Alison Duke aka “Golde” is a storyteller, in every sense of the word. As a writer, director, producer, and visual artist, Duke tells dynamic stories that illuminate history, document the present, and push the culture forward.
Duke’s filmmaking career began in the 90s, when she produced music videos for some of the biggest names in Canadian music, like Maestro Fresh Wes, Glenn Lewis, and Nelly Furtado. Duke made her directorial debut with the groundbreaking 2001 documentary Raisin’ Kane: a rapumentary. Raisin’ Kane was produced by the National Film Board of Canada, and went on to win numerous local and international awards.
Duke went on to creating more work for the small screen as well, working as a producer on the Gemini award- winning syndicated series Sex TV. She was then commissioned to helm the YAP production of A Deathly Silence for CBC’s Witness and Newsworld flagship documentary series.
Duke then founded Goldelox Productions, a Toronto-based production house which produced multi- platform social justice content for community-based organizations, public, and private broadcasters. This is where she was able to funnel her creative energy.
Collaboration has been a key aspect of Duke’s creative process, and she has partnered in the production of notable long-form documentaries like Chiasson’s My Joan of Arc (2009) produced by Shadow Shows. Duke was also the Canadian producer on Thomas Allen Harris’ NAACP award-winning feature documentary Through a Lens Darkly: black photography and the emergence of a people (2014). Connecting art with activism, she has helmed numerous projects focused on important community social issues. In 2005, former Toronto Mayor David Miller tapped Duke to lead a group of racialized marginalized youth living in priority Toronto neighbours. Their effort produced the short documentary Hear the Story: Hear our Story which gave an inside look at how youth of Toronto interpreted their own safety.
Similarly, impactful projects followed: Traditions and Transitions (2007), commissioned by the Women’s Intercultural Network and the Status of Women, uncovers the life stories of six senior immigrant women who became extraordinary local and global activists; The Woman I Have Become (2008), commissioned by the Women’s Health in Women’s Hands Community Health Centre, focusing on plight of African and Caribbean women living with HIV in Toronto; the critically acclaimed documentary Positive Women (2012), about four Canadian women who were affected by HIV non-disclosure; and Consent (2015), a tour de force dissecting Canada’s consent and disclosure laws featuring leading researchers and academics across the country.
The Woman I Have Become and Positive Women have screened at over 300 venues around the world, including the United Nations. Consent was released on November 28th, 2015 at the Art Gallery of Toronto’s Jackman Hall to a full house, and is currently touring around the globe.
Recently she produced, The Legacy Project—a series of award winning mini- documentaries that won best Canadian Presentation at the 2017 Caribbean Tales Film Festival. The shorts focused on the work of Canadian anti-black racism activists such as Gwen and Lenny Johnson, Marleen Green, Charles Roach, Dudley Laws, and Rosie Douglas directed by black female directors, Ngardy Conteh George, Sonia Godding Togobo, Laurie Townshend, Ella Cooper and Sarah Michelle Brown.
Recently Alison directed Cool Black North, a two-hour TV documentary airing on City TV exploring the unique and vibrant Canadian Black Community and its role in our country’s contemporary identity. She also co-produced and co-wrote Mr. Jane and Finch for CBC Docs POV.