Part of Black Star, celebrating 100 years of Black excellence on screen!
Clement Virgo is one of Canada’s foremost film directors. In 2015 he directed and co-wrote a six part miniseries adaptation of the Lawrence Hill novel The Book of Negroes(2015) which debuted to record-breaking numbers on the CBC in Canada and on BET in the U.S. and won twelve Canadian Screen Awards and was nominated for two U.S. Critics Choice Television Awards for Best Limited Series and Best Actress in a Limited Series (Aunjanue Ellis). Additional accolades include the 2015 Cablefax Award and C21 International Drama Award for Best Miniseries and four 2015 NAACP Image Award Nominations including Best Mini-series, Best Actor (Cuba Gooding Jr.), Best Actress (Ellis), and Best Writing (Virgo, Hill).
His TV directing credits include American Crime (2015), The Wire (2002), and the entire first season of the OWN network drama series Greenleaf (2016), on which he is also serving as Executive Producer with Oprah Winfrey. Virgo’s feature films include the 2007 boxing drama Poor Boy’s Game (2007), (Berlin, TIFF, AFF Audience Award), Lie with Me (2005 – Berlin, TIFF, Pusan), and Love Come Down (2000 -Berlin, Toronto). Virgo’s first feature Rude (1995) premiered at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival in Un Certain Regard and went on to screen at numerous festivals around the world including Toronto, London and Sundance. Since 2010, Virgo has also presented a series of intimate annual talks to celebrate Black History Month in Toronto with such notable guests as Lee Daniels, Norman Jewison, Spike Lee, Pam Grier, John Singleton, and Chris Tucker.
Bringing the ’hood film into a Canadian context and complicating it with spirituality, sexuality, and claims to self-determination, the debut feature from Jamaican-born, Toronto-raised filmmaker Clement Virgo weaves together the stories of three urban- dwelling Torontonians — a boxer who is forced to examine his own identity after participating in a gay-bashing, a young woman who struggles with her mental health in the aftermath of a break-up and an abortion, and a drug dealer trying to go straight — and rhythmically underpins them with the voice of an underground radio DJ, whose streetwise incantations touch on notions of death, grace, and transformation.
90 minutes | 14A
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