Articles header

Sprockets: Tricks aren't Just for Kids

16 Apr 2008


When I first heard about sprockets, I didn't really know what to think. It was a pretty low-key introduction. I met with my editor over brunch at Seven West. You know the spot around the corner from the Shoppers’ drug mart, just off Yonge, one block south of Bloor. Right, well, after a coffee and a plate of cold fries, he breaks out his movie assignments for this month. As it turns out, he was getting ready for a trip and wanted to dump a pile of flicks in my lap - sure, why not. Then he reached back into his bag and pulled out two more discs. "Oh, and these are for Sprockets." He said. "Sprockets?! What's that like some sort of film festival for gear-heads?" I asked. "No, it's actually a film festival for kids, like TIFF, only minus the adult contingent." He didn't actually say that last bit, I ad-libbed.

From my treasure trove of new movies, the first one I popped into the DVD player was the eleven minute short, I Want to Be a Pilot. It's quite possibly the most depressing, gut-wrenching and heart-breaking thing you could see in such a short period of time, without any severe scenes of human suffering. Director Diego Quemada-Diez sheds some light on the life a young boy in Africa. His dream: to be a pilot and leave his destitute life behind. Perhaps a little melodramatic, but the truth of his plight will surely move viewers, especially children, to think, if not reflect on their fortunes in this life. We take too many things for granted here in North America, and this film succeeds as an appropriate eye-opener for an audience of all ages.

Somewhat along the same line, in so far as thought provoking documentary cinema presented at Sprockets, is Darius Goes West: The Roll of His Life. Quite possibly the most educational movie at this year’s Sprockets film festival, the immensity of this film goes beyond words. It’s about a fifteen year old boy already well on his way to losing the battle with Duchene Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), who embarks on a cross-country road trip with twelve of his friends. He’s a fighter, who at a very young age, has accepted the reality of his situation and still finds the courage to realize his dream.

Director and close friend to Darius, Logan Smalley, takes us on a roller coaster ride from petting gators in a swamp, feeding giraffes bananas in a zoo, to praying Chihuahuas in a parking lot. No jokes here, just trust me, it makes for an entertaining cinematic experience. The catalyst for this adventure: trying to get Darius’ wheelchair “tricked out” on MTV’s hit show Pimp My Ride, in California. Along the way, the boys also document their trip as a means to generate awareness and support in the fight against this terrible disease, not sympathy. On more than one occasion, we see the true mark of this young man’s character. For him, the hour for finding a cure has long since past, but there is still hope for the generation to come, and he knows it. En route, the boys build some unbreakable bonds as they discover the awesome power of friendship.

After ninety-four minutes of footage, three rap songs, an RV breakdown, a day at the beach, an afternoon of spelunking, some river-rafting, a hot air balloon ride, some tattoos, a messy run in with some wasabi, and a harrowing storm chase, Darius’ wheelchair finally gets a much needed make-over. Well, actually, his original electronic chair broke down beyond repair, and was left for scrap. Luckily, some sponsors and a custom designer at East Coast Choppers came to the rescue and Darius’ ride got some new spinners.  In the end, we learn that MTV will never help us solve anything, but we can help ourselves and each other – thank you Darius!

The festival runs until Friday, April 18th. FYI: due to the overwhelming response, there has been a venue change for the showing of Darius Goes West: The Roll of His Life to make it more accessible for everyone interested in attending. You can see it this Thursday, April 17th, at the Toronto Centre for the Arts. The scheduled start times of the screenings remain unchanged. For more information on Sprockets, movie listings, etc., click to www.sprockets.ca . To learn more about Darius and the plight of those suffering from DMD, click to www.dgwknowaboutit.com . Or, forget about other people in pain, switch over to MTV and see what that does for your understanding of the world…

Price: $6.60 Children under 18, $10.61 Adults
For more information call: 416-968-FILM

Search Site

Latest Articles

Oct 21, 2019

Illustrator Yasmeen Souffrant on designing your own path

in Careers & Workplace by Meres J. Weche
Montreal native and Haitian-Canadian, Yasmeen Souffrant, has loved drawing from… Read more >>
Oct 02, 2019

Finding agency through the lens

in Arts by Meres J. Weche
An interview with Sandrine Colard — curator of The Way She Looks photography… Read more >>
Sep 23, 2019

Simone Miller: A passionate young soul

in Entertainment by Meres J. Weche
I recently caught up with 13-year old Toronto-born and raised actress and… Read more >>
Aug 11, 2019

Dwayne Morgan discusses the inaugural Toronto Spoken Soul Fest

in Arts by Meres J. Weche
The inaugural 3-day Toronto Spoken Soul Fest is taking place from August 16-18,… Read more >>
Feb 26, 2019

HERO: An untold story

in Movies by Meres J. Weche
"Storytelling is a very fundamental need that we have as human beings to… Read more >>

Latest on Instagram

Featured Events

10 Oct 2019 10:00 – 07 Jan 2020 13:00
Toronto Centre for the Arts (Meridian Arts Centre)
Art Exhibit

Find a Job

AfroToronto.com participates in affiliate marketing programs, which means we may earn a commission if you purchase an item featured on our site. These affiliate links, along with advertisements, support us and they come to no expense for you.

Privacy Policy | Member Access

Copyright © 2005-2019 Culture Shox Media. All rights reserved unless otherwise stated.
Our website is protected by DMC Firewall!