SPEAK UP is a film about francophone European black women from the diaspora. The film focuses on the experience of discrimination related to those two indistinct dimensions of identity : "woman" and "black". It deals with the intersections of discrimination, art, blackness in all its expressions, and why black women choose to reclaim the narrative about themselves.
Project Title (Original Language):OUVRIR LA VOIX
Runtime:2 hours 2 minutes
Completion Date:January 1, 2017
Country of Origin:France
Country of Filming:France
Shooting Format:Digital Pro Res
Étonnants Voyageurs FestivalSaint-Malo
June 3, 2017
Festival International de Films Documentaires de Martinique
June 14, 2017
Mention Spéciale du Jury
Rencontres Internationales du Documentaire de MontréalMontreal
November 12, 2017
People's Choice Award
Bras de FerCountry: FranceRights: All Rights
MK2 FilmsCountry: WorldwideRights: All Rights
Le Parc DistributionCountry: BelgiumRights: Theatrical
Amandine GAY is a Montreal-based Afrofeminist filmmaker, activist, and journalist. Following her graduation from the Institute of Political Science in Lyon with a masters in communication, Amandine GAY joined the Conservatory of Dramatic Art in Paris 16 and began performing in theatre, film and television. Since 2012, Amandine has been working as a screenwriter, making her directorial debut with her documentary, Speak Up/Make Your Way, a feature-length Afrofeminist documentary on European Black francophone women. She is also a contributor to the information website, Slate.fr. Most recently, Amandine authored the preface of the first French translation of bell hooks' seminal, Ain't I A Woman. Amandine is currently living in Montreal, completing her second master's degree in sociology, focusing on transracial adoption. You can follow her in French and English as @OrpheoNegra
This film is born out of my desire to occupy France’s public space and to reveal how the
erasure of racial issues in France is as problematic as political. For instance, let’s just
think about the absurdity of the burkini ban, the ever-growing portion of people of color
leaving the country or the fact that the very word “race” was erased from the Constitution
in 2013. These taboos and aggressions find their roots in our history and result in
individual and collective trauma in our present society.
Ouvrir La Voix [Speak Up] comes from a necessity to reclaim the
narrative as Black women who are too often silenced whether as women and/or Blacks.
The film is also a celebration of our Afropean diversity: Black women born in France and
Belgium or not, from French, Belgian or migrant parents, from all faiths or no faith, from
any sexual orientation, etc.
Ouvrir La Voix [Speak Up] is a political portrait of European
francophone black women, bringing life to their complex and multiple identities and
realities. The best way to make these differences apparent proved to be an intertwined
discussion, based on my experience but nuanced with all of the participants’ points of
view. Beyond personal anecdotes lie the political stakes linked to our need for
Art has always played a major part in our emancipation struggles, so for me, Ouvrir La
Voix [Speak Up] is my way of celebrating our history, especially when
it comes to Black women’s resistance: marronnage, Creole culture, Pan-Africanism and
We will not be silenced, we will not be erased and we are in charge of our representation.