Toronto Filmmaker Writes Poetry and Creates Films During COVID Lockdown

Toronto Filmmaker Writes Poetry and Creates Films During COVID Lockdown

Much like the rest of the world, Toronto has been in lockdown since March 16. People in The 6 were mostly happy about it first. It gave them a chance to take a break from the busy life in Canada’s largest metropolis.

For some, the time was viewed as a gift to work on creative projects and artistic impulses. Among them was Jenell Diegor, a writer and filmmaker. Miss Diegor also works in a local club that’s been shut down since March as mandated by the government lockdowns. Like many people, she suddenly found herself with a lot of time on her hands.

We asked Miss Diegor what she has been doing with her time in isolation. “Aside from trying to workout using resistance bands and good old fashioned walks, I try to do something of a creative nature everyday. It’s not always an easy thing. Even though I have plenty of ideas on what to write or what to film, sometimes I can’t seem to put them down on paper. I’m sure fellow creatives know what I’m talking about,” she said.

She paused to take a sip of home-brewed hazelnut coffee, her favourite. “At first I had a humorous outtake on the quarantine so I wrote poetry about it. Just a bunch of short poems. Bundled together they formed Quarantine Poetry, a collection of 30 of them,” she continued.

“After that I made a bunch of super short films, mostly during my isolation walks. There’s a park near my building and because most people were staying indoors, it was easy to get unobstructed shots. I didn’t use actors, just park stuff like garbage cans, squirrels and pigeons.”

One of the films that Miss Diegor created called “That’s Garbage!” has been selected by four international film festivals: iChill Manila Film Festival (Philippines), Miami Independent Film Festival (USA), Mister Vorky International Film Festival (Russia) and most recently, Tagore International Film Festival (India).

“I love it. It’s a short film I created out of impulse. I was outdoors and there were garbage cans everywhere because it was garbage day. The story pretty much just wrote itself in my head. I never expected it to hit the festival circuit but I’m glad that it’s getting a ton of love,” said the director.

For a peak at Jenell’s other films as well as several books that she has written, head over to her website, www.asianonamission.com. Jenell can also be reached via her Instagram @_.jenell.

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