Over four decades after the infamous Sir George Williams Riot, Ninth Floor reopens the file on a watershed moment in Canadian race relations and one of the most contested episodes in the nation’s history. The riot started quietly when a few Caribbean students at Sir George Williams University (which later merged into Concordia), lodged a formal complaint against one of their professors, accusing him of racism. But what began quietly would end in a violent and widely reported confrontation on the upper floors of the university’s downtown Hall Building. Director Mina Shum engages the original protagonists in a compassionate cinematic exercise of reckoning and redemption.
About the attending filmmaker
Selwyn Jacob has produced close to 50 films since joining the National Film Board in 1997. Based in Vancouver, some of his recent productions include Crazywater (Dennis Allen), Hue: A Matter of Colour (Vic Sarin), Mighty Jerome (Charles Officer), and Circa 1948, an app for iPad and iPhone, created by Stan Douglas. Prior to joining the NFB, Jacob was an independent filmmaker who directed two award-winning NFB releases, Carol’s Mirror, and The Road Taken, which won the Canada Award at the 1998 Gemini Awards. Ninth Floor, directed by filmmaker Mina Shum, is his most recent production.
Photos: Véro Boncompagni