Sylvia Hamilton first became involved with the National Film Board in the mid-1980s. In Making Movie History, she reflects on her involvement with a small group of women in Halifax “keen to make films by and about women and the issues women were concerned about.”
The group decided to go ahead with Sylvia’s idea for a film that captured the stories of Black women in Nova Scotia and their work in their communities. Black Mother, Black Daughter was produced in 1989 together with Claire Prieto. It was the first to use an all-female crew.
Later, Sylvia was a co-creator for the NFB’s New Initiatives in Film program set up to provide opportunities for Black, Indigenous, and other Women of Colour to create films. Another of Sylvia’s films through the NFB in this period is Speak It! From the Heart of Black Nova Scotia.