2017 Feature Film

100 min


Set in an East Toronto neighborhood, THE RIVER YOU STEP IN is about a maverick social worker and the troubled people she tries to help, and engages with issues of domestic abuse, addiction, and racial prejudice.

When a young First Nations client dies after being committed to police custody, social worker Stevie struggles to keep the troubled people she encounters away from the system she no longer trusts. Opening her East End Toronto home as a safe haven for people 'at risk' - George, an ex-con and chronic gambler, Tracy, a down and out musician, and Mina, a battered wife - Stevie tries to mend some broken lives, but she masks her own issues by burying herself in theirs. "I'd say get a life," says her paramedic boyfriend Ben, "but you already have more than one!" Stevie struggles as her personal issues intersect with the messy lives of her clients, while Ben, her former police detective colleague Gabe, and her co-worker, family lawyer Inez, all do their best to cope with Stevie's loving but conflicted interactions with the needy strangers in her midst. Only when she defends Mina against her abusive husband Karl is Stevie confronted with the real dangers of crossing professional boundaries.


Directed by Jon Michaelson

Written by Jon Michaelson, Astrid Van Wieren, Derek Brown

Produced by Emily Andrews, Laura Nordin, Jon Michaelson, Robbie Michaelson, Jason Sharman, Astrid Van Wieren

Cinematography by Blake Hannahson

Edited by Jason Sharman

Starring Astrid Van Wieren, Sharmila Dey, Daniel Brere, Claire Burns, Marcel Stewart