The Patel family prays in their apartment morning and night, using their cell phones and their laptop computers to connect with live-streaming from Hindu temples around the world.
In the second installment, "Concrete" explores how, in New York City and globally, residential high-rises and public housing attempted to foster social equality in the 20th century. The film is narrated and directed by Katerina Cizek in collaboration with the New York Times em>.
In the third installment, "Glass" examines the recent proliferation of luxury condos and the growing segregation between the rich and poor. The film is narrated by the singer-songwriter of Cold Specks, and is directed by Katerina Cizek in collaboration with the New York Times em>.
In the final installment, "Home" consists of images from New York Times readers, who submitted personal pictures of their lives in high-rises from around the world. Montreal musician Patrick Watson wrote the music for the film.
In the first installment, "Mud" traces the historical roots of the residential highrise, from the biblical Tower of Babel to the tenement buildings of New York. The film is narrated by singer-songwriter Feist, and is directed by Katerina Cizek in collaboration with the New York Times em>.
This feature documentary takes us to the heart of the Jane-Finch "Corridor" in the early 1980s. Covering six square blocks in Toronto's North York, the area readily evokes images of vandalism, high-density subsidized housing, racial tension, despair and crime. By focusing on the lives of several of the residents, many of them black or members of other visible minorities, the film provides a powerful view of a community that, contrary to its popular image, is working towards a more positive future.
A collaborative work made in the spirit of cinéma-vérité, St-Henri, the 26th of August was directed by Shannon Walsh and16 fellow documentary filmmakers. Chronicling life in a former working-class Montreal neighbourhood over a 24-hour period, St-Henri, the 26th of August follows several compelling stories and characters. The film is an homage to the 1962 Hubert Aquin classic À Saint-Henri le cinq septembre.
This documentary is a portrait of Point St. Charles, one of Montreal’s notoriously bleak neighbourhoods. Many of the residents are English-speaking and of Irish origin; many of them are also on welfare. Considered to be one of the toughest districts in all of Canada, Point St. Charles is poor in terms of community facilities, but still full of rich contrasts and high spirits – that is, most of the time.
Just a stone’s throw from downtown Montreal is the largest social housing complex in Quebec. Built in 1959 where the red-light district used to be, Les Habitations Jeanne-Mance have retained something of the area’s seedy reputation for poverty, prostitution, drugs and violence. But who really knows the projects and the people who live there? Delving beneath the prejudices and stereotypes, director Isabelle Longtin ventured inside the buildings and met the residents. The result is The Downtown Project, a documentary that reveals a complex multi-ethnic reality made up of compelling personal stories and social movements.
This feature documentary presents a thoughtful and vivid portrait of a community facing imposed relocation. At the centre of the story is a remarkably astute and luminous 12-year-old black girl whose poignant observations about life, the soul, and the power of art give voice to those rarely heard in society. Unarmed Verses is a cinematic rendering of our universal need for self-expression and belonging.
This animated film about blind prejudice is based on a short story by Canadian author Wilma Riley. Mrs. Cherwak is Polish and owns a cow. Mrs. Meuser is a German with entrenched notions of cleanliness. She does not appreciate the cow's inevitable by-product. The film describes their conflict and its curious resolution over coffee and mincemeat pie. While the author chose to write about the Germans and the Poles she grew up with on the outskirts of Regina, the situation she describes could apply anywhere in the world.
This short film from the Filmmaker-in-Residence project puts a human face on the statistics in the Street Health 2007 Report. Four photographers who have experienced homelessness - Adrienne, Jess, Keneisha, and Meghan - document the stories of 28 homeless men and women through audio recordings and portrait-photography.