A movie about Scarborough is coming to a theatre near you
The Wexford Heights shopping plaza is best known around Toronto as home to an iconic greasy spoon restaurant with really good eggs.
In Los Angeles, on the other hand, it's synonymous with one of this year's hottest indie films.
Toronto filmmaker Joyce Wong's award-winning movie, Wexford Plaza, has been raking in praise since its premiere at Slamdance earlier this year.
The Scarborough-based movie has since been showcased at major film festivals in Cannes, Torino, Atlanta, New Orleans, Vancouver and San Diego, among others – but not until next month will it finally open for public screenings in The GTA.
We're opening theatrically Dec 1st in Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Whitby & Ottawa for a week long run! At the Carlton Cinema in Toronto and @LandmarkCinemas nationwide. Save the date! More details TBA pic.twitter.com/I0kdVYPXx0— Wexford Plaza (@wexfordplaza) November 17, 2017
"It's our homecoming!" reads announcement from the filmmakers. "Wexford Plaza opens theatrically in Canada on Friday Dec 1st for a week long run at Imagine Cinemas Carlton in Toronto and Landmark Cinemas in Vancouver, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Whitby and Edmonton!"
The film is described as a "slice-of-life offbeat comedy" about a lonely female security guard working at a Scarborough strip mall.
"This is Scarborough, Ontario, where nothing ever happens," wrote programmers at the St. John's International Women's Film Festival of Wong's film. "But the people who inhabit that world have hopes and dreams, just like the rest of us."
The real-life Wexford Plaza doesn't have security guards, to the best of my knowledge, but the film wasn't actually shot at the Lawrence and Warden strip mall – just inspired by it.
In fact, filmmaker Joyce Wong is clear the film isn't about Wexford Heights Plaza or any of the businesses there.
"The plaza in the film is inspired by the many plazas in Scarborough as a whole, not any one particular plaza. Because of the car culture and the lack of public squares, these centres of commerce have become the gathering places for the neighbourhood," says Wong.
"There’s a commonality that exists between all the plazas in the neighbourhoods of Scarborough: Agincourt, Malvern, Port Union etc… I named it Wexford because it seemed like a good fit but it could be named after any one of them.”
How closely does it nail the Scarborough aesthetic? We'll have to find out when the film starts screening here in December.
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