They Can’t. So I Must: The Orlando Bowen Story

Submitted by: Riel Flack

Mississauga, ON

"They Can't. So I Must: The Orlando Bowen Story" is a dramatic and revealing documentary that spotlights anti-black racism in Canada. It traces the journey of a Black Canadian professional athlete who experiences the rise of an exciting career and the crash that follows when police abuse leaves him critically injured. Inevitably, the story connects the power of forgiveness in overcoming life-altering trauma.

About Riel Flack:

Riel Flack is a 24-year-old aspiring filmmaker who graduated from University of Toronto with a double major in political science and cinema studies. Riel enrolled at Sheridan College for a post-graduate program in Advanced Television & Film where she specialized in screenwriting and producing. She loves films that beautifully merge visual art and storytelling about human rights issues.

Riel has produced two short documentary films. “They Can't. So I Must: The Orlando Bowen Story” is about a Black-Canadian man who was racially profiled and beaten by Peel Police. “Romario” is about a young, queer Black person trying to find their identity within Christianity through their love of painting gay erotic religious art. Riel plans to produce and write more documentary films that contemplate the essence of human connection and socio-political issues.

1st Place winner and People's choice winner