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Rahyne by the Toronto waterfront

Rahyne is an animated short film done in the style of a motion comic that tells a story that expands on the chaotic instability felt during the pandemic and looks to the water to provide guidance and calm.

Rahyne is an animated film by BSAM Canada in partnership with filmmaker Kahstoserakwathe Paulette Moore as a part of Earthseeds: Space of the Living the Inaugural Toronto Waterfront Artist Residency. Developed with the support of the Waterfront BIA, Waterfront Toronto, and Harbourfront Centre, Toronto 2021.

Plot

This short film delves into Indigenous and African/Caribbean folktales surrounding water that conceives it as a spirit, a guardian, a lifeforce, and holder of memories and history, among many other things. The film follows Rahyne, a young Afro-Indigenous, non-binary youth experiencing life in the midst of all the turmoil highlighted by the pandemic, political unrest and trauma experienced by Black and Indigenous peoples.

Viewers will join Rahyne as they visit the Toronto waterfront guided by the desire to quell the turmoil of the last few months, in search of a teacher to inform a new way to approach the world they find themselves in. The ultimate goal is to inspire conversations on collective ways of healing and what that looks like using the water as a creative instructional tool.

CAST

Nicole “Nico” Taylor is the Executive Director of Communications for BSAM Canada. Nico is a writer, scholar, dancer, cosplayer, and activist who uses feminism and critical race theory to dissect social constructions surrounding race and representation, especially as they pertain to how we make sense of the images that surround us. As a trained performer in Afro-Caribbean folk dance, Nico has participated in many events showcasing the beauty and vibrancy of Caribbean culture, which included performing in the Opening Ceremony for the Pan Am Games Toronto in 2015.

As a scholar, her interest in pop culture and designation as a proud blerd spurred the pursuit of a Master of Arts degree at Concordia University. Ultimately, Nico’s scholarly work and her engagement and examination of cosplay subculture aims to amplify visibility for cosplayers of African descent, construct space where alternative ways of imagining, creating, and being can be explored, and find ways to weave the liberation of speculative processes throughout lived experiences

Rev. Kemba Byam is committed to anti-oppression work with a focus on anti-Black racism and gender analysis. Her work began at the Centre for Women and Trans People at York U. She is a Sacred Leader with Sacred Women International, and a Minister and member of CIMM.

Kemba studied The Anitafrika Method where she developed the monodrama Where the Stories are Told. Kemba programmed and co-hosted on issues related to social and transformative justice on campus community radio at CHRY 105.5 (now VIBE105.5) and CIUT FM.

Kemba is in deep gratitude to her teachers: Aina-Nia Ayo’dele, d’bi young anitafrika, Dr. Ebun Adelona, Dr. Anne Goodman, Dr. Bonnie Burstow and all of her ancestors that have gone before.

Kahstoserakwathe Paulette Moore is Kanien'kehàka (Mohawk) and an enrolled member of Six Nations of the Grand River territory where she is based. Moore’s work focuses on restoring spiritual, physical and economic balance at the place where Indigenous ways of being meet our modern experience.

Moore spent two decades based in Washington DC working as a director, producer and writer with Discovery Channel, National Geographic, PBS, ABC and other media outlets. In 2004 she began making independent, community-based films as Shenandoah University's filmmaker-in-residence in Winchester, Virginia. Her 2007 film Wit, Will and Walls documents the history of desegregation in the Shenandoah Valley and has been used extensively in the U.S. and abroad to facilitate dialogue about race.

Queen Kukoyi is a Black Bajan of Igbo and Lakono Ancestry, Queer, Femme presenting, Mother, Author, Educator, Scholar, Activist, and International Artist as well as the Executive Director of Operations & Finance for BSAM Canada. As a creative, Queen explores spoken word poetry, digital collage, and animations along with installation work that touch on concepts surrounding the Afrofuturistic meditative space.

Queen uses the lens of Afrofuturism 2.0 in her visual arts, mindfulness, and storytelling to facilitate discourse that decolonizes the Black identity and affirms all intersections of Blackness. Afrofuturism 2.0 is an exploration and reclaiming of various black identities through multiple dimensions. It is a meta-analysis convergence of music, art, and sciences as performed and lived through intersectional Blackness. Her work allows her to speak about all intersections and amplify the voices of those who share similar experiences.

LIONELLE (LEO)

Voice: Yemie Sonuga

Yemie Sonuga is a Nigerian, Canadian, and American, actor, model, writer, and acting coach. She holds a Master's Degree from the Royal Scottish Conservatoire. She has performed on stages across the globe. Broadway Tour: Disney’s The Lion King. The West End: Porgy & Bess, The Book of Mormon, Ghost the Musical (Original Cast, World Premiere, & Broadway Album), Mabel in Fame the Musical (Irish Tour). Canada: Jessica in Call it Love (Eclipse Theatre), Pandora in Blackout (Canadian Stage/Musical Stage Company), The Little Prince (Theatre Calgary - World Premiere), The Full Monty (Mayfield). On Screen: The Olivier Awards, Jann (CTV/Hulu), The Boys (Amazon Studios). Voice Over: Ally Longergan in Next Stop (*her performance was recognized by Indiewire magazine).

Yemie is also Lead Talent for Headstrong Meditation by Equinox, her meditations can be heard internationally on the EQX+ App. Keep up to date with Yemie; @yemiesonuga & www.yemiesonuga.com

Waterloo born; Letréal Farquharson is a Canadian actor with Jamaican roots. He started dancing at a young age which became the baby-steps that led him into entertainment as an actor, writer, producer, and voice actor. He’s appeared in commercials for the likes of TSN/CFL and Rogers/NHL; multiple film festivals for award-winning web series’, and music videos with world-renowned artists. Letréal is determined to tell the stories that the world wants to hear. He will continue to make a lane for himself while collaborating with great minds along the way.

IMDB Profile, Demo Reel, YouTube

Creative Team

Queen Kukoyi

Co-Director / Writer
Queen uses a meta-analytical Afrofuturistic convergence of meditation, music, art, and sciences through spoken word poetry, digital collage, animations, and installation work.

Nico Taylor

Co-Director / Writer
Nico a writer, scholar, digital and performance artist who uses feminism and critical race theory in her art making practices.

Kahstoserakwathe Paulette Moore

Co-Director / Writer
Paulette is an independent filmmaker, lecturer, artist and educator.

Aisha Momoh

Illustrator
Aisha Momoh is currently studying at Sheridan College. Their art is inspired by weird days, music, friends, and many artists. Digital and traditional art is her specialty.

Hadara Greenbaum

Animator / Illustrator
Hadara is a Toronto-based creator and a RTA Media Production student at X University that specializes in animation, fashion and design.

Duwayne A. . Wright

Sound Supervisor
Duwayne is Producer & Engineer hailing from Toronto. Having interned for Prince 21 years ago, Duwayne got to witness a master at work. Inspired, Duwayne went on to pick up knowledge from some of the best studios in North America, from Hit Factory in Miami to Baseline Studios in Harlem New York. Duwayne is Senior Engineer/Producer out of Astrolab Studios based in Toronto, Canada.

Cultural Consultants

Andréa Williams

Andréa is from the Turtle Clan, Ojibwe nation and a proud Black woman. She is a RECE and AntiRacism + Indigenous Community Educator, working to highlight Indigenous ways of knowing & being within early learning frameworks.

Nenookaasi Ogichidaa

Nenookaasi is an Afro-Indigenous, 2Spirit, Queer activist of Black, Indigenous, & Queer rights. Residing in Treaty 13 Tkaronto, Neno is a song writer and a traditional hand drum singer.

Natia Lemay

Natia Lemay is a mixed-race Toronto-based artist of Black, Acadian, and Mi'kmaw descent, working as an interdisciplinary artist that explores decolonization, identity, systemic erasure, and white supremacy.

Tehahenteh Frank Miller

Tehahenteh (Franklin Miller) is Mohawk Turtle Clan from Six Nations of the Grand. Tehahenteh’s first career was in art and advertising as a proprietor of an advertising studio in Toronto, before getting involved with Mohawk Language.

Aqua Nibii Waawaaskone

Aqua the singer, songwriter, storyteller, artist, and activist is a strong Anishinaabe Kwe~Indigenous Woman, also known as Nibii Waawaaskone~Water Flower.

Music You'll Hear

Take a listen to some of the local artists you’ll hear in Rahyne. Special thank you to all of the talented musicians!

Where to Watch Rahyne

Private Screenings & Talks Info

At the moment Rahyne is not available for public release, but if you are interested in viewing the film, keep an eye out on our events page for private screening dates. In the coming future Rahyne will be available to be booked for viewings and public talks. It will also be making it’s way into festivals in 2022.