Upcoming documentary tells history of Toronto radio station CFNY

Article content

A documentary about Toronto alternative rock radio station CFNY is coming to the big (and small) screen.

Article content

And Canadian filmmaker Matt Schichter will be making his directorial debut with the upcoming release of CFNY: The Spirit of Radio.

Article content

The 41-year-old former entertainment reporter-turned-actor found himself having dinner before a 2022 Paul McCartney concert in Boston with his wife, Julia Wallace, and her longtime friend and local music journalist Alan Cross.

Cross, known for his long-running radio documentary The Ongoing History of New Music, was discussing the idea of a sizzle reel to raise money for an indie documentary about the highly influential 1970s and ’80s-era CFNY.

And before Schichter knew it, he was in the director’s chair.

“It was like, ‘OK, let’s see what kind of big rock stars we can get,’ but it was Alan saying, ‘Hey, we’re trying to get this thing done. Can you help?’” said Schichter down the line from his newly adopted home of Glasgow, Scotland.

“It’s always been my dream to direct a movie. And then it’s been a hell of a ride for two years.”

Among those who are interviewed — by Cross, Schichter and Wallace — are Geddy Lee from Rush, Jim Kerr of Simple Minds, New Order and Joy Division bassist Peter Hook and Lol Tolhurst of The Cure, as they recall the station’s future influence in breaking punk and new wave acts in Canada.

The Spirit of Radio was both the radio station’s slogan and the name of a 1980 Rush song written by late drummer and lyricist Neil Peart.

Article content

We apologize, but this video has failed to load.

“This little station that could, that started at this grungy little house in Brampton and turned into this global radio station that was viewed as one of the tastemakers of alternative music,” said Schichter, who had Broken Social Scene’s Brendan Canning and Ohad Benchetrit of Do Make Say Think write the original score.

“Because they were really the ones that brought all that punk and new wave over to North America. No one ever talks about how much Toronto was that triangle between Toronto, London and New York. That was the music industry for a lot of the British music that came over in the late ‘70s, early ‘80s. They wanted that story told. And then you fall in love with this guy named David Marsden (former CFNY program director). It was kind of his vision the whole time.”

Article content

Born in Montreal, raised in Waterloo, and based in Toronto until recently, Schichter had been in L.A. between 2015 and 2016 doing acting and improv classes, hoping to “make it,” and then moved back to Canada due to the number of jobs he was getting locally.


We apologize, but this video has failed to load.

He had produced three films with streaming service Highball TV, also behind the CFNY documentary, until now as a first-time director.

Schichter said they’ve applied to a bunch of festivals and are hoping for inclusion at the Toronto International Film Festival in September before the documentary airs on Highball TV likely in the winter.

“I’ve pitched to them to do a street concert on John Street with a couple of bands,” he said. “It would be supercool.”

Recommended from Editorial

Share this article in your social network

Source link

Denial of responsibility! NewsConcerns is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – [email protected]. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Leave a Comment