TVO asks: can inner city teens beat the odds?

TORONTO, Jan. 18 /CNW/ - As an inner city undergoes transformation, can two of its troubled residents transcend their community's shadows and stigmas, and carve a path to success? Will mothers and mentors be enough to make a difference in their lives? Wednesday February 10 at 10 pm ET on TVO's Canadian point-of-view documentary strand, The View From Here, TVO presents the world broadcast premiere of Invisible City, a film chronicling three challenging years in the lives of two teenage boys from Toronto's Regent Park housing project.

Winner of the Best Canadian Feature award at the 2009 Hot Docs Canadian Documentary Film Festival and directed by Academy Award nominee Hubert Davis (Hardwood), Invisible City is the marquee program in TVO's Black History Month programming lineup. The film sensitively depicts the disconnection of urban poverty and race from the mainstream.

Socially and physically isolated since its construction in the late 1940s, Regent Park, Canada's largest and oldest inner-city housing project, has a reputation for guns, violence and racial profiling. The documentary follows the boys through Grades 10 to 12 as they cross into adulthood and cope with high school and the social and environmental pressures luring them to make poor choices. Mikey has had brushes with the law and was turned in to police by his own mother after breaking the conditions of his probation. Mikey's childhood friend, Kendell, seems to have overcome anger issues and expulsions and is working toward a basketball scholarship to an American university. In candid interviews, the boys express angst, alienation, hopefulness and understanding.

Supporting the boys are their hardworking mothers, and Ainsworth Morgan, a former CFL football player and teacher who has returned to the community to be a male role model to the fatherless boys.

As gleaming new towers rise in Regent Park and beckon a new era, will the future be as bright for Mikey and Kendell?

The film will be repeated Sunday February 14 at 10:45 pm. To view a clip of Invisible City, please visit TVO's February 2010 Media Highlights at http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/mmnr/tvo/feb2010/

Invisible City webcast discussion at tvo.org - Live and interactive!Wednesday February 10 2010 at approximately 10:55 pm ET at tvo.org

Immediately following the Wednesday night broadcast of Invisible City, viewers can further explore and discuss issues raised in the film in a special LIVE webcast at tvo.org. TVO's Cheryl Jackson will be joined by a guest panel who examine how where children live - and who they live with - impacts their growth and development. The panel will also answer viewer questions.

Guests include director Hubert Davis and Regent Park mentor Ainsworth Morgan. Morgan grew up in Regent Park and was a teacher at Toronto's Nelson Mandela Park Public School, where Mikey and Kendell were his students. He is currently with Pathways to Education, a community organization supporting more than 800 high school students in Regent Park.

About TVO

TVO is Ontario's public educational media organization and a trusted source of interactive educational content that informs, inspires and stimulates curiosity and thought. TVO's vision is to empower people to be engaged citizens of Ontario through educational media. For more information, visit tvo.org.

Where to find TVO

Cable channel 2 (channel may vary in some areas), Bell TV channel 265, Shaw Direct channel 353.

SOURCE TVO

For further information: For further information: Media Contacts: Angela Garde, TVO Communications, (416) 484-2600 x 2305, agarde@tvo.org; Paul Ginis, TVO Communications, (416) 484-2600 x 2445, pginis@tvo.org


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