Daniel Garber talks with Thorben Wieditz about Toronto’s movie industry, employment, and use of city space
Toronto is a movie-loving city with over 80 film festivals each year. But it’s also a movie making hub, a creative centre with the motion picture industry as a major player in the urban creative economy. But what role does it play? How does it affect the design and development of a city like Toronto? Can it survive gentrification? And what is its effect on the city’s workforce?
A series of articles, to be published later this year, looks at these and other questions. It’s called Labour in the New Urban Economy and studies the cities of Toronto and New York and how they interact with their respective movie industries.
One of the studies’ authors is Thorben Wieditz, a PhD candidate in Environmental Studies at York University. His piece is titled Toronto’s Film Unions Struggle over Space: From Toronto Film Studios to Revival 629. Thorben is a graduate of the University of Dortmund, and is a teacher, writer and researcher in Toronto, who focusses on the local politics of re-negotiating the use of urban employment lands in this post-industrial city.
Here, Thorben talks about the movie industry, the 629 Eastern Ave Studio and how they affect our neighbourhoods, urban space, workers, and our economy. (Go to yorku.ca/city for more information.)