ABOUT THE CURATOR: 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.
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.
ABOUT THE DIRECTOR: ALISON DUKE
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