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Press Release

Toronto, ON: 29 Sept 2020 - The Reelworld Film Festival and Reelworld Screen Institute will present director, producer, writer, and advocate, Clement Virgo, with the 2020 Reelworld Award of Excellence in celebration of his 25 years of impactful work in the entertainment industry.

Jamaican born and Canadian Film Centre (CFC) trained, Virgo’s notable achievements and influential works have helped advance the movement for diversity in both the Canadian and American entertainment industries. Since breaking into the industry in 1995 with his debut film, Rude at the Cannes Film Festival, which went on to win a Special Jury Citation for Best Canadian Feature at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), he has continued to make influential advances in the years that followed.

Many of his best known works are centred around storytelling from the perspectives of people of colour, thus positively contributing to the visibility of racialized groups and diversifying their narratives in the industry. These works include his co-writing and directing credits for the award-winning adaptation of Canadian author Lawrence Hill’s, The Book of Negroes (2015) and the first season of OWN’s Greenleaf (2016) which he executive produced with Oprah Winfrey.

“I have had the pleasure of watching Clement grow and succeed in spite of the many challenges and barriers that were presented to him. His talent forced open those doors and he is truly an inspiration not only to other racialized filmmakers, but to the entire Black community in Canada and Jamaica,” said Reelworld Founder and Executive Director Tonya Williams. “He exemplifies all that this award stands for.”

Clement will be joining us for a special “One-on-One” webinar session on October 16th 2020 at 3:00pm EST. All Reelworld Film Festival industry programmes are free and available worldwide.



For media inquiries, please contact:

Reelworld Communications Director

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Founded in 2000 by Tonya Williams, The Reelworld Film Festival and Reelworld Screen Institute are the largest national platforms dedicated to supporting Canadian filmmakers and artists from the Black, Indigenous, Asian, South Asian, Middle Eastern, and Latin American communities. Since its inception Reelworld has been at the forefront in creating access and inclusion for racially diverse Canadian talent.

2020 Reelworld Award of Excellence Announcement - Clement Virgo

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