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Afro Prairie Film Festival aims to open doors for black film makers

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WATCH: The Afro Prairie Film Festival will run in Winnipeg from Feb. 23-25 and is being seen by Winnipeg's black community as a way to empower young artists. Global's Zahra Premji reports – Feb 23, 2018

A unique film festival for Winnipeg will start showcasing black-centric films Friday night.

The Afro Prairie Film Festival will run in Winnipeg from Feb. 23-25 and is being seen by Winnipeg’s black community as a way to empower young artists.

Alexa Potashnik is with Black Space Winnipeg, and is one of the partners for the Afro Prairie Film Festival.

WATCH: Afro Prairie Film Festival in Winnipeg Feb. 23 – 25

She said for a long time, the community has felt tucked away and left in the background.

“Black people have been pretty exempt from Canada’s narrative; especially within the prairies, people forget that black people exist here,” Potashnik said.

She said the art of film has more power than many give it credit for.

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“Film is a powerful tool to educate and construct dialogue and meaningful discourse,” Potashnik said.

Through film, Potashnik suggests it is easier for people to venture in to territories they would be otherwise uncomfortable talking about, such as race.

RELATED: Manitoba government getting more federal money, film tax credit under review

The aim of the event is to bring black film makers in to Winnipeg to expose their work but also show the young artists in the prairies that they too could become black film makers.

Ben Williams, with Winnipeg Film Group, is also a partner for the Afro Prairie Film Festival.

“It’s just putting a different face to some stories that are out there. It’s putting an afro-centric perspective,” Williams said.

The film festival runs from February 23 – 25 at Cinematheque at 100 Arthur Street in the Exchange District.

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