To Be Heard

Director: Rolan Legiardi-Laura, Edwin Martinez, Deborah Shaffer, Amy Sultan
United States
2010 • 87 Minutes

Canadian Premiere
Director in attendance

Stories of friendship and struggle emerge from the
Bronx, as three friends learn how a radical poetry
class can ignite change in this documentary about the
limitations of friendship and the heartbreak of watching
loved ones make bad choices. This award-wining film
captures the pressures of inner-city poverty and abusive
relationships yet refrains from judgment or empty


A verité film intimately shot over four years, To Be Heard is the story of three friends evolving into self-aware artists. Writing and reciting become vehicles for their expressions of love, friendship, frustration, and hope, as these three youngsters emerge through dark personal setbacks, expulsion from school, stabbings and struggles with self-image. Sometimes harsh, but often enlightening, the film gives seemingly limitless access to inner city lives seldom seen.

Hailed by the New York Times as “One of the best documentaries of the year,” To Be Heard has dazzled audiences at dozens of film festivals around the world, bringing home multiple Jury Prizes and an Audience Award.

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