First film - Completed 2016

The Stairs follows the triumphs and heartbreaks of three social workers, who struggle with their own addictions, in a turbulent story of resilience spanning several years.

& Awards

Toronto - TIFF 2016
Mar Del Plata FF 2016
New Authors
RIDM 2016
Canadian Competition: Honourable Mention
Toronto Film Critics Assoc 2016
Winner: Best Canadian Film Award
Toronto Film Critics Assoc 2016
Runner Up: Best Documentary Award
Regent Park FF 2016
Winner: Audience Award
    • Year of production
    • 2016
    • Genres
    • First film, Social issues, Documentary
    • Countries
    • CANADA
    • Languages
    • Budget
    • 0 - 0.3 M$
    • Duration
    • 95 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Hugh GIBSON
    • Producer(s)
    • Hugh GIBSON (Midnight Lamp Films), Alan ZWEIG
    • Synopsis
    • The Stairs follows the triumphs and heartbreaks of three social workers, who counsel clients about drug use while also struggling with their own addictions. Their turbulent story of resilience spans half a decade. Exec-Produced by Alan Zweig (Director of TIFF & Hot Docs prize-winners: Hurt, When Jews Were Funny, A Hard Name).

      Marty, Greg and Roxanne live and work in Toronto’s Regent Park neighbourhood, where they have lived and survived decades of street life. Each is funny, articulate, surprising: mother, grandfather, poet – and a habitual drug user. Performing outreach in their community – trying to give back – they struggle with tenuous lifestyles and past choices. With incredible access, this character-driven film follows each person from 2011, creating intimate portraits that challenge preconceptions.

      Subject Bios:

      A crack user for 22 years, Marty performs outreach for his community’s homeless and drug using populations. After living in stairwells for years, things are stable – until an incident and old habits suddenly threaten everything.

      A sex worker for decades, Roxanne is now a social worker. Her witty, wicked sense of humour masks her daily struggles with a dark, painful past. Like Marty and Greg, she works in harm reduction – a non-judgmental approach to health care.

      At the start of filming in 2011, Greg has recently gone back to school and is working steadily. After a run-in with police, combined with his ongoing struggles with crack use and housing, Greg’s situation changes dramatically. He then tries to maintain his dignity in severe circumstances.