Cliffside ready for camera

Scarborough director features his hometown in film

Cliffside is not only a home to many people, now it’s also a short film.

Steven Hoffner, an actor turned director, has returned to his old neighbourhood in Scarborough to tell the story of his experiences while growing up in the area.

A graduate of the University of Toronto as a theatre major, Hoffner describes himself as an edgy storyteller because of his love for the raw feel of films.

He picked Cliffside because he was familiar with the area and wanted it to be shown in a different way.

“I guess for making Cliffside it was really important for me to represent Cliffside and Scarborough in a cinematic way,” he said. “That was one of my first things I really wanted to write about something that I knew and what better place than to start at your home, or at least where I used to live.”

Hoffner’s motivation is to tell a gritty story about growing up in Scarborough but he has no intentions on giving his hometown a bad look.

“I think that just representing Scarborough on screen is important for me as a director,” he said. “There’s a lot of stories to be told about Scarborough, this isn’t about telling a story about the grapes of wrath and how hard it is in Scarborough or how rough.”

To tell the story of Cliffside and to put Hoffner’s home on the screen was what he was going for.

He was drawn to the area’s personality and well-known places like Coffee Dome.

Hoffner launched a Facebook page for the film and even he was surprised with the responses and likes.

“There’s a few people that I haven’t even met or even heard of that happen to be residents of Cliffside,” he said. “It’s great to make a movie that is resonated with a lot of people because they’re from the area. I think shooting it there was really important because we want to get that authenticity. To shoot it on location at those places were really important for us.”

The target audience for the film varies from 18- to 40-year-olds and Hoffner has plans on releasing internationally.

“To share that story with people from the city, from Ontario even Canada, that’ll be great but we certainly don’t want to live on that,” he said. “We’re submitting the film to festivals internationally and in North America, so we want to share that story with the world.”

Hoffner wants to get this film out there and seen by an audience. But he’s already writing another short film..

“My ambition and dream is to make feature films as a director and produce, so this is hopefully a stepping stone to that.”