Director Kazik Radwanski‘s debut feature Tower examines a portrait of a man struggling to achieve his lifelong dream-job, trump his family’s expectations, and capture a troublemaking raccoon. More story tidbits after the jump!

Read more detailed background info as follows (via TIFF 2012):

“Already well-known at the Festival for his signature short films, Toronto filmmaker Kazik Radwanski makes his feature debut with this off-kilter and slyly funny character study about a thirty-something loner who tries to keep the world at arm’s length.


To call Toronto director Kazik Radwanski a new discovery in Canadian cinema would be something of a misnomer. The Festival has been screening his distinctive short films for the past several years, and before that in TIFF’s Student Film Showcase, when Radwanski and his producer Daniel Montgomery were still in school. Radwanski’s remarkable feature debut TOWER, however, is very much a discovery, in that it expands his unique vision into feature filmmaking and reveals the versatility and depth of his talent. Developed in part through improvisation, TOWER is an intriguing and candid character study of a Torontonian who’s stuck in a rut, and seems quite comfortable there.

Derek (Derek Bogart), a thirty-four-year-old man who lives in his parents’ basement, is a puzzling specimen to say the least. He has no career per se, though he is an aspiring computer animator and works construction part-time for his uncle. Solitary but not friendless, he ventures out alone to clubs in the evenings looking to connect with women. He’s both impulsive and cautious, and much of the time he appears slightly perplexed, intently chewing on his thoughts. Derek is not socially awkward; he’s socially peculiar. He suddenly finds himself in uncertain territory when he falls into an intimate relationship with a woman he meets (Nicole Fairbairn).

As Radwanski surveys the routines that make up Derek’s life, we see that what defines him more than anything else is his absolute fear of commitment — commitment to a career, to a girlfriend, even to adulthood. Heeding the warning inherent in his animated tale of a green creature who erects a world of rock towers that ends up destroying him, Derek is afraid of building anything of substance in his life. This is in sharp contrast to his married brother who is expecting a baby. Amusingly, Derek does show great zeal and perseverance on one thing: dealing with his family’s raccoon problem.

One of the most appealing aspects of TOWER is the way Radwanski frames his subject, in what has become his defining style: tight, unflinching close-ups and a total absence of long shots, creating an atmosphere that is intense and intimate. Fascinating and slyly funny, TOWER establishes Radwanski’s uncanny and incisive human portraiture and his finely honed approach on a larger canvas.

-Agata Smoluch Del Sorbo”

Scroll down to the bottom of this page to view the complete trailer.

Tower, 2012

Kazik Radwanski