Wednesday, October 10, 2007

WE Entertainment - Virgo's "Poor Boy's Game" enriches TIFF

by Carol A. Allen

Torrential downpours usually tend to play havoc on scheduled events, but on the evening of Tuesday, September 18th, Jamaican-born Director, Writer and Producer, Clément Virgo, wasn’t going to let anything rain on his parade.

With his newest Canadian feature film, Poor Boy’s Game, making its North American Debut at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) earlier that day, the after party was just the icing on the cake.

The guest-list only event was held inside the Manyata Courtyard Café, one of Yorkville’s hidden gems, located in Toronto’s luxurious Hazelton Lanes district.

With a lavish set-up equipped to entertain hundreds of guests, this world-class establishment attracted many industry personnel including film critics, directors, producers, photographers and, of course, the stars and contributors to the film. For certain, amongst all of the other receptions, dinners and parties during TIFF’s 10-day run, this party stood out as the premiere party celebrating the achievements of people of Canadian and Caribbean heritage.

Poor Boy’s Game is a racially-charged boxing drama that was filmed and set in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Virgo co-wrote the film with up-and-coming Nova Scotian Writer/Director, Chaz Thorne.

The All-Star line-up of Actors includes: Danny Glover, known for his roles in Lethal Weapon and The Color Purple; The Young and the Restless star Tonya Lee Williams who plays Dr. Olivia B. Winters on the daytime soap drama; Flex Alexander who stars in the series One on One; Rossif Sutherland who had a re-occurring role on the hit TV drama ER; Laura Regan, a Halifax native, who played Jessica Lynch in the 2003 film Saving Jessica Lynch; Greg Bryk, who has made appearances in television shows Relic Hunter and 1-800-missing and rising star K.C. Collins whose previous work includes Soul Food and Blue Murder.

The story reveals the struggles and tension after Sutherland’s character, “Donnie Rose” goes to jail at the age of 17 and is released nine years later after committing a violent crime against K.C. Collins’ character, “Charles Carvery.”

With most of the cast members in attendance, guests had the opportunity to meet, mingle and take photographs with the film’s stars. Danny Glover and Tonya Lee Williams, who play husband and wife “George and Ruth Carvery,” were seen posing for pictures, speaking to guests and nibbling on scrumptious hors d’oeuvres. Glover, an avid Activist, has been in Toronto filming Blindness and also stars in the film, Honeydripper, which premiered at TIFF the previous night.

Actor and Hip-Hop Pioneer, Wesley “Maestro” Williams treated the guests to an energetic performance of his classic hip-hop anthem, “Let Your Backbone Slide.” Released in 1989, the single still remains the best-selling Canadian hip hop track to date. The Guyanese-born, Scarborough, Ontario-raised artist got married this summer, and now resides in Vancouver, B.C. with his wife. He is also featured in Poor Boy’s Game and is currently in Toronto filming scenes for the CTV show, Instant Star.

Emmy-award winning Canadian Actor Donald Sutherland, was there to celebrate his son, Rossif’s accomplishments. Donald’s stars in a television family drama titled Dirty Sexy Money, debuting this fall on ABC.

Actor, Stunt Co-ordinator and Stuntman, Roy T. Anderson, flew in from the U.S. just for the day for the film’s premiere and party. In addition to co-ordinating the boxing scenes for this film, he also acted as the Second Unit Director. Anderson has worked on previous Clément Virgo films including the Genie-nominated and 2001 Urbanworld Film Festival Special Jury Prize winning film, Love Come Down, and Rude which won a Best Canadian Feature Film - Special Jury Citation in 1995’s Toronto International Film Festival.

Poor Boy’s Game is scheduled to be released in theatres on October 5, 2007

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