Canada, 2021 (fiction, 136 minutes, colour, English)
|Image: © levelFILM|
Film Description [in French] :|
"Cette adaptation du roman éponyme publié en 2017 par Catherine Hernandez présente les réalités socio-économiques de certaines familles canadiennes. Le film [Scarborough] est tourné dans le style d'un documentaire qui suit la vie de trois enfants. Ils font face à des défis de toutes sortes, dont l'insécurité alimentaire, l'accès au logement abordable, la pauvreté et la violence."
"Taking place over the span of a school year, [Scarborough] follows three interwoven families fighting an uphill struggle against debt, addiction, and job insecurity. The directors' exacting attention to detail frames the vibrant, rapidly changing neighbourhood with a universality and compassion that makes the film strikingly humanistic. The triptych story centres on three characters: Bing, a Filipino boy living under the shadow of his father's abuse and mental illness; Sylvie, an Indigenous girl whose family struggles to find permanent housing; and Laura, afflicted by her parents' neglect. The trio is connected through their neighbourhood and the morning school program they all attend, run by Ms. Hina, a caring teacher and a figure of inspiration in their lives. Scarborough offers a raw yet empathetic glimpse into a diverse community that finds its dignity in unexpected places: a collective refusal to be fractured by individual challenges and instead be brought together through kindness and solidarity. [...]"
-- Ravi Srinivasan
|Film Credits (partial):
||Scarborough, a novel by Catherine Hernandez|
||Shasha Nakhai, Kenya-Jade Pinto|
||Liam Diaz, Essence Fox, Anna Claire Beitel, Felix Jedi Ingram Isaac, Ellie Posadas, Cherish Violet Blood, Conor Casey, Aliya Kanani|
Awards won by Scarborough
Notes about Scarborough
- Shown at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2021.
Quote by the Director
"Filming in active locations was the only way that we could've made this film [Scarborough]. We of course didn't have the money to close an entire restaurant for an entire day and we couldn't hire a bunch of extras. So, we're there shooting, and if someone walks in to buy food, you have to stop filming and let them pass or if they end up in the shot, you have to chase them down and get them to sign permission. It adds another layer of challenges, but it lends a layer of realism that would be hard to create from scratch."
-- Shasha Nakhai
Quotes about Scarborough
"[Catherine] Hernandez said that when she was first approached about turning Scarborough into a film, she worried a full-scale production would be 'invasive' to the community. That's why she chose to work with co-directors Shasha Nakhai and Rich Williamson, who have a background in documentaries, to bring a vérité style to the shoot in the Kingston-Galloway neighbourhood. 'With fiction filmmakers, there might be a way in which they want to capture ... the community that to me might seem a bit false and a bit like appropriation,' she said. 'I really wanted something where people from Scarborough would watch it and go, That's my hometown.'"
-- Adina Bresge
"Casting the films's three young stars included the actors' real-life parents and guardians. Because the film [Scarborough] deals with heavy topics like abuse, neglect and grief, [Shasha] Nakhai and her team wanted to make sure the children had access to adults who were open to discussing these themes with them in a safe space. The crew also made sure the kids had fun, both off-screen ([Rich] Williamson had frequent lightsabre battles with the children) and during filming (Anna Claire Beitel, who plays Laura, was ecstatic to see movie magic while filming a scene where Nakhai flicked pasta sauce at her face, which was later edited to look like Laura's father throwing a pot of pasta at her)."
-- Celina Gallardo
"If there is a more heartening and inspiring Canadian film success story than the production of Scarborough, I would love to hear it. Produced under Telefilm's micro-budget Talent to Watch program with a shooting schedule interrupted by the pandemic, co-directors Shasha Nakhai's and Rich Williamson's adaptation of Catherine Hernandez's novel polevaulted over every challenge that the industry could have dealt it, ultimately coming out on top with a wonderfully tender, beautiful drama that nearly swept the 11 [Canadian Screen Awards] categories for which it was nominated. "
-- Barry Hertz
"If you have any doubt about the tremendous, inspiring, near-transcendent power that Canadian film can offer, then you must make a priority of watching Scarborough. The new film is, without risk of hyperbole, one of the most affecting dramas that I watched all last year, from any country. Heartbreaking without being manipulative, compassionate without being overbearing and authentic without being sentimental, Scarborough stands as a shining example of how, when everything lines up just so, our country's film industry can produce truly powerful works of art that can transform the way that you see the world."
-- Barry Hertz
"Scarborough has had a rocky road to release thanks to the pandemic. Production began in the summer of 2019, but the final days of shooting in the spring of 2020 were cancelled because of lockdown. They didn't get cameras rolling again for several more months. Similarly, a planned release after a world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival last fall was pushed several times due to theatre closures."
-- Chris Knight
"The novel [Scarborough] connected with many people because of its tender insights into an often maligned area of Toronto, and the film aims to do something similar. It was shot at about 15 Scarborough locations, most in the Kingston Galloway-Orton area. In fact, the talent show scene took place at the school where the book is set, and many of the families whose children attend the school became extras during the filming."
-- Amil Niazi
Bibliography for Scarborough
Articles from Newspapers, Magazines, or News Websites
Bresge, Adina. "Hernandez brings audiences to 'Scarborough'." Interview with Catherine Hernandez. Toronto Star, September 11, 2021.
Bresge, Adina. "Toronto-set drama wins top film categories." Toronto Star, April 11, 2022.
Dowling, Amber. "'Scarborough' gives ground-breaking voice to ignored Toronto community." Variety, September 19, 2021.
Gallardo, Celina. "'Scarborough' film highlights community supports." Toronto Star, September 13, 2021.
Hertz, Barry. "How Scarborough's filmmakers produced a new Canadian classic." Interview with Shasha Nakhai. Globe and Mail, February 26, 2022.
Hertz, Barry. "The Toronto that you never see on-screen." Review of Scarborough. Globe and Mail, February 25, 2022.
Knight, Chris. "Canadian suburbia: Scarborough co-director on chronicling a rich story from the suburbs, as experienced through the friendship of three children." Interview with Shasha Nakhai. National Post, March 26, 2022.
Knight, Chris. "Scarborough fares well: Lovely and inspiring portrait of three struggling families." Review of Scarborough. National Post, February 25, 2022.
Niazi, Amil. "A tender moment of truth in 'Scarborough'." Maclean's, vol. 134, no. 11, December 2021.
Radio-Canada. "Le film Scarborough, un clin d'oeil à Toronto présenté au TIFF." Radio-Canada, September 16, 2021.
Simonpillai, Radheyan. "Scarborough is a new look for TIFF—and Canadian film: Catherine Hernandez's book helped usher in Scarborough's creative renaissance. Now it's a buzzy movie set to world premiere downtown." Interview with Catherine Hernandez. Now (Toronto), September 8, 2021.
Vigneault, Monique. "TIFF 2021: Q-and-A with 'Scarborough' director Shasha Nakhai: Ryerson journalism alum captures Scarborough on the silver screen." Interview with Shasha Nakhai. On the Record, September 20, 2021.
Web Sites about Scarborough