that it brought out personal traumas in those who saw the film and offers a possible transformation.  Outstanding performances by Dan Stevens and Christopher Plummer add to the quality of the movie.

The triumph of the Christmas Carol shows the persistence of Dickens against many odds and offers some valuable tips for writers.

Elevation Pictures is releasing their new film THE MAN WHO INVENTED CHRISTMAS in theatres across Canada on Friday, Nov. 24th. The film is a Canada-Irish co-production starring Christopher Plummer (as Scrooge) and Dan Stevens (as Charles Dickens) Director: Bharat Nalluri. Screenwriter: Susan Coyne. The film shows how Charles Dickens came to write A Christmas Carol and how that tale would change how Christmas was celebrated around the world.


  Source: Elevation Pictures.

Special exhibition: In celebration of the new film The Man who Invented Christmas inspired by the journey of Charles Dickens writing his classic tale ‘A Christmas Carol’, Elevation Pictures and the Toronto Reference Library have teamed up to bring original Charles Dickens artifacts to Toronto. The exhibit, which is free to the public, features first edition copies of Dickens’ novels as well as personal letters and original paintings. The exhibit runs from Nov. 18th – Dec. 3rd on the 5th floor of the library.

With special thanks to the Afro News for this reprint: 



World Poetry Celebrates Unarmed Verses-A Must See Doc at VIFF!



A Must See Documentary at VIFF! Unarmed Verses by Ariadne Sawyer, MA.

Showing at the festival: Wednesday, October 4, 1 p.m.  SFU’s Goldcorp Centre for the Arts

Friday, October 6,  p.m. Rio Theatre.

Charles Officer’s Unarmed Verses presents a thoughtful and vivid portrait of a community facing imposed relocation, taking a look at marginalized Toronto Community Housing residents in the city’s north-east end. At the centre of the story is a remarkably astute and luminous 12-year-old black girl. The  documentary Unarmed Verses made its world premiere at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival  and now at VIFF festival. The films poignant observations about life, the soul, and the power of art give voice to those rarely heard in society weaves through it like a beautiful tapistery. Unarmed Verses is produced by Lea Marin and executive produced by Anita Lee for the NFB’s Ontario Studio. Source NFB.

In viewing the film; the courage, intelligence and capability of the young girl,  Francine Valentine who cared for her family and was able to see clearly what was happening as her community is re-located to build condos which would be too expensive for any of the community to buy was very powerful

 She is an talented poet, student and shining light in the world.  It is wonderful that she has been accepted into an arts school and will become an amazing asset to Canadian society.

As she mentioned in the documentary: “Youth need to learn to empower themselves. It is important to have someone believe in them .”

Earlier, I had a wonderful interview with Charles Officer about this well done, sensitive and empowering documentary. He spoke of the need for governments and communities to realize the powerful effects that their decisions make on marginalized people and talked about  his commitment to the problems of gentrification, economics and the need to for their stories to be heard. Charles is an amazing director with many credits and part of the  upcoming TV series 21 Thunder which began June 19th. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt6145878/fullcredits

Officer has also done such documentaries as Mighty Jerome, the NFB feature on Canadian sprinter Harry Jerome, the recent CBC documentary The Skin We’re In, and the drama feature Nurse. Fighter. Boy, which garnered 10 Genie nominations in 2008.

For an insightful interview. http://www.cbc.ca/radio/q/why-i-direct-charles-officer-1.4096127

 Current update on Unarmed Verses after HotDocs from Katja De Bock, NFB.

Unarmed Verses opened the 14th EIDF Documentary Film Festival in Seoul, Korea. The film was well received. Similar matters around revitalization, disconnection between citizens, developers and lawmakers is  happening across the country as well.  This is a worldwide problem and that needs to be addressed.

Unarmed Verses was screened at Toronto City Hall and hosted by Councillor Shelley Carroll, who also appears in the film. Council members were present, but Mayor John Tory was absent. I have been trying to get him to come see the film, but no luck. I have a lot of respect for Councillor Carroll, it was brave of her to initiate the screening and communicate how much she did learn from the film, and taking in the experience of those living it. Sydney, Q’mal and Lavane were present and had an opportunity to update Council members on the aftermath of revitalization. 

A great doc to see! Previously reviewed on The World Poetry Café Radio Show, 105.FM CFRO and was linked to www.worldpoetry.ca  and published in the Afro News http://www.theafronews.com/a-must-see-documentary-at-viff-unarmed-verses/

What’s next for Charles Officer:

He is  currently in production with a new feature documentary, Invisible Essence: Le Petit Prince. The film explores the mystery and magic of the universally popular novella written by Antoine de St. Exupery. Also re-writing a mini-series adaptation of Mordecai Richler’s Don of a Smaller Hero.  Charles is a talented filmmaker who has an important message to the world.


World Poetry is honoured to present activist Ahjamu Um from the US!

Author/Activist Ahjamu Umi with The Courage Equation!

May 18, 2015 by Ariadne Sawyer

Exciting News! Reporter Ariadne Sawyer for the TAN The Afro News !


Due to a death in his family, activist Ahjamu Um was unable to come. Our love and prayers go out to him in this time of need and support. We hope he can come at a later date.

Writer on Tour from Portland, Oregon. Author/activist Ahjamu Um with The Courage Equation!

Listen to the World Poetry radio show interview with Ahjami on June 9th, 9 pm on CFRO, 100.5 fm. * Author and poet Roger Blenman was able to fill in for him on the show.

June 13, World Poetry Vancouver, June 13th, Britannia Public Library. 1-3 pm. Book signing, refreshment, free book raffle!

Unfortunately the launch was also cancelled.

Hosts: Lina Fanat and Roger Blenman.

On December 10, 2014, Raider International Publishing House in New York, NY, released The Courage Equation. This 542 page literary fiction piece is an extremely creative and clever narrative centered on issues of white supremacy and patriarchy with a suspense filled story-line.

The adventure is told through the eyes of Boahinmaa Omawale. She and her husband Adisa organize a group of activists from Accra, Ghana, and the San Francisco, Bay Area, to unite to carry out a clandestine seek and destroy mission against the leaders of a violent white supremacist group in Oregon after a growing number of young Black boys start turning up missing.

The power of this book is in its courage in addressing the elephant in the room in oppressed communities and social justice movements; the role of patriarchy in subjugating the women in those communities and movements. Boahinmaa and the other women in this story address sexism from their male comrades during the mission, and other critical issues such as rape culture, in head on and thoughtful ways that give all of us reasons to rethink and challenge how we understand those issues. In addition, a unique aspect of this story is the positive way in which Africa is represented. Strong women and men in Ghana, who are focused on self-determination and independence, are the foundation of the community Boahinmaa and Adisa live in. Boahinmaa, as a white woman in an interracial relationship who lives in Africa, gives perspective on how to exist within an African organization in a healthy and productive way. Plus, her honest and intimate interactions with Black women provide classic insight into those relationships that are rarely explored in literature and popular culture. Finally, the group’s bold decision to unapologetically fight fire with fire is an urgent departure from the dominant narrative that oppressed communities must always suffer silently or at least non-violently.

The Courage Equation is the second novel published by author/activist Ahjamu Umi. The book can be purchased through all online book sites and by order through any bookstore. More information about the dynamic activist work by the author, including information on his activist and literary workshops, can be found through his website at www.abetterworld.me

A wonderful light in the world!

Source : The Afro News.