The CSFF 2021 Spring Festival featured the Canadian Premiere of the rowing film “A Most Beautiful Thing”.

A most beautiful thing chronicles the first African American public high school rowing team in the US, made up of young men, many of whom were in rival gangs from the West Side of Chicago.

Based on the memoir of team captain, Arshay Cooper, and narrated by award-winning artist Common, this movie explores the trauma of violence and cyclical poverty, examining how these young men were able to support each other in reimagining a different future for themselves.

After 20 years in the boat, the men reunite to celebrate the team’s founding and race together one more time (2020, 95 min, US, documentary, dir: Mary Mazzio).

Missed the film in May?

You can still watch this powerful film about the impact of sport.

Click here to see your viewing options.

CSFF Pre-recorded Q&A between film star Arshay Cooper, on whose memoir the film is based and world champion hurdler, TV host and author, Perdita Felicien. Introduction by 2021 National Team Athlete (rowing), Victoria Nolan.

CSFF Pre-recorded Q&A

CSFF Live Q&A with author and film star, Arshay Cooper, the first black rower on the Canadian Olympic Team, four-time World Championship medalist and physiotherapist, Kubet Weston, interviewed by multi-platform journalist and sports activist, Shireen Ahmed.


Arshay Cooper, Shireen Ahmed & Kubet Weston

CSFF 2021 Spring Festival Bonus Content

Rowing the River

In a loving dedication to her late father, Wendy shares the beauty and elegance of the sport of rowing as this crew of ordinary women enjoy some fun and exercise on a midsummer row. (2017, 2:17 min, Canada, documentary, Empty Cup Media)

CSFF In The News

Beautiful Thing: London boat maker puts oar in water for diversity