Skip to content chats with 'Sweetness in the Belly' author Camilla Gibb

The Canadian author will be on hand as the film based on her 2005 novel ‘Sweetness in the Belly’ screens at the Indie Cinema

Editor's note: Unfortunately, due to technical issues, was unable to livestream our live chat with author Camilla Gibb. We recorded the conversation and attached the video above. editor Mark Gentili sits down with Canadian author Camilla Gibb today to talk about her book Sweetness in the Belly, the screen adaptation of which screens at Sudbury Indie Cinema this week.

With the support of Wordstock Sudbury, Gibb will be on hand for two screenings of the film Oct. 22, which stars Dakota Fanning. This is the Northern Ontario premier of Sweetness in the Belly. Both shows are sold out. 

Published in 2005, the book and film tell the story of Lilly Abdal, orphaned in Africa by her white British parents, she is raised in a Sufi shrine in Morocco before being sent to live in the Ethiopian city of Harar on the cusp of the overthrow of Emperor Haile Sellasie. 

The resulting civil war forces her to flee the country for England where, despite her parentage, she is a refugee among refugees.

The book was a bestseller and widely praised by critics and readers alike. The movie rights were optioned in 2010 but it took almost 10 years before it hit screens. When it did, Sweetness in the Belly premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2019, where it was nominated for Best Canada Feature.

Born in Britain herself, Gibb has been writer-in-residence at the University of Toronto and the University of Alberta. She is an adjunct faculty member of the graduate creative writing programs at the University of Guelph-Humber, the University of Toronto and the Humber School for Writers.

With four novels under her belt — Mouthing the Words, The Petty Details of So-and-so's Life, Sweetness in the Belly and The Beauty of Humanity Movement — Gibb has earned the Trillium Book Award, the City of Toronto Book Award and the CBC Canadian Literary Award, and was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. 

She is also the author of the RBC Taylor Prize-nominated memoir, This Is Happy, as well as a radio documentary for the CBC, “Evidence of a Father.”

Sweetness in the Belly stars Dakota Fanning (I Am Sam), Kunal Nayyar (Big Bang Theory), Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Aquaman), and Wunmi Mosaku (Philomena).

Check out the trailer here.

Sudbury Indie Cinema is located at 162 Mackenzie St. After each screening on Oct. 22, Gibb will participate in a discussion of this book-to-film adaptation. Showtimes are 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

Wordstock, the Greater Sudbury Public Library and Sudbury Indie Cinema have teamed up to host this event. Tickets are $15 and are available here. To maintain physical distancing, the 180-seat venue will seat up to 40 audience members. Masks or face coverings are mandatory to enter and move around the venue. will be sitting down (at a safe distance) from Gibb on Oct. 21 for a 1:30 p.m. chat at the Indie. We’ll be posting the link to that live event tomorrow.