REGENT PARK FILM FESTIVAL at Nelson Mandela Park Public School (440 Shuter), from Wednesday (November 4) to November 7. regentparkfilmfestival.com. Rating: NNNN
The Regent Park Film Festival returns for a seventh year of shorts and features organized around the themes of hope, identity and immigration, all screening free at Nelson Mandela Park Public School.
Barry Greenwald’s The Experimental Eskimos (November 5, 7:30 pm) and Hubert Davis’s Invisible City (November 7, 7:30 pm) made their Toronto debuts at Hot Docs earlier this spring, but they’ll have extra heft in this context. Invisible City is a particularly affecting choice for the closing-night gala slot, since it follows the lives of two neighbourhood teens.
A pair of contentious titles examine dangerous intersections of sexuality and ethnicity. Screening in the Unknown Histories program (November 7, 5 pm), Rex Vs. Singh is an experimental recreation of a 1915 British Columbia sodomy trial by Richard Fung, John Greyson and Ali Kazimi, while Yun Suh’s feature-length City Of Borders (November 6, 7:30 pm) looks at life at Shushan, the only gay bar in Jerusalem, which offers acceptance (and refuge) to both Israelis and Palestinians.
Other worthwhile docs include Charlotte Mikkelborg’s Building 173 (November 7, 1 pm), which encapsulates the turbulent history of Shanghai in a look at the events in and around a single apartment tower, and Dana Inkster’s 24 Days In Brooks (November 7, 5 pm), about a labour action in a racially diverse Alberta town.
And the short film program (November 6, 8:45 pm) includes Andy and Carolyn London’s charming Lost Tribes Of NYC, James Lee’s endearing Pockets, and Ali Shan, by Up The Yangtze director Yung Chang, among its highlights.