Canadian FilmFest – The Scene: An Exploration of Music In Toronto (2013) – Josh Jensen

The Canadian FilmFest kicks out the jams tonight at The Royal with a screening of Josh Jensen’s documentary of the indie music scene in Toronto – The Scene.

It’s a fascinating look at the eclectic and incredibly diverse music scene in Toronto, which may very well be one of the best for music in North America! There is music everywhere in this city, easily found, for every taste. And if you don’t know where to look, in the first 10 minutes the film lists a half-dozen easy. They also all happen to be in my end of town. Sweet. Some just around the corner.

The film tags along with three different bands, Committed to Rhyme, The Alter Kakers, and The Ruby Spirit. Each group is different from the next, but they are all struggling to bring what they love to life, their music. They’re hardworking, their passionate, and they can all play.

Happily their passion and their love for the craft overshadow the fact that in Toronto, just because you’re good, just because you’re talented, doesn’t mean you’re going to get that elusive record deal, which thanks to the advent of (illegal) downloading has changed the entire music industry.

That topic elicits some interesting answers from both the members of the band, and people who work in the industry.

Backed with chats by some recognizable music personalities, the film not only examines the state of music in Toronto, but in the industry in general.

It’s an interesting examination of people who are chasing their dreams, and happy to be living the life they are. Now, I may not like all the music styles featured in the film, but that concept, is something I understand. If you’re passionate about something enough, the drive it gives you is amazing, and that is on the screen. There are people who are in their 40s, living their version of ‘the dream’ because they’re playing on a stage, in a packed bar (or even a half-full bar), and they are playing for them.

That’s pretty powerful.

The film looks at the bands, the industry, not only locally but internationally, and breaking into that key American market. It doesn’t pull its punches, and even those in the bands featured don’t have any illusions, they have a dream, but they always seem to be grounded in reality, not worrying about making it big, just making enough to get by, to live, pay their rent, and play their music.

With passion.

The Scene screens tonight at The Royal as part of the Canadian FilmFest, check it out!

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