FascinAsian - Scarborough

Director: Shasha Nakhai, Rich Williamson
Runtime: 136 Minutes
Language: English

Year of Release: 2021
Country of Origin: Canada

Description: Scarborough explores the struggles, endurance, and resilience of this culturally diverse Toronto community through the lives of three kids growing up within a system that has set them up for failure. Filmed on location in the Kingston-Galloway/West Hill neighbourhood, Scarborough takes place over the course of a school year.

Writer: Catherine Hernandez
Producer: Shasha Nakhai
Impact Producer: Sherien Barsoum
Associate Producer: Kenya-Jade Pinto
Music: Rob Teehan
Cinematographer: Rich Williamson
Editor: Rich Williamson
Production Designer: Nicole Simmons
Costumer Designer: Chris Jai Centeno

FascinAsian - Shasha Nakhai

Shasha Nakhai

Shasha is a storyteller whose work has taken her to the Hawaiian coastline, the ski slopes of Davos, the Nevada desert, a Cold War bunker, the engine room of a decaying ship, Philippine sugar mills and the front lines of Nigeria’s energy crisis.

Her work has aired on the BBC, CBC, ZDF, and Arte; screened at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA); been nominated for five Canadian Screen Awards and a Golden Sheaf; named TIFF’s Top 10; and shortlisted for an Oscar.

With over a decade of experience in documentary, Shasha recently directed her first drama feature with partner Rich Williamson – Scarborough, adapted from the award-winning novel by Catherine Hernandez. Shot documentary-style over the course of a school year, the film follows three children from a low-income community that find compassion, community, and resilience in an unlikely place.

Shasha has participated in several talent incubators and labs including: the DOC Institute’s Breakthrough Program, Hot Docs Doc Accelerator, WIFT’s Ubisoft Toronto Mentorship, the Reel Asian First Feature Lab, and now TIFF’s Talent Accelerator. She was awarded Telefilm Canada’s Pay It Forward Prize at Hot Docs in 2016.

Shasha currently freelances as a Director and Producer.

FascinAsian - Rich Williamson

Rich Williamson

Rich Williamson is an Oscar-shortlisted filmmaker based in Toronto. His work blends the best of fiction and documentary technique together with a focus on social-issue subjects. His award-winning films have screened at festivals worldwide, aired on TV, been released on iTunes, gone viral, and featured on the BBC, CBC, Bravo, Arte, ZDF, Al Jazeera, Short of the Week, The Hollywood Reporter, AV Club, Slashfilm, Screenrant, Gizmodo, Mashable, Collider and Nerdist.

Rich is an alumni of the Reykjavik International Film Festival’s Talent Lab and the Canadian Film Centre’s Cineplex Entertainment Film Program.

After a stellar international film festival run, his film Frame 394 was shortlisted for the Academy Awards. It was named one of TIFF’s Top 10 Films of 2016, and nominated for two Canadian Screen Awards.

Scarborough is his first dramatic feature with partner and co-director Shasha Nakhai.

FascinAsian - Catherine Hernandez

Catherine Hernandez

Catherine Hernandez (she/her) is an award-winning author and screenwriter. She is a proud queer woman who is of Filipino, Spanish, Chinese and Indian descent and married into the Navajo Nation.

Her first novel, Scarborough, won the Jim Wong-Chu Award for the unpublished manuscript; was a finalist for the Toronto Book Awards, the Evergreen Forest of Reading Award, the Edmund White Award, and the Trillium Book Award; and was longlisted for Canada Reads.

She has written the critically acclaimed plays Singkil, The Femme Playlist and Eating with Lola and the children’s books M Is for Mustache: A Pride ABC Book and I Promise. She recently wrote the screenplay for the film adaptation of Scarborough, produced by Compy Films with support from Telefilm Canada and the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival. The film will have its world premiere at the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival.

She is the creator of Audible Original’s audio sketch comedy series Imminent Disaster. Her second novel, Crosshairs, published simultaneously in Canada, the US and the UK, was shortlisted for the Toronto Book Award and made the CBC’s Best Canadian Fiction, NOW Magazine’s 10 Best Books, Indigo Best Book, Audible Best Audiobooks and NBC 20 Best LGBTQ Books list of 2020.

Her third children’s book, Where Do Your Feelings Live? which is a guide for kids living through these scary times, has been commissioned by HarperCollins Canada and will be published in winter 2022.