Sandi Rankaduwa’s short NFB documentary Ice Breakers-uncovering the buried history of Black hockey pioneers-makes its Quebec premiere at the Montreal International Black Film Festival on Saturday, September 28, at 9 p.m. at the Cinéma du Parc, as part of a program of short films.
The 15-minute doc focuses on Josh Crooks, a promising teen hockey star in a sport where Black players like him are chronically underrepresented. Rankaduwa takes audiences inside the hidden history of a trailblazing Black league in Atlantic Canada, as Crooks discovers that his unshakable passion is tied to a rich and remarkable heritage.
“There’s a pervading myth that hockey is a white man’s sport. Today, hockey players of colour from all levels, children to pros, are still met with racial slurs and worse. But the truth is that many pillars in the foundation of hockey aren’t white. We’ve been fed a history that is infuriatingly inaccurate and I’m hoping this documentary can help change that. By paying homage to the Coloured Hockey League of the Maritimes, this film will hopefully reframe how we see hockey while also telling athletes of colour that they not only have a place on the ice, but they’re part of a sports legacy,” said Rankaduwa.
Sandi Rankaduwa is a Sri Lankan-Canadian writer, filmmaker, and comedian who splits her time between Brooklyn and Halifax. She was named one of three BuzzFeed Emerging Writer Fellows for 2018. Ice Breakers is her third film.
Ice Breakers is produced by Rohan Fernando and executive produced by Annette Clarke for the Quebec and Atlantic Studio’s Re-Imagining Nova Scotia initiative in Halifax.
About the NFB
The NFB is Canada’s public producer of award-winning creative documentaries, auteur animation, interactive stories and participatory experiences. NFB producers are embedded in communities across the country, from St. John’s to Vancouver, working with talented creators on innovative and socially relevant projects. The NFB is a leader in gender equity in film and digital media production, and is working to strengthen Indigenous-led production, guided by the recommendations of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. NFB productions have won over 7,000 awards, including 24 Canadian Screen Awards, 21 Webbys, 12 Oscars and more than 100 Genies. To access this award-winning content and discover the work of NFB creators, visit NFB.ca, download its apps for mobile devices or visit NFB Pause.