WORLD PREMIERE at HOT DOCS
A film by Hubert Davis
May 2 – The Royal – 9:45pm – World Premiere
May 9 – Cumberland 3 – 4:30pm – Repeat Screening
Directed and Edited by HUBERT DAVIS
Produced by MEHERNAZ LENTIN
Producer for the NFB GERRY FLAHIVE
Executive Producer for the NFB SILVA BASMAJIAN
Co-producer HUBERT DAVIS
Written by SONDRA KELLY, HUBERT DAVIS and MEHERNAZ LENTIN
Director of Photography CHRISTOPHER ROMEIKE
Music Composed by FRASER MACDOUGALL and MICHAEL WHITE, IMPRINT MUSIC
(Toronto – March 24, 2009) There is a school of sociological thought that says you tend to live up or down to what is expected of you. Invisible City, from Oscar-nominated Hubert Davis (Hardwood), is the story of two inner-city childhood friends who do both.
Shot over three years, Invisible City is an intimate portrait of two boys crossing into adulthood – their mothers and mentors rooting for them to succeed, their environment luring them to poor choices. Amid the pressures of high school and harsh realities, their voices express angst, alienation, hopefulness and understanding.
In Toronto’s Regent Park, Canada’s largest and oldest inner-city housing project, Kendell and Mikey, like their surroundings, are in the process of transformation. Half-demolished buildings, fenced construction zones and vacant lots dot the landscape as the Regent Park Revitalization project proceeds. Isolated socially and physically since its late ’40s birth, Regent Park and its community are becoming a different place.
Regent Park’s reputation is one of gun violence and racial profiling. The film weaves together the truths of these two friends who are at a cross-roads in their lives; of the black teacher who comes back to the community to be a male role model to fatherless boys.
Mikey commutes to a high school in a tony North Toronto neighbourhood – a few subway stops and a world away – where he’s a star basketball player. But Mikey’s story takes a hard turn when he’s jailed for joy-riding in a stolen car. Tension grows with his mom. She sees her son becoming an irresponsible “man-child.” He fears that turning his back on his friends will make him look “soft.”
Kendell, meanwhile, has turned responsible. With a history of anger issues and expulsions, his new high school leaves no room to repeat mistakes. Kendell’s escape route is also basketball, an athletic scholarship to an American university. His overriding goal: to get out, any way he can.
Davis sensitively depicts the disconnection of urban poverty and race from the mainstream in Invisible City. The shiny glass towers, which rise to completion, beckon a new era and Regent Park will finally emerge from the shadows and stigma. But will Kendell and Mikey be as fortunate?
Produced by INDUSTRY PICTURES/SHINE FILMS in co-production with the National Film Board of Canada in association with TVO. Directed and Edited by HUBERT DAVIS, Produced by MEHERNAZ LENTIN, Producer for the NFB GERRY FLAHIVE, Executive Producer for the NFB SILVA BASMAJIAN, Co-producer HUBERT DAVIS, Written by SONDRA KELLY, HUBERT DAVIS and MEHERNAZ LENTIN, Director of Photography CHRISTOPHER ROMEIKE,
Additional Photography CHRISTIAN BIELZ & JONATHON CLIFF, Music Composed by FRASER MACDOUGALL and MICHAEL WHITE, IMPRINT MUSIC.
Produced in association with TVO, Knowledge Network, SCN and with the participation of the
CANADIAN TELEVISION FUND and the CANADIAN CABLE INDUSTRY CTF: LICENCE FEE PROGRAM.