Clement Virgo’s Brother to world premiere at TIFF

Virgo wrote and directed the Canadian coming-of-age story, adapted from David Chariandy's novel about two brothers in Toronto in the early 1990s.

Canadian drama Brother by Clement Virgo will make its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in September.

Virgo wrote and directed the feature, which is adapted from Canadian writer David Chariandy’s Rogers Writers’ Trust-winning novel of the same name. The film is produced Damon D’Oliveira, who was recently invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, as well as Virgo of Toronto-based Conquering Lion Pictures, along with Aeschylus Poulos and Sonya Di Rienzo of Toronto’s Hawkeye Pictures.

Executive producers are Aaron L. Gilbert and Steven Thibault of Bron, and Laurie May and Noah Segal of Elevation Pictures, which will distribute the film in Canada. Bron Releasing will manage international sales.

Set against the backdrop of Toronto’s early 1990s hip-hop scene, Brother is a coming-of-age story of two sons of Trinidadian immigrants whose lives change amid escalating tensions. Production began last October in and around Toronto, with cast members including Lamar Johnson (The Hate U Give), Aaron Pierre (Underground Railroad), Kiana Madeira (Fear Street) and Marsha Stephanie Blake (When They See Us).

The film was made with the participation of Telefilm Canada, the Canada Media Fund, Ontario Creates and the Shaw Rocket Fund, in association with Bell Media’s Crave and CBC Films.

Virgo currently has several projects on the go, including the role of director on an upcoming feature about late legendary U.S. bicycle racer Marshall Walter “Major” Taylor, announced last November. He’s also an executive producer on a bilingual anthology series in pre-development at Crave, by and about Black Canadians, as well as the feature doc Say It Loud: How a Black Music Mecca Grew in the Great White North, which is part of the development slate at newly relaunched indie prodco Ultramagnetic Productions.

This is the second film announced for TIFF’s 47th edition after last week’s announcement that Rian Johnson’s Netflix-bound Knives Out follow-up, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, will make its world premiere. The festival runs Sept. 8 to 18.