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Directed by Danielle Ayow

“A Chinese-Caribbean-Canadian woman, driven by people’s inability to separate her skin colour from her culture, tries to own the Trinidadian identity she knows should feel like hers.

BUT YOU’RE NOT BLACK opens on Toronto’s Caribana, which Danielle has attended for most of her life. The festival represents her parents’ Trinidadian culture, but Danielle is also Chinese and visibly so. She struggles with how people see her background, and how she should see herself. Using heart and humour, the film challenges perceived correlations between race and culture, asking the audience to examine their own assumptions about cultural identity while Danielle navigates hers.”


About the Filmmaker: Danielle is a Toronto-based writer, actor, and comedian. After theatre school, she understudied on the prestigious Second City Mainstage in Toronto and acted alongside 49 of Canada’s leading actresses in the English adaptation of Tout Comme Elle. She’s appeared in many commercials and TV shows including The Handmaid’s Tale, Spinning Out, and Nurses. From her time on set, she developed a keen interest in the other side of the camera. As a writer, she focuses primarily on stand-up and sketch comedy, drawing from her personal life. Her dry wit and comedy played an integral role in writing But You’re Not Black. This is her first time directing and her first time writing a documentary. She’s currently developing her first animation.

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Growing up can be hard and for the characters in this fabulous and energetic shorts program, the struggle is real. These shorts expose the complexities in the world that make growing up trickier than it seems.