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Harry Belafonte to be honoured at festival

Iconic performer Harry Belafonte, the king of Calypso, will be honoured by the 8th Montreal International Black Film Festival held September 19-30.

The 85-year-old singer, songwriter, actor and social activist will be presented with the 2012 Humanitarian Award on September 19, at the Opening Ceremony and Tribute to Harry Belafonte, held at the Imperial Cinema at 7 pm. Following the ceremony, the film Winnie, by Darrell Roodt and based on the life of Winnie Mandela, will open the festival in its Quebec premiere.

He will reappear September 20 at An Intimate Evening With Harry Belafonte, held at Concordia’s Hall Building. Sing Your Song, a documentary-style film based on Belafonte’s life and civil-rights work, will be screened. Belafonte will answer questions from the audience.

The festival will close with the harrowing film Central Park Five, which was selected last May for the Cannes Film Festival and the Toronto Film Festival this fall. Falsely accused of rape in 1989, five Harlem teens were sent to prison for years before a serial rapist confessed that he was responsible. Though their convictions were overturned, these young men lost a part of their youth.

The Montreal International Black Film Festival endeavours to stimulate the development of the independent film industry and to promote the creation of films on black realities from here and abroad. 514-882-3334, montrealblackfilm.com

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