Charles Officer at the 44th KVIFF
|Occupation||Film director, screenwriter, actor|
The youngest of four children born in Toronto, Ontario to a Black British father and a Jamaican Canadian mother, Officer studied communication design at the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD), but left to play professional ice hockey in the U.K.
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Officer's directorial debut, When Morning Comes, premiered at the 2000 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). His other work includes the short films Short Hymn, Silent War (2002), Pop Song and Urda/Bone (2003), a music video for K'naan's "Strugglin'" (2005) and television pilot Hotel Babylon (2005).
He is a frequent collaborator of Canadian filmmaker and actress Ingrid Veninger, having worked on numerous projects with her, including the short film Urda/Bone, which screened at the New York Film Festival in 2003. The short film was later picked up for distribution by Mongrel Media. Veninger also produced his feature film Nurse.Fighter.Boy.
The 57th Berlin International Film Festival selected his feature screenplay Nurse.Fighter.Boy for its Sparkling Tales writer's lab in 2007. Inspired by Officer's sister's battle with sickle cell anemia, the film was produced while Officer was a student at the Canadian Film Centre. The film was shot over 23 days with a hand-held camera shot on location in Toronto, in areas where Officer grew up, including the back alleyways of Eastern Avenue; Woodbine and Danforth Avenue; and a boxing club in Cabbagetown where Officer had learned to fight at age 13.
Nurse.Fighter.Boy premiered at TIFF 2008 and won the Audience Award at the International Filmfestival Mannheim-Heidelberg and the audience award for Best in World Cinema and a jury prize for Best Cinematography at the Sarasota Film Festival. It was also released theatrically in Canada on February 2009.
In 2009 Officer directed two short films for the cross-platform project City Sonic. Officer, along with six other directors, shot 20 short films about Toronto musicians and the places where their musical lives were transformed. Officer directed films starring D-Sisive and Divine Brown.
Premiering at the Vancouver International Film Festival on October 8, 2010, Mighty Jerome explores the rise, fall and redemption of Harry Jerome, Canada's most record-setting track and field star. Archival footage, interviews and recreations are used to tell the story of what Jerome's university coach, Bill Bowerman, called "The greatest comeback in track and field history." Mighty Jerome is produced by the NFB's Selwyn Jacob.
In June 2015, Officer completed principal photography in Toronto on a National Film Board of Canada documentary entitled Unarmed Verses, produced by Lea Marin, which explores youth and race-related issues in the city of Toronto in the aftermath of the shooting of Trayvon Martin in the United States through the experiences of Francine, a 12-year-old girl living with her father and grandmother in a northeast Toronto neighbourhood facing demolition and reconstruction. The film was named Best Canadian Feature at the 2017 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival. In October 2017, it was named Best Canadian Documentary at the Vancouver International Film Festival.
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- Lacey, Liam (15 June 2015). "Unarmed Verses: New NFB documentary explores youth and race in Toronto". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 29 July 2015.
- Wheeler, Brad (5 October 2017). "Review: Unarmed Verses is a subtle film about race, art and the means of expression". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 7 October 2017.
- Pinto, Jordan (8 May 2017). "Rezolution's "Rumble" wins Hot Docs audience award". Reelscreen. Retrieved 8 May 2017.
- "VIFF: BC and Canadian filmmakers recognized with awards, prizes". Vancouver Sun. Postmedia News. 8 October 2017. Retrieved 10 October 2017.