Hope Heights- Short Documentary in Competition

"I think  it's important to nurture hope in the community... That's the missing ingredient in our young men's life"  Hope Heights is a documentary short set in Lawrence Heights, one of Toronto’s priority neighbourhoods. This documentary challenges pervasive media narratives that frame the community as one plagued by violence and dysfunction. Consistently at the center of these stigmatizing narratives are the young men of Lawrence Heights. These men are often portrayed as violent, gang-involved, drug-dealing dropouts. Hope Heights shares experiences that are not privileged in the media. It represents not only Lawrence Heights but many neighbourhoods that are stigmatized and misrepresented in the media by stories that focus on sensational violence and ignore the diversity within these complex communities. Through the voices and lives of youth, community leaders and educators, this film highlights the beauty and strength of the neighbourhood and the character, sensitivity and ambition of its young men. In 20 minutes you will see the power that hope brings to the lives of the youth. 

This wonderful documentary has screened at the Regent Park Film Festival in Toronto and the International Movie Awards in Jakarta, where it won a Gold Award and now it will be seen at the Forest City Film Festival!  

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Both the director and producer plan to be at the screening for the Q&A after.

Directed by Marc Whiteway

Produced by Eileen McCurdy, Robin Phillips

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Southwestern Ontario Connection:  Producer - Eileen McCurdy was born and raised London, Ontario. In grade nine, while at Medway Highschool, she founded a local chapter of the Jane Austen Society of North America which continues to gather London's 'Janeites' today. She graduated with High Distinction from the University of Toronto with an Honours degree in Bioethics, Philosophy, and German. Eileen was a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar in Australia where she earned a Master of Bioethics and worked as a Teaching Associate. Eileen worked at Channel Zero and the Canadian Film Centre before becoming host of Movieola LIVE! and Movieola Shorts on CHCH. Eileen is co-founder of Toronto-based Bellows Media. She is co-director/producer and host of Bellows' newest series for Bell Media, TO TUBERS, which takes viewers behind the scenes with Toronto's biggest and most influential YouTube stars. Eileen also creates travel and lifestyle content on her own YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/EileenAldis

Forest City Film Festival