A Chinese-Caribbean-Canadian woman, driven by people’s inability to separate her skin colour from her culture, tries to embrace her parents’ Trinidadian identity. Filmmaker Danielle Ayow struggles with how people see, and how she should see herself. Using humour and heart, she tries to anchor herself to the culture she knows should feel like hers, speaking to her Chinese-Caribbean-Canadian peers, to Trinidadian locals, and to experts. The film challenges perceived correlations between race and culture, asking the audience to examine their own assumptions about cultural identity as Ayow navigates her own.
Short (19mins) Documentary | Canada, Trinidad and Tobago
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 (directed by Brigitte Haentjens, Artistic Director at Canada's National Arts Centre French Theatre). She’s appeared in many commercials and TV shows including The Handmaid’s Tale, Spinning Out, and Shadowhunters. From her time on set, she developed a keen interest in the other side of the camera. As a frequent guest co-host on the popular Royal Canadian Movie Podcast, she’s picked the brains of numerous film greats and made it onto the CBC/Radio-Canada Playlist. 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. In 2017, with the help of the Toronto Reel Asian International FIlm Festival’s program Been Here So Long, Danielle developed an 8-minute proof of concept version of But You’re Not Black to secure funding for the 20-minute version. This is her first time directing and her first time writing a documentary.