(Mixed Up Productions)

Okanagan-raised artist normalizes being “other” in new film

“Mixed Up” debuts on Wednesday, Nov. 11

A Kelowna-raised filmmaker is detailing his experiences growing up mixed-race in a new art film titled Mixed Up, which debuts Wednesday, Nov. 11.

Howard J. Davis was born in England and first moved to Canada when he was five. His family moved back to England and then settled in Kelowna, where Davis went to elementary and high school. He has since moved to Toronto.

Growing up in Kelowna, Davis said he wasn’t always aware that people were treated differently because of the colour of their skin but as he got older, he saw how his father was treated and had felt isolated as a mixed child.

Mixed Up is Davis’ way of showing the world his journey of finding cohesion in a world that he said, “is socialized around binaries and constructions of race, gender and orientation.”

“The film asks questions around assimilation and racialization and passing and ultimately, asks that we celebrate the beauty of being different,” he said.

Davis said he started writing the film in 2018 after being asked during an audition “to be more gay.”

“It pushed me into this strange place. I remember going home that evening and going ‘oh my god, I’ve been told it all now.’ I’ve been told I’m not Black enough, not white enough, not straight enough, not gay enough.”

“But a voice inside my head said ‘you are enough’ and (this experience) planted the seed that made me want to legitimize and normalize a mixed, queer experience. This is my normal and I want the stigma to go away,” he said.

Working on the film during a global pandemic was quite the experience as well. Davis said he was grateful for technology and being able to work with people despite the long-distance.

“My co-producer, we were always working long-distance. When the pandemic hit and we all had to isolate, nothing really changed there. I wanted to be with the interview subjects in person, but luckily, people are tech-savvy so we got footage anyway.”

“Those interviews are blended with archival footage from my family and various other forms of filming. So while nothing changed, it was still a challenge.”

Mixed Up will be available on OutTV. For more information on Davis and the work he does, visit his website.

READ: Interior Health discourages non-essential travel following spike in COVID-19 cases


Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
Follow me on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Amanda Parsons, a registered nurse on staff at the Northwood Care facility, administers a dose of the Moderna vaccine to Ann Hicks, 77, in Halifax on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan-Pool
61 new COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Interior Health

Twenty-nine people are in hospital, seven of whom are in intensive care

Ladybug Landing Child Care Centre in Salmon Arm remains open as one person who was at the facility tested positive for COVID-19. (Lachlan Labere/Salmon Arm Observer)
Salmon Arm daycare owner upset by rumours related to positive COVID-19 test

Ladybug Landing’s Leigh-Anne Chapman impressed by response from Interior Health

Police are seeking further witnesses after an elderly woman who was struck by a vehicle in Salmon Arm succumbed to her injuries. (File Photo)
Salmon Arm pedestrian dies after being hit by truck along Highway 1

Collision took place on Jan. 15 in downtown Salmon Arm, police looking for witnesses

Responding to recent cases of COVID-19 confirmed at Shuswap schools, School District 83 Superintendent Peter Jory has asked staff and the public to be vigilant when it comes to the practice of good behaviours that help prevent the virus’ spread. (File photo)
COVID-19: North Okanagan-Shuswap school communities asked be vigilant

Superintendent Peter Jory responds to increasing COVID-19 numbers at schools.

In a Jan. 18 notice, Interior Health and Salmon Arm West Elementary confirmed a member of the school community tested positive for COVID-19 and, due to a possible transmission, advised students who ride School District 83's Monkey Bus be monitored for symptoms of the virus. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)
COVID-19 case reported at Salmon Arm West Elementary

Interior Health advises students who ride Monkey Bus be monitored for symptoms

Syringe is prepared with one of B.C.’s first vials of Pfizer vaccine to prevent COVID-19, Victoria, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 caseload stays steady with 465 more Tuesday

No new outbreaks in health care facilities, 12 more deaths

A couple living at the Summerland Waterfront Resort is trying to sell their unit because of strata changes which will require them to pay significantly higher strata fees or have their unit included in the resort’s rental pool (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Couple living at Summerland resort facing high increases

Permanent residents of Summerland Waterfront Resort told fees will more than double

(Big White Ski Resort)
28 more cases of COVID-19 linked to Big White cluster

More than 200 cases have been identified since the cluster was announced

A cow moose wanders around the Silver Star Elementary School neighbourhood Tuesday, Jan. 19. (Contributed)
Moose chases two people near North Okanagan school

Conservation and dog control attending to the situation

The sale of the Kirschner Mountain Development for $22M marks the largest in Realtor history, in the Okanagan. (Contributed)
Kelowna mountain development sold for $22M

The sale of the 640-acre Kirschner Mountain development has made the history books

New Westminster TV production designer, Rick Whitfield, has designed an office in a box for British Columbians in need of a private workspace. (BC Box Office photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. man designs ‘box office’ solution for those working from home

‘A professionally designed workspace on your property, away from the distractions of home’

Chilliwack ER doctor Marc Greidanus is featured in a video, published Jan. 18, 2021, where he demonstrates and describes effectiveness of various styles of masks. (Youtube)
VIDEO: Emergency room doctor runs through pros and cons of various masks

‘We’ve been asked to wear a mask and it’s not that hard,’ Greidanus says.

(Pixabay photo)
VIDEO: Tip to Metro Vancouver transit police helps woman 4,000 km away in Ohio

Sgt. Clint Hampton says transit police were alerted to a YouTube video of the woman in mental distress

A woman types on her laptop in Miami in a Monday, Dec. 12, 2016, photo illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Wilfredo Lee
British Columbia government lax on cybersecurity practices, auditor reports

The audit did not highlight a specific threat, but it found breaches in cybersecurity are increasing globally

Most Read