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Every month, Nancy leads a workshop for young girls of colour struggling with their hair.

One Sunday a month, natural hair specialist Nancy Falaise closes the doors of her Montreal salon to lead a private workshop for young girls of colour struggling to love their natural hair. Step-by-step, she teaches them how to wash, detangle, style and care for their respective hair textures, while also creating a safe space for them to bond over their shared experiences and forge meaningful friendships. Nancy’s Workshop is an intimate and immersive exploration of this journey. It offers a vivid, almost tactile experience of manipulating various curl patterns and textures through the use of extreme close-ups and macro cinematography.

Many things can be gleaned from the relationship between these girls and their hair. This extension of their body, which they struggle to accept, might be their most accessible entrypoint into unpacking, negotiating and recognizing their perceived difference from their peers. Talking about their hair allows them to confront issues of self-image and identity closely tied to race.

We come to know these girls as individuals with different interests, ambitions, and personalities, connected by a common thread. Their stories are at once heartbreaking and hope-making, as we watch their self-perception and confidence evolve over the course of a single afternoon. The film is an invitation to observe Nancy and the journey of these girls, and is a testament to the immeasurable value derived from strong and empowering female relationships. 

Credits (Click to expand)

Written, Directed and Produced by
Aïcha Diop

Produced by
Christina Carvalho

Executive Producers
Charles Officer, Jake Yanowski

Director of Photography
Victoria Long

Edited by
Preeti Torul & Michal Heuston

Music by
Emily Bitze

Production Coordinator
Jedidah Nabwangu

Camera Operator
Laurence Turcotte-Fraser

Sound Recordist
Nancy Asiamah-Yeboah

Sound Mix and Design
Michelle Irving

Colourist
Zachary Cox

Post-Production Supervisor
Michal Heuston

Transcription
Mathieu Verreault, Lee Paula Springer, Melissa Fuller

Titles
Stephen Smith

Production Accountant
Dania Kannan

Additional Production Services
Urban Post

Legal Services
Brenda Blake

Insurance
Front Row Insurance

Featuring
Naima, Byanca, Ashley, Hélène, Alicia and Nancy Falaise

Special Thanks
Adryanna-Dandelle Hector-Taylor, Andrea Gabourie, Brigid Tierney, Erin O’Donnell, Laura Fiorita, Lauren Grant, Lea Marin, Lisa Rideout, Llama Diop, Sam Lewis, Patrishia Frances Taylor, Rebecca J. Smith & Victory Social Club.

In Memory of Mamadou Daouda Diop

© 2019 2671494 Ontario Inc./Canesugar Filmworks