Sanja Zivkovic – “CLEO” – TIFF 2016 Trailer.

Sanja Zivkovic – “CLEO” – TIFF 2016 Trailer.

Some places leave a mark on your memory. Some places leave a mark on your soul. Crescent Town in Toronto is a place that did both. I know it from every angle despite having lived there for just over a year back in the late 1990s. It seemed to be an Ellis Island of sorts. Full of people who were new to the country, or who had been here long enough to have a second-generation living with them, Crescent Town was a place where proximity magnified cultural differences.

From my balcony, I once saw an elderly man get beat with his own cane by a bunch of younger men down in the courtyard. I was making a copy of my wedding video at the time and recorded the event for police. It was one of a handful of times where the underlying cultural stresses seemed to peak.

Screen capture from CLEO

Screen capture from CLEO

Like I said, I wasn’t there long. Since I left, it’s seen its fair share tragedy – specifically in the building where my apartment was.

A few weeks ago, I was scrolling through my Facebook feed and came across a Canadian Film Centre post with a preview image that caught my eye. It was Crescent Town. I knew it right away. The post was a link to a TIFF story in Medium that profiled Sanja Zivkovic and her short film, CLEO.

In the Medium story, Sanja Zivkovic says: “While I was working at CFC, I was walking around and I came up to this neighbourhood that did not resemble the rest of Toronto — or the idea of Toronto. It’s like you’re transformed into this totally different place with building blocks and this social-kinda-atmosphere.

Yup. that’s Crescent Town.

CLEO was part of the 2016 CFC Short Dramatic Film Program, and premiered during TIFF in the Short Cuts Programme.

Get an inside look at CLEO on the Canadian Film Centre website. And check out Sanja Zivkovic while you’re at it.

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