REGENT PARK FILM FESTIVAL (November 7 to 11) Rating: NNN
Befitting its provenance, the Regent Park Film Festival is all about community and preservation.
Opening night, for example, features half-hour-long Brazilian film From The Ikpeng Children To The World. The Ikpeng, a tiny enclave of Aboriginals in Brazil, introduce their village and customs. The children are enthusiastic, adorable and proud to display the traditions that are being preserved merely by the act of filming them.
Also on the opening night program, Made by Regent Park TV, My Canada, a series of shorts featuring Captain Canada (Trevonne Rose-Wilson), ends with the young tween in a red cape and Mountie hat nearly dying on a hospital bed due to the erosion of Canada's health care system and reputation abroad.
Another short, Let The Class Wars Begin: The Cabbagetown Restaurant, laments the gentrification-induced demise of the low-cost hangout. The shorts are unpolished, to say the least, but they're a great picture of budding activism.
For a less local, more sophisticated take on preservation, check out Brooklyn Matters (both films screen November 10), a devastating indictment of the Frank Gehry-designed Atlantic Yards development that will, the film charges, disrupt neighbourhoods, cause traffic nightmares and damage the environment without providing any real benefit to the community. Although highly biased against the project, it's a fascinating case study of how class and race get wound up in development disputes, one that's relevant to Toronto's continual battles with developers.
(From November 7 at Nelson Mandela Park Public School)