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Biography

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Colm Hogan is a Toronto based writer, director, producer and editor.

Born in Montreal to Irish Catholic immigrant parents, Colm moved with his family to Toronto at the age of 11 during the Bill 101 crisis. He moved back to Montreal shortly after graduating from high school to attend Concordia University for liberal arts studies before dropping out halfway through his first year. Back in Toronto, broke and living on social assistance, he enrolled in a "work through welfare" program which introduced him to the art world. He began working at a series of notable artist run galleries including YYZ Artists' Outlet and Mercer Union. Shortly thereafter, he trained as a graphic artist at the International Academy of Design and Technology (1999).

After a brief period of freelancing, Colm worked for a number of television shows in graphic and web design and photography, including Queer as Folk (2000), U8TV: The Lofters (2001) (which billed itself as Canada's first internet TV station) and the CBC stop motion animation series; What It's Like Being Alone (2006).

Having taken a night course in multimedia offered through Ryerson University (2001), Colm was introduced to the basics of videography and editing. In 2008, after visiting his brother in Kenya for a wedding and learning about the nearby community of Kibera, he made the decision to return in order to shoot his first documentary.

Matatu Express (2010) told the story of young artists and entrepreneurs rebuilding their community after experiencing the horrors of post election violence. It made its debut at the National Film Board for Toronto's NXNE festival. It was also subsequently screened at the Kenya International Film Festival in Nairobi.

During his late teens and early 20s, Colm was an active participant in Toronto's notorious early house music and techno scene, regularly attending warehouse, rave and club events. This experience would draw him to investigate underground music culture for over a decade. The culmination of subsequent research, video interviews, unearthed archival footage, photographs and flyers resulted in two films.

The Legend of 23 Hop (2019) profiled one of Canada's first official rave companies (Exodus Productions) which held its limited series of seminal events at a warehouse event space known as 23 Hop. The venue would become ground zero for the electronic music scene which featured notable local talents (Mark Oliver, Kenny Glasgow) and international acts (Moby).

Back to the Zone (2021) identified the Twilight Zone as being one of Canada's most influential after hour venues. The film tells the story of how four brothers born in Trinidad and raised in Brooklyn, opened up a nightclub in Toronto's then Textile district in 1980. It would eventually be re-zoned as the Entertainment district thanks largely to the Twilight Zone's efforts. The club brought in international music including funk, underground disco, new wave and punk rock. It would be among the first venues in Canada to first import hip hop and house music. During the film's production, Colm initiated a successful social media campaign to name a street after the club.

Colm is also a published author (see additional works section). He is founder and chief contributor to Digitized Graffiti, a blog he founded in 2010 specializing in music, technology and culture. After a car crash in which his wife suffered serious, life long injuries, Colm now works in mental health as a Therapeutic Arts Practitioner and Mindfulness Facilitator. He has lectured on his experience gained from shooting Matatu Express (2010) and how art and mindfulness can help heal PTSD, depression and anxiety in trauma survivors.

He lives with his wife, dog and cat in Toronto.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: D. Jones

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