The River You Step In

DSL’s available now / DVD w/PPR avail Early October 2023

How far would you go to help someone?

When a young First Nations client dies in police custody, free-spirited social worker Stevie (Astrid Van Wieren) goes the extra mile to keep the people she works with away from the system she no longer trusts.

Opening her home as a safe haven for George (Marcel Stewart), an ex-con and gambler, Tracy (Claire Burns), a drug-seeking musician, then Mina (Sharmila Dey), a battered wife, Stevie expertly masks her own issues with those of the broken lives she struggles to mend – until she’s confronted with the real dangers of crossing professional lines.

“Astrid Van Wieren anchors this ensemble drama… Stevie seems driven by an uneasy combination of charity, white-knighting and white guilt. The film’s smartest decision is to put her contradictions out there and leave us wondering.” – Radheyan Simonpillai , NOW Toronto

Set in East End Toronto neighborhoods Leslieville and Riverside, THE RIVER YOU STEP IN is a character-driven drama about how the best intentions can go awry.

“A resonant exploration of the cost and rewards of caring, the pain of losing, and the grace of learning to move on.” – Erika Warmbrunn, author, Where The Pavement Ends.

Multiple awards and a festival favorite from Rotterdam to Madrid to Toronto:

  • WINNER – Best Canadian Feature, Toronto Independent Film Festival of CIFT
  • WINNER – Best Actress (Astrid Van Wieren), Toronto International Women Film Festival
  • WINNER – Best Actress (Astrid Van Wieren), Chicago Indie Film Awards
  • SEMIFINALIST – Rotterdam Independent Film Festival
  • SEMIFINALIST – Capital Filmmakers Festival Madrid
  • OFFICIAL SELECTION – Socially Relevant Film Festival; Great Lakes International Film Festival; Forest City Film Festival; IndieFEST Film Awards

“Strong performances. This film creates a lot of tension all the way through as it explores violence against women and the institutional blindness to this issue.” – Film Director Carolyn Combs

2019 / Drama / English / 97 minutes / Color / A film by Jon Michaelson


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There Goes the Neighborhood

DSL’s available now / DVD w/PPR available late October 2023

WINNER: Best Documentary, The People’s Film Festival.

New York City is undergoing a period of “hyper-gentrification” unlike anywhere else, but courageous communities and activists are fighting back.

Gentrification is not a new phenomenon. In fact, New Yorkers have been talking about gentrification ever since the term was first coined in the 1960s. But over the decades, as more and more wealthy real estate developers and giant corporations have sought to reconstruct urban landscapes for economic gain, what was once a process of gradual change has turned into a nightmare of radical transformation and displacement.

New York City is currently undergoing a period of “hyper-gentrification” unlike anywhere else in the world.

There Goes the Neighborhood presents a portrait of the communities and activists who are courageously fighting back against the powers of greed and corruption in order to preserve the diversity and culture of their city.

WINNER: IndiePix Vision Award, Winter Film Awards

Documentary / 2022 / English / 74 minutes / A film by Ian Phillips

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