Filmmaker looking for a Jamaican Canadian family for her new documentary film  

By Stephen Weir

Chelsea Nyomi

This project is to fulfill the requirements of an artist residency program focused on telling stories related to the experiences of Black people in Canada. It will be screened at the annual Toronto Black Film Festival in February 2023.

Filmmaker Chelsea Nyomi is posting to Carnival related Facebook accounts, mine included, to find a three generational Jamaican Canadian family willing to be interviewed on camera for her new movie.  Oh, and she would like to contact dancers experienced in Dancehall and Soca moves that are willing to dance in front of her cameras too.

The proposed film Generations of Home will be a “ short documentary film that explores Toronto’s Jamaican-Canadian community, specifically Little Jamaica and its evolution over time,” explains Chelsea Nyomi.

“The purpose (of the movie is to share a heartfelt story about a community that continues to thrive despite the destruction of its cultural hub,” she wrote. “It shows the resilience of Jamaican people and celebrates Jamaican culture.”

Nyomi was born here in Canada to Jamaican Canadian parents. She is a graduate of Ryerson and is currently a freelance video editor/producer for CTV.  Two of her cultural documentaries premiered here in Toronto this summer.  Memoirs to Little Jamaica, was screened in July at the Rhythms of Canada Festival and ‘Cultured Reflections: The 1.5-Gen’ got its first showing at the Doc Now Festival in June. This movie is slated to be shown at the annual Toronto Black Film Festival in February 2023.

This isn’t just any old casting call.  The family that Chelsea Nyomi is looking for will be the backbone of the film and must be Black and of Jamaican descent.  “This project is developed under a

Shoppin in Little Jamaica

program focused on sharing the experiences of Black people in Canada, only (Black) Jamaicans belonging to the African diaspora are eligible,” she says.

“I am looking to select one family with three generations of Jamaicans or Jamaican-Canadians (grandparent, parent, child). All participants must be comfortable being interviewed on camera. Ideally, either the grandparent and/or parent would have immigrated from Jamaica to Canada between 1960 – 2010. They should also be familiar with the Little Jamaica community.”

The dancers will be performing in front of the cameras but will not be the focus of the film.  The director is looking for people who live in Toronto and will be available to take part in the filming towards the end of the month!

That doesn’t give Chelsea Nyomi much time to find and interview a family and hook-up with Soca and Dance Hall dancers.  No worries though, she has come to the right place to meet the community!