The Ariadne’s Notes: The World Poetry Café Radio Show , 100.5 FM, CFRO was honoured to feature once again the talented director and filmmaker Charles Officer (https://worldpoetry.ca/?p=12208) Charles. with his new, must see documentary, Invisible Essence: The Little Prince now available across Canada. The film is now at the Carlton cinema in Toronto all week.
It was so exciting to have him call in at 1:30 pm PST from Toronto!
Of all his films, my favorite was Unarmed Verses, the story 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 and poetess, living with her father and grandmother in a northeast Toronto neighbourhood facing demolition and reconstruction. Charles still keeps in touch with this courageous young woman, now 16 who is doing well and has a poetry blog .
It was exciting to hear about his recent documentary featuring the ” modern-day Little Prince – a cheerful, seven-year-old blind Pakistani-Canadian boy who encounters The Little Prince, via braille and audio-book, for the very first time, and grapples with the meanings of the story he has just read. “
Invisible Essence: Little Prince, a Must See Film available all across Canada!
Existentialism is a big word. But for 76 years, for a readership barely old enough to read, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince has conveyed the importance of asking who we are, what connects us to others, and how we should live.
It is a puzzling story, devoid of a conventional happy ending. And yet, as we see in Charles Officer’s acclaimed documentary Invisible Essence: The Little Prince, this story of a stranded aviator who encounters an elegant alien child in the Sahara, has become the most read book after the Bible – selling an average of two million copies a year in 300 languages.
Invisible Essence: The Little Prince explores the global legacy of The Little Prince 75 years after its publication. Weaving the author Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s extraordinary biography with fascinating discussions from key sections of the book, exploring ways life and art can reflect in curious ways. And in telling the author’s own story of a child who suffered the loss of a father and beloved brother, and who found “himself” as an aviator for the French air-mail company Aeropostale, flying alone over no man’s lands.
Working imaginatively with the famous line “what is essential is invisible to the eye”, the film introduces a modern-day Little Prince – a cheerful, seven-year-old blind Pakistani-Canadian boy who encounters The Little Prince, via braille and audio-book, for the very first time, and grapples with the meanings of the story he has just read.
Invisible Essence: The Little Prince tackles its subject from different angles, with footage from various film versions (live-action and stop-action animated), academic insights from scholars and archivists who’ve devoted their lives to Saint-Exupéry and his message, and – most poignantly – as it applies today, such as Mark Osborne (director of the animated film “The Little Prince”), Adam Gopnik (Staff Writer at The New Yorker), Rupi Kaur (Poet, New York Times Bestselling Author), Stacy Schiff (Pulitzer-Prize-winning biographer of St-Exupéry), and Olivier and François d’Agay (the great nephew and nephew of Antoine de Saint- Exupéry). Although a fable, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s transcendent story suggests an ethical philosophy about life in its own way, a code of respect for humanity.
“The journey of making this film was really to explore what it is about this book that resonates with so many people, that has transcended gender and culture and religion and language,” says director Charles Officer (Unarmed Verses, Nurse. Fighter. Boy). “I believe in these times it wouldn’t hurt for us to revisit this book. It is about our connections and our relationships that matter the most.”
About Blue Ice Docs
Founded in 2014 in partnership between Robin Smith, president of KinoSmith, and Blue Ice Group co-owners, Steven Silver and Neil Tabatznik, Blue Ice Docs uses the expertise and skills of both organizations to acquire, fund and develop a wide variety of non-fiction projects from around the world. Upcoming releases include GURRUMUL, THE SILENCE OF OTHERS, OVER THE LIMIT, ALL THE WILD HORSES, THE OSLO DIARIES and THE HEAT: A KITCHEN (R)EVOLUTION.
Source: Ingrid Hamilton GAT,
Charles Officer: 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.[
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. The short film was later picked up for distribution by Mongrel Media. 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. 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.
Nurse . Fighter. Boy premiered at TIFF 2008 and won the Audience Award at the International Film festival 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 on February 2009.
In April 2009, production began on Officer’s feature documentary about Harry Jerome. 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.
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,
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. The film was named Best Canadian Feature at the 2017 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival. In October 2017, it was named Best Canadian Documentary at the Vancouver International Film Festival.
Source : Wikipedia