Big Ideas presented by Scotia Wealth Management: Willie


Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema Mon, Apr 29, 2019 6:30 PM
CC + DS | Tickets: $24
Film Info
Country Listing:USA
Premiere Status:World Premiere
Festival Info
Festival Year:2019
Program Category:Special Events & Big Ideas Series
Film Subjects:America
Black Cultures & Issues
Race & Racism
Sports & Recreation
Cast/Crew Info
Director(s):Laurence Mathieu-Leger
Producer(s):Laurence Mathieu-Leger
Bryant McBride
Ebyan Bihi (associate producer)
Executive Producer(s):Bryant McBride
Editor(s):Rosella Tursi
Laurence Mathieu-Leger
Cinematography:Ninon Pednault
Laurence Mathieu-Leger
Composer:Justin Melland


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Featuring director Laurence Mathieu-Leger and former NHL player Willie O'Ree

In 1958, Willie O'Ree broke the colour barrier in hockey and went on to become an inspiration for generations of players. He joins Willie director Laurence Mathieu-Leger and some very special guests to discuss his remarkable life and career and his dedication to eradicating racism in the sport he loves. Hosted by NHL on NBC studio analyst Anson Carter.

About the film
In a country filled with hockey heroes, Willie O'Ree stands amongst the greats. In 1958, he broke the colour barrier, becoming the first Black player in the National Hockey League. Sixty years later, his induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame made history again. The youngest of 13 children and a descendant of escaped slaves, O'Ree rose from humble beginnings in Fredericton, New Brunswick, to a 22-year pro hockey career that intersected with the civil rights movement. His talent on the ice was only a fraction of his impact on the game; in 1998, he became the NHL's diversity ambassador, with a focus on creating opportunities for kids who never had a chance to lace up a pair of skates. In Willie, everyone from his oldest friends to a new generation of players come together to honour a man dedicated to improving the world through a sport he loves. Alexander Rogalski

About the host
ANSON CARTER, Studio Analyst, NHL on NBC
NHL veteran Anson Carter serves as a studio analyst for NBC Sports Group’s NHL coverage on NHL Live and NHL Overtime, NBCSN’s NHL pre- and post-game shows. Over the course of his 11 NHL seasons from 1996 through 2007, Carter played in 674 games, producing 202 goals and 219 assists with the Washington Capitals, Boston Bruins, Edmonton Oilers, New York Rangers, Los Angeles Kings, Vancouver Canucks, Columbus Blue Jackets, and Carolina Hurricanes. In 2005, Carter founded Big Up Entertainment, a record label specializing in hip hop music. Carter is also a co-founder of the clothing line SOMB (Shirt Off My Back). Proceeds from sales go towards providing uniforms for underprivileged youth in Africa.

Big Ideas presented by
Scotia Wealth Management - Enriched Thinking logo

Additional Information

  • NOW - 3 Stars
  • Toronto Life - The five films in Hot Docs' Big Ideas explore how far we've come - and how much farther we have to go