TVO Original documentary "Inside Kenk" shares an intimate portrayal of Canada’s most notorious bike thief

By TVO News - Published on Aug 12, 2019
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Inside Kenk premieres September 3 on TVO and tvo.org

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Starting September 3 at 9 pm ET on TVO and tvo.org, TVO presents the World Broadcast Premiere of TVO Original Inside Kenk. This intriguing half-hour documentary delves into the complex mind of Igor Kenk, one of Canada’s most notorious bike thieves, and catches up to him a decade after his exploits captured headlines across the country and around the world.

Inside Kenk offers a thought-provoking portrait of this larger-than-life character, inviting viewers to get a deeper understanding of why he so thoroughly captured the public’s attention,” says John Ferri, TVO Vice President Current Affairs and Documentaries. “TVO Originals like Inside Kenk provide different perspectives on issues that matter; and this film does a great job of placing this story into the context of a neighbourhood and a city in flux.” 

Before higher-end businesses and shifting demographics began changing the streetscape, Kenk’s cluttered bicycle clinic blended into Toronto’s pre-gentrified Trinity Bellwoods neighbourhood on Queen Street West. Kenk’s name would be the first to come up whenever someone’s bike was stolen, and his shop brazenly sold stolen bikes back to their original owners. 

By 2008, the public and the police had had enough and Kenk was arrested and jailed. After his release from jail, Kenk sold his shop and disappeared. Ten years later in Switzerland, Kenk reflects on his past and his new life, pronouncing the world has not seen the last of him. Directed by Jason Gilmore, the film uses archival footage, animation and recently captured interviews to tell Kenk’s story.

"We first started following Igor Kenk because we were fascinated by his intriguing, though sometimes contradictory philosophies, and how he stood as a symbol of old-world ethos at the centre a rapidly gentrifying neighbourhood” says Jason Gilmore. “Following up with him 10 years later, we were equally fascinated to see where life had taken him.”

Inside Kenk will also air on TVO September 5 at 10 pm, September 7 at 10:30 pm, and will be available to stream anytime across Canada on tvo.org.

Offering further context, interested viewers can also check out KENK: The Interactive Graphic Novel (www.insidekenk.ca), available later in August, to expand the backstory of Igor Kenk. Developed in the style of the best-selling graphic novel KENK: A Graphic Portrait, users can read chapters of the comic book and tap to bring individual panels to life through animation or jump directly into the original underlying documentary source materials to learn more.

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