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 RPL Film Theatre Presents:


Curated by Laurie Townshend


Film School: Radical Mothering Panel discussion

with Laurie Townshend and Alison Duke
(Find the livestream video below)


Angela Davis said that radical simply means "grasping things at the root”. This film series looks at the penetrating roots of mothering and the ways m/others seek to uproot trauma and nurture the flourishing of their children. This series is curated by filmmaker and teacher Laurie Townshend.

Writer-director, educator and photographer Laurie Townshend credits her mantra, “You have as many hours in a day as Beyoncé” for her ability to make groundbreaking films while successfully lobbying her 8th graders for “coolest teacher” nods.

Panel Discussion Recording 

>>  Watch the recorded panel discussion with Laurie Townshend and Alison Duke embedded in the video below (starts at 1:02:15).

About the 3 films included in RPL Film Theatre's Film School: Radical Mothering.

Director: Caroline Monnet

00h 04m 35s I 2009 I Winnipeg Film Group
IKWÉ is an experimental film that weaves the narrative of one woman's (IKWÉ) intimate thoughts with the teachings of her grandmother, the Moon, creating a surreal narrative experience that communicates the power of thoughts and personal reflection.

 2. Auring’s Words
Director: Tram-Anh Ngo

00h 11m 11s, 2018, Winnipeg Film Group

Auring, a retired art teacher, helps her granddaughter, Alice, learn the meaning of words in two languages: English and Tagalog. Their happy lessons are complicated when Auring begins to display symptoms of memory loss. While Alice steadily makes progress in learning about the world around her, Auring struggles to hold on to the nuances of words and memories.

3. Promise Me 
Director: Alison Duke

00h 24m 47s, 2019, Independent distribution
Charlie still has hope and is adamant in caring for her mother, Yolonda Thomas, as her health takes a turn for the worse. Loyal, she insists on sticking by her mother’s side until the very end. But when her school begins to notice Charlie’s absence, she is placed under a system of surveillance and Charlie will soon come to find that some decisions are outside of her control.


Writer-director, educator and photographer Laurie Townshend credits her mantra, “You have as many hours in a day as Beyoncé” for her ability to make groundbreaking films while successfully lobbying her 8th graders for “coolest teacher” nods. 

With a thematic lens aimed squarely on acts of courage made visible through crisis, The Railpath Hero (2013) features a spellbinding performance by Stephan James (Selma, Race, Beale Street), in a story about the threads of resilience that hold a young athlete's life together in the wake of childhood sexual abuse. Laurie’s take on human connectedness is explored in Human Frequency Streetdocs (2014). Award-winning Charley (2016) connects the work of late civil rights activist Charles Roach to today’s BLM movement. Currently, Laurie is in pre-production on Mothering in the Movement (2022), a coming-of-middle-age saga that follows Staceyann Chin, Brooklyn’s most outspoken poet-activist and poster-mom for radical Black parenting as she raises her daughter Zuri, while investigating the past of her own mother who abandoned her as an infant. 


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. She tells dynamic stories that illuminate history, document the present and push culture forward. Duke’s filmmaking career began in the 90s when she produced music videos for some of the biggest names in Canadian music, like Maestro Fresh Wes, Glenn Lewis and Nelly Furtado. Duke made her directorial debut with the ground-breaking 2001 documentary Raisin Kane: a rapumentaory.

She works with producers, directors and artists on projects that bring diverse audiences together to affect positive social change. Recently she founded Oya Media Group with filmmaker Ngardy Conteh George. In 2016, Alison executive produced the Akua Benjamin Legacy Project with five Black female filmmakers from Toronto. This series of five award-winning short documentaries celebrate the legacy of Toronto’s renowned black activists; Gwen and Lenny Johnson, Marlene Green, Rosie Douglas, Dudley Laws and Charles Roach. Promise Me is her first non-fiction work to date. She completed Promise Me as part of her MFA thesis film at York University. She has several projects in development including her second narrative. 

FIND OUT MORE: https://vucavu.com/en/artists/d/alison-duke


This program is presented by the Regina Public Libray Film Theatre:

RPL Film Theatre thanks the following organizations for their support of this programming.


This curated program is part of the VUCAVU Expanded project.
We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.​