Saturday, September 11, 2010

Toronto writer’s tale of African teen comes to life onscreen

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step,” said the ancient Chinese philosopher Lao-tzu, but for Toronto’s Allan Stratton, the journey from Canadian playwright to internationally known novelist with a possible Oscar in his future, began with a single character.

His 2004 novel, Chanda’s Secrets, the story of an African family torn apart by the AIDS pandemic, is the source material for Life Above All, opening Sunday night at TIFF, and recently announced as South Africa’s official entry as Best Foreign-Language Film for the 2011 Oscars.

But none of this was even remotely in Stratton’s mind back in 1999. He had already had a distinguished 25-year career as a playwright, best known for the worldwide comedy hit Nurse Jane Goes to Hawaii. Suddenly, he hit a creative speed bump.

Full report here The Star

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