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A Mother Apart

Une mère à part
Laurie Townshend
2024 | 88min 53sec
Feature Documentary
English, German

Awards and Festivals

  • Best Canadian FeatureInside Out 2SLGBTQ+ Film Festival, Toronto, Canada (2024)

  • Audience Award for Best DocumentaryInside Out 2SLGBTQ+ Film Festival, Toronto, Canada (2024)

  • Best First Feature Award Inside Out 2SLGBTQ+ Film Festival, Toronto, Canada (2024)

  • World Premiere - Official SelectionHot Docs Canadian International Documentary Film Festival, Canada (2024)

  • Official SelectionBlackStar Film Festival, Philadelphia, U.S.A (2024)

Short Synopsis

Long Synopsis

About Staceyann Chin

Director's Statement




The Dream House in Montreal

Livingroom Protest #3 - Zuri and Staceyann

Hazel Animation


Staceyann Chin flooded in blue light in her native Jamaica.

Staceyann picks up her daughter Zuri from school, where she is empowered to write a poem about her hair.

Staceyann reading from her latest book of poetry, The Other Side of Paradise, to a captive audience

An archival photograph of a young Staceyann Chin pregnant with her daughter

Staceyann imagines returning home to Jamaica with her daughter.

A collage of animated and archival images, piecing together images of Staceyann’s estranged mother, Hazel.

Staceyann and her daughter Zuri look out on the beaches of Jamaica in hope.

Staceyann Chin embarks on her healing search.  

Zuri and Staceyann at sunset on a Jamaican beach


Laurie Townshend

Photo : Roya DelSol

Alison Duke

Photo : Den Porvatkin

Ngardy Conteh George

Photo : Patrick Nichols

Justine Pimlott

Photo : Genevieve Caron

Chanda Chevannes
Executive Producer, NFB

Photo : Pasquale Marco Veltri


Directed by
Laurie Townshend

Produced by
Alison Duke
Ngardy Conteh George
Justine Pimlott

Executive Producers
Chanda Chevannes
Alison Duke
Ngardy Conteh George
Anita Lee

Written by
Laurie Townshend
Alison Duke

Edited by
Sonia Godding Togobo

Directors of Photography
Mrinal Desai
Ashley Iris Gill
Gabriela Osio Vanden

Motion Designer
Ramón Charles

Music Composed by
Tom Third

Vocals by

Associate Producer
Elise Whittington

Development Producer
Lea Marin

Production Managers
Nina Beveridge
Fonna Seidu

Story Editor
Ricardo Acosta


Jennifer Belson
Janet James
Larry James
Lisa Mullings

New York
Raquel Thompson

Mary Miles-Blake
Rachel Cargle

Additional Writing
Lindsey Addawoo

Script Consultant
Sugith Varughese

Research and Clearances
Amy Fritz

Clearances Coordinator
Lucas Silveira

Additional Photography
Maya Bankovic
Amber Fares
Ania Freer
Kristin Kremers
Iris Ng
Laurie Townshend
Mark Valino

Set Photography
Ina Sotirova

Sound Recordists
Alisa Erlikh
Stéphan Guschewski
Tobias Haynes
Sam Kashefi
Sara Labadie
Sheldon Turnbull

Additional Sound
Jada Biggs
Antoinette Tomlinson
Kenzie Yango

Production Coordinator
Naiyelli Romero Agüero

Assistant Production Coordinator
Folasewa Babalola

Production Assistants
Jada Biggs
Keesha Chung
Alison Dykstra
Stephanie Hanson
Kayla Keip
Karen Osagie

Prince Ellis
Richard Wint

Additional Research
Folasewa Babalola

Post Production Supervisor
Omar Abd Alla

Assistant Editors
Meeka McLean
Denise Lee Hutchinson
Ri-Ann Pully
Nathan Allen
Abasi Ekpenyon

Theatrical Imaging By
Picture Shop Toronto

Technical Operations Manager
Brian Reid

DI Supervisor
Patrick Duchesne

DI Finishing Producer
Josh Sousa

DI Colourist
Robert Evans

DI Online Editor
Al O’Hara

DI Packaging Editor
Mark Betteridge

Sales Executive
Mike McConnell

Re-recording Mixer
Stacy Coutts

DX Editor
Kathy Choi

SFX Editor
Drew Snyder

Mix Assistant
Cait Macintosh

Audio Coordinator
Nova Oh

Closed Caption Services

German – English Translations
Zun Lee

Accounting Services
Jimmy Ye Professional Corporation
Ability Accounting

Henderson & Co
Cheryl Grossman Entertainment Law

Arthur J. Gallagher Canada Limited

For The NFB

Studio Operations Manager
Mark Wilson

Studio Administrator
Andrew Martin-Smith

Senior Production Coordinators
Melissa Paduada
Katie Murray

Production Supervisor
Marcus Matyas

Technical Coordinator
Kevin Riley

Studio Technician
Q’Mal Labad-Workman

Studio Coordinator
Calvin Serutoke

Marketing Manager
Andrea Elalouf

Marketing Coordinator
Harmonie Hemming

Jennifer Mair

Legal Counsel
Peter Kallianiotis




© 2024 10869317 Canada Inc./Oya Media Group and the National Film Board of Canada

Media Relations

  • About Oya Media Group

    OYA Media Group is a Toronto-based production company founded in 2018 by filmmakers Alison Duke and Ngardy Conteh George. They focus on creating transformative stories that amplify Black experiences. Their notable productions include ‘Mr. Jane and Finch’ (CBC, 2019), which received two Canadian Screen Awards, and ‘Heritage Minute: Chloe Cooley’ (2022). More recently produced ‘VeraCity: What’s In a Name’ for CityTV, directed by Nadine Valcin. OYA’s Emerging Filmmakers recently produced ‘Reel Black: Our Film Stories’ for CBC. OYA also established the OYA Black Art Coalition (OBAC), a non-profit organization supporting Black artists, creators, and entrepreneurs in the entertainment industry.

  • About the NFB

    Founded in 1939, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is a one-of-a-kind producer, co-producer and distributor of distinctive, engaging, relevant and innovative documentary and animated films. As a talent incubator, it is one of the world’s leading creative centres. The NFB has enabled Canadians to tell and hear each other’s stories for over eight decades, and its films are a reliable and accessible educational resource. The NFB is also recognized around the world for its expertise in preservation and conservation, and for its rich and vibrant collection of works, which form a pillar of Canada’s cultural heritage. To date, the NFB has produced more than 14,000 works, 6,500 of which can be streamed free of charge at nfb.ca. The NFB and its productions and co-productions have earned over 7,000 awards, including 11 Oscars and an Honorary Academy Award for overall excellence in cinema.