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Charles Officer

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Charles Officer
Charles Officer.jpg
Charles Officer at the 44th KVIFF
OccupationFilm director, screenwriter, actor
Known forNurse.Fighter.Boy

Charles Officer is a Jamaican-Canadian writer, actor, director and former professional hockey player.


The youngest of four children born in Toronto, Ontario to a Black British father and a Jamaican Canadian mother,[1] Officer studied communication design at the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD), but left to play professional ice hockey in the U.K.[1]

He abandoned professional hockey due to injury problems and returned to OCAD, before attending the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City.[2]



As an actor, he has appeared in stage, film and television productions, recently starring in the Theatre Calgary/Soulpepper Theatre Company co-production of A Raisin in the Sun.[3]


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.[4] The short film was later picked up for distribution by Mongrel Media.[5] 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.[6] 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.[7]

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 in February 2009.[8][9]

In April 2009, production began on Officer's feature documentary about Harry Jerome.[9] The film was completed in 2010.

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.[10]

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.[11][12][13]

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.[14][15] The film was named Best Canadian Feature at the 2017 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival.[16] In October 2017, it was named Best Canadian Documentary at the Vancouver International Film Festival.[17]

The Skin We're In, Officer's documentary about Canadian journalist Desmond Cole, premiered on CBC Television in March 2017.[18]

In 2018, Officer released the documentary film Invisible Essence: The Little Prince.[19] His next narrative feature film, Akilla's Escape, followed in 2020.[20] Officer and cowriter Wendy Motion Brathwaite won the Canadian Screen Award for Best Original Screenplay at the 9th Canadian Screen Awards in 2021.[21]


  1. ^ a b "Film Mighty Jerome to tour local schools for BHM" Archived July 14, 2014, at the Wayback Machine. Share, February 5, 2014.
  2. ^ McKinnon, Matthew (2008). "Triple threat". CBC News. Retrieved April 21, 2009.
  3. ^ "Former hockey player makes cut onstage". Calgary Herald. Canwest. September 18, 2008. Archived from the original on November 6, 2012. Retrieved April 22, 2009.
  4. ^ "Only Ingrid Veninger – Point of View Magazine". Retrieved April 25, 2016.
  5. ^ Nayman, Adam. "Ingrid Veninger". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
  6. ^ Ellis, Suzanne (September 14, 2008). "Sister's Battle With Sickle Cell Anemia Inspired Filmmaker Charles Officer's Nurse.Fighter.Boy". CityNews. Rogers Broadcasting. Archived from the original on September 18, 2008. Retrieved April 24, 2009.
  7. ^ Bailey, Pamela. "Calling The Shots". Sway. Archived from the original on February 28, 2009. Retrieved April 24, 2009.
  8. ^ "Scent of a deal in Hollywood". Toronto Star. April 9, 2009. Retrieved April 21, 2009.
  9. ^ a b "Charles Officer begins production on NFB Harry Jerome documentary". AfroToronto. April 19, 2009. Retrieved April 21, 2009.
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on February 12, 2010. Retrieved December 8, 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ Zacharias, Yvonne (October 8, 2010). "VIFF: The story of Harry Jerome is a moving piece of sports history". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved January 12, 2011.[permanent dead link]
  12. ^ Schaefer, Glen (October 8, 2010). "REVIEW: Mighty Jerome". Vancouver Province. Archived from the original on January 18, 2013. Retrieved January 12, 2011.
  13. ^ Anderson, Kelly (September 30, 2010). "VIFF Preview: "Mighty Jerome"". Realscreen. Retrieved January 12, 2011.
  14. ^ Lacey, Liam (June 15, 2015). "Unarmed Verses: New NFB documentary explores youth and race in Toronto". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved July 29, 2015.
  15. ^ Wheeler, Brad (October 5, 2017). "Review: Unarmed Verses is a subtle film about race, art and the means of expression". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved October 7, 2017.
  16. ^ Pinto, Jordan (May 8, 2017). "Rezolution's "Rumble" wins Hot Docs audience award". Reelscreen. Retrieved May 8, 2017.
  17. ^ "VIFF: BC and Canadian filmmakers recognized with awards, prizes". Vancouver Sun. Postmedia News. October 8, 2017. Retrieved October 10, 2017.
  18. ^ Shantal Otchere, "Watch Desmond Cole's doc, The Skin We’re In, on". Now, March 10, 2017.
  19. ^ Norman Wilner, "Review: Invisible Essence: The Little Prince is a gentle, loving look at a classic". Now, March 4, 2019.
  20. ^ Radheyan Simonpillai, "Planet Africa returns for TIFF 2020". Now, August 25, 2020.
  21. ^ Naman Ramachandran, "‘Schitt’s Creek,’ ‘Blood Quantum’ Triumph at Canadian Screen Awards". Variety, May 21, 2021.

External links

This page was last edited on 25 May 2021, at 23:05
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