Toronto has a rich history of being a go-to shooting location for many television and film production companies. Some notable films shot here over the years include Good Will Hunting (1997), Billy Madison (1998), American Psycho (2000), and X-Men (2000).
Regent Park has also had its share of showcases in film. This article aims to review the general content of movie dramas and televisions shows shot in Regent and explore their relationship to the community.
Clement Virgo is a director, producer, and writer from Montego Bay, Jamaica. He was born in 1966 and moved to the Regent Park area in Toronto in 1977. During this time Regent Park was generally populated by low-income families and as a hot spot for drugs. Virgo is most recently known for his roles in Greenleaf (2016-2018), The Book of Negroes (2015), and The Wire (2002) as Director and/or Producer. His first feature-length film, however, was Rude (1995), which was filmed almost entirely in the old Regent Park. “The film told three separate storylines that were all connected by the voice of an underground radio disc jockey by the name of ‘Rude’ (Black in Canada).” Maxine, The General, and Jordan face problems within the community and find solutions to those problems. Interestingly, the character “Maxine” from Rude has a job as a window dresser, which was also an early job of Virgo’s. The film was nominated for numerous awards and was the first feature film shot by a Black Canadian filmmaker. Unfortunately, when the film was released commercially, it went unnoticed.
By: Levi Linton
Regent Park Focus Media Arts Centre