You Nearly Missed: The virtual premiere of “Smokey Devil: Underworld Street Reporter”

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      A documentary following prolific Vancouver street artist Smokey Devil is set to premiere online tomorrow (July 27).

      Smokey Devil: Underworld Street Reporter, shot by filmmaker Nat Canuel over the course of years, examines Smokey D’s role within the Downtown Eastside and the graffiti community. 

      The film premieres online at 4pm, followed by a discussion with Canuel, Smokey D, and graffiti writer and OPS manager Trey Helten. A digital ticket lets you watch both the film and the mini panel online until July 30. 

      “The documentary is a graffiti movie, but it’s also about my favourite artist,” Canuel told the Straight earlier this year. The film was a collaborative process, with the two often bouncing ideas off each other or discussing needle drops for the soundtrack.

      Known as the neighbourhood’s newspaper, Smokey’s art often carries important messages—warnings on bad dope, alerts for missing people, or memorials for fallen friends—illustrated with bright colours, confident lines, and a distinct style. 

      The City of Vancouver officially proclaimed March 11 (Smokey D’s birthday) as Smokey D day earlier this year, following a community push for the artist to be recognized. Canuel said that kind of spirit is readily apparent in the documentary. 

      “What it shows is the incredible people that we have on the Eastside,” Canuel added. “There are really wonderful humans that exist that are doing really incredible stuff to help the community and to give back to the community.”


      Smokey Devil: Underworld Street Reporter

      When: July 27 to July 30; live co-viewing on July 27, 4pm

      Where: Online

      Admission: By donation, link here