“A Day In The Life” with Toronto filmmaker Chris Strikes

Chris Strikes is a Jamaican-Canadian Toronto based filmmaker who grew up in the west-end of the city, where he first began his career shooting music videos for local artists. He started to make a lot of the noise after his music videos started to play on TV, which eventually led him to working with top Canadian and international artists from Nelly Furtado and Kardinal Offishall, to Machel Montano and Dexta Daps.

After years of honing his skills behind the camera and winning awards for Best Music Video, Strikes began making a name for himself, writing, producing and directing his first short narrative, ONE NIGHT A STRANGER, which was screened at Cannes and other festivals around the world. This was the turning point for Strikes, as he followed this up with AGAPE and HOUSEKEEPING, two short films that also made it around the festivals circuit, where he worked with up and coming Canadian actors such as Brandon Mcknight (CW The Flash) and Emmanuel Kabongo (21 Thunder).

Strikes’ latest project is his first feature length documentary. Entitled BECOMING A QUEEN, the film gives you an insider’s view of the city’s world-famous annual Toronto Caribbean Carnival and the King and Queen Show. The film continues to be received well and holds as an educational piece for the youth and the community painting the accurate narrative of the most joyous time in our city.

From his early work to his present, you feel his cultural identity as it is the heartbeat of his storytelling. The future is nothing more than promising for Chris Strikes.

-By Ron Dias – long-time friend and collaborator with Chris Strikes

Toronto filmmaker Chris Strikes
My DOP Ashley Iris Gill and I discussing the look of a frame on set of Patty vs. Patty, coming in 2022. –Photo by Kevin Jones
Toronto filmmaker Chris Strikes
Former MP Adam Vaughan, producer Kate Fraser and I sharing stories of our upbringing around the table, on set of Patty vs. Patty, coming in 2022. –Photo by Kevin Jones
Toronto filmmaker Chris Strikes
Looking over my questions ahead of conducting an interview for a new documentary project Patty vs. Patty, coming in 2022. –Photo by Kevin Jones
Toronto filmmaker Chris Strikes
Loving my crew! L-R Michael Falco, myself, Janine Wright (front), Michael Davidson (back), Chrris Lowe, Ashley Iris Gill, Kate Fraser. –Photo by Kevin Jones
I love laughing, I love being by water and I love Manchester United. –Photo by Magda Mroz
Exploring nature and wandering through forests is so important for me, so healing. –Photo by Thera Ehn.
I’m also a plant dad and this is my (at home) haven. –Photo by Chris Strikes
On set of joseph Brown WBC Cares campaign. L-R: Myself, producer Howard Green, youth boxing and kickboxing champion Joseph Brown, 1988 Olympic Boxer Abdullah Ramadan. –Photo by Martin Brown

Which ‘hood are you in?

Junction Triangle – gallivanting between High Park, Junction and Bloordale.

What do you do?

I write, direct, produce and edit film and video visuals, varying from documentary films, narrative films and branded/promo content for a number of companies and community initiatives.

What are you currently working on?

I’m currently on the festival and promotion circuit with my first feature documentary BECOMING A QUEEN, an intimate portray about the rise and legacy of Caribbean Carnival queen, Joella Crichton, as she aims to win a historic tenth crown in her last ever performance. The film will make its Canadian debut opening the 16 th Annual CaribbeanTales International Film Festival on Wednesday September 8 th at 7pm. Get your tickets here.

I’m also in pre-production of a new CBC short documentary entitled Patty vs. Patty which retells the debacle of the 1985 Patty Wars in Toronto when federal food inspectors deemed Jamaican beef patties to be illegally named “beef patty.”

Where can we find your work?

You can find much of my work on my company website callowgroveent.com and on Instagram @callowgroveent.



About Joel Levy 2552 Articles
Editor-In-Chief at Toronto Guardian. Photographer and Writer for Toronto Guardian and Joel Levy Photography