Nova Scotia film Black Cop to debut at TIFF
Film by director Cory Bowles explores psychological impact of racial profiling
A Nova Scotia-based movie is going to make its debut at one of the world's top film festivals.
Black Cop, which explores race-based police violence through the eyes of a black officer, has been selected for the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), which runs from Sept. 7 to 17.
"It's a pretty big deal," director Cory Bowles said in an interview Friday. "You constantly want and think about your first feature being there. And they've been really supportive of me before, so it's a really big treat and a good reward for everybody involved."
He said TIFF helps Canadian features get "a lot of good notice right away".
'What black police officers go through'
Bowles said he had the idea for the movie for many years. He first shot it as a short film before shooting the feature last November in Halifax and Dartmouth. He said he wanted to explore the psychological impact of racial profiling, rather than actual incidents themselves.
Bowles said the main character is torn between his job as a police officer and the moral obligations to his black community.
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"So obviously we talk a lot about the police culture and race relations and just the idea of what black police officers go through," he said.
"So I think it's really exploring that sort of struggle, on top of the fact that this is somebody who is also profiled off-duty. There's a lot of that anger and a lot of that confusion."
Bowles said he hopes audiences continue to talk about the impact of police violence and racial profiling long after the film has ended.
"This is maybe an opportunity maybe for them to — in an oddly entertaining way — put themselves in a position and get a feeling of knowing what it must be like or seeing what it could be like," he said. "And maybe looking at it a little different."