CFC Celebrates National Canadian Film Day with Free Online Screening of CFC Features' “RUDE”

By Cory Angeletti-Szasz ● April 23, 2015 10:00

On Wednesday, April 29, 2015, CFC will proudly support National Canadian Film Day with a special online screening event of RUDE, the second feature film to be developed, executive produced and financed through CFC Features. This was the first feature film from writer/director and CFC alumnus Clement Virgo, produced by fellow CFC alumni Damon D’Oliveira and Karen A. King.

Now in its second year, National Canadian Film Day,a nationwide initiative that celebrates Canadian film and filmmakers, will be marked with special screenings and events at theatres, libraries, schools, and broadcasters across the country. CFC is pleased to take part in this initiative by offering a free online screening of RUDE on our website,, for a 24-hour period throughout National Canadian Film Day (from 12 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. ET). As an added bonus in celebration of this event, writer/director Clement Virgo will take part in a special Reddit AMA (“Ask Me Anything”) at 8 p.m. ET on April 29, 2015, where viewers are invited to ask Clement questions about RUDE and his creative process. Be sure to participate in the AMA with Clement HERE.

2015 marks the 20th anniversary of the release of RUDE, a groundbreaking film that played to great acclaim at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival, where it screened as part of Un Certain Regard. Virgo, who moved to Canada from Jamaica at the age of 11, drew his inspiration for RUDE from his experience watching a wall-smashing event at Alexandra Park, a Toronto housing project where he lived until December 1992. Toronto’s then mayor, Art Eggleton, invited people to play a part in bringing down a series of walls surrounding the project that provided drug dealers with ideal hiding places. The event sparked an idea that took hold in Virgo’s imagination and ultimately resulted in RUDE.

“I wanted to depict Black people who are struggling with more than drugs and guns – but also with loneliness, their sexuality, loss of love – situations and circumstances that all people experience. The idea was to take the urban ‘hood movie worn bare by too many exploitative efforts and open it up to new possibilities,” remarked Virgo about creating RUDE.

RUDE is a surreal, vivid triptych of three characters struggling for redemption on an Easter weekend in a stylized inner city. Maxine (Rachel Crawford), a successful window dresser, battles with the depression that has possessed her since she ended her pregnancy and lost her lover. Jordan (Richard Chevolleau), a promising boxer, spars with inner demons after he reluctantly participates in a gay-bashing. The general (Maurice Dean Wint), a talented painter and former drug dealer, fights old temptations as he tries to make a break from his troubled past.

This triad of tales is riveted together by the provocative tirades of Rude (Sharon M. Lewis), a sultry young woman whose smoky voice and mystical persona power the local pirate radio channel. Her speech penetrates the consciousness of the community with razor wit, steely irony and, ultimately, cathartic insight.

Maclean’s described RUDE as “…boldly unconventional, a surreal weave of three separate tales […]. Virgo directs with the revolutionary sting of a Spike Lee without the dogma; his dialogue displays the profane wit of a Quentin Tarantino with something to say. The images, meanwhile, are ripe with sensuality…”

Point of View Magazine called RUDE “…a striking first feature with a complex structure, ambitious themes and a unique visual style. It also distinguishes itself from many of the first-time features by young Afro-American men, situating itself very much within the context of the Black Canadian experience; and while dealing with some familiar subjects like drug abuse and disintegrating families, it’s ultimately about self-empowerment and redemption.”

Created through CFC Features (formerly The Feature Film Project), RUDE helped solidify the ongoing collaboration between D’Oliveira and Virgo, who have since become some of Canada’s foremost filmmakers. The two met at CFC, and continue to work together today as partners of Conquering Lion Pictures, where some of their credits include The Book of Negroes, Poor Boy’s Game, Lie With Me and RUDE.

Be sure to catch this powerful film on the homepage of on National Canadian Film Day! And don’t miss the chance to engage directly with writer/director Clement Virgo and ask him anything on his Reddit AMA at 8 p.m. ET on April 29, 2015.

We look forward to celebrating National Canadian Film Day with you!

Cory Angeletti-Szasz

Manager, Communications (Mat Leave)