Runtime: 81 minutes
Mina Shum, director
Though better known for directing features like the KCFF’s opening night film MEDITATION PARK, Mina Shum recently proved her skills as a maker of documentaries with this highly acclaimed and all too timely look at an anti-racist student protest that rocked Montreal in 1969. NINTH FLOOR sheds new light on the events at Sir George Williams University, where allegations about racism toward students from the West Indies by a professor led to conflict and controversy, culminating in the largest student occupation in Canadian history and a violent response by local riot police. Thanks to her film’s savvy use of new interviews and archival material, Shum reveals ugly realities of race, privilege and power that some Canadians may be as reluctant to face now as they were then.
Mina Shum is a Hong Kong–born, Vancouver-raised filmmaker who studied theatre and film production at the University of British Columbia. Her features, Double Happiness and Long Life, Happiness and Prosperity both premiered in the US at the Sundance Film Festival and Double Happiness won the Wolfgang Staudte Prize for Best First Feature at the Berlin Film Festival and the Audience Award at Torino. Many of her films have found success at the Toronto International Film Festival, including her short Me, Mom and Mona (93), which was awarded a Special Jury Prize; her feature debut, Double Happiness (94), which won the award for Best Canadian Feature; the films Drive, She Said (97) and Long Life, Happiness and Prosperity (02); and the TIFF Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival selection Ninth Floor (15). Meditation Park (17) is her latest film.