The Railpath Hero at TIFF|Black Star

Railpath Hero TIFF Black Star promo

This November The Railpath Hero will join a stellar lineup of films at the Toronto International Film Festival’s Black Star series. From Nov. 3 – Dec. 22, TIFF will celebrate 100 Years of Black Excellence in Film with its iteration of Ashely Clark’s seminal ten-week program commissioned in 2015 by the British Film Institute.

We are so excited to share this Director’s Cut of The Railpath Hero with audiences. It’s been 3 years since it played on the big screen making its U.S. debut at Brooklyn’s Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival in 2014.

Come out to the TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King Street West) on Tuesday, November 7th at 7pm for Stella Meghie’s Jean of the Joneses preceded by The Railpath Hero and Charles Officer’s Short Hymn, Silent War.

Tickets available online

TIFF Black Star series


WATCH The Railpath Hero



Watch the phenomenal Stephan James (Selma, Race, Home Again) in a short film directed by his middle school drama teacher. Life is full of crazy full circle moments. So honoured to work with this rising star. – Laurie

The Railpath Hero

The Railpath Hero (formerly, The Arena)

The title change was a long time coming. As the writer and director of this little film, I was never really in love with the one-the-nose sports title to begin with. I wanted the title to say something about the boy whose innocence is taken…I wanted the new title of my film to contain some element of hope for the life that Damon will make for himself – despite the major trauma he’s endured.  The West Toronto Railpath is where we shot the exterior scenes you’ll see in this film. Under the cover of the bridge is where Damon gathers himself together and receives a call from his mom. And it is here on the Railpath, that Damon tries to salvage what’s left of his dignity…what remains of his fight.


Laurie Townshend

Writer/Director, The Railpath Hero