TIFF Lightbox 1 Tue, Apr 30, 2019 4:30 PM
DS + OC, Live captioned Q&A
TIFF Lightbox 1 Fri, May 3, 2019 10:15 AM
Film Info
Country Listing:USA
Premiere Status:World Premiere
Festival Info
Festival Year:2019
Program Category:Special Presentations
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


Closed Captions Icon Described Sound Icon Open Cations Icon  Select screenings have closed captions, open captions and described sound. More about accessibility >>

Also screening in the Big Ideas Series presented by Scotia Wealth Management

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

Special Presentations program sponsored by
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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