Documentary

5 Things to Remember When Making Your First Documentary

Molly Willows | Posted 11.24.2014 | Canada Living
Molly Willows

There's no denying it -- docs are hot. Between HBO's high-gloss productions, Netflix's rise in documentaries, the influx of Kickstarter/Indieigogo campaigns, and the democratization of filmmaking gear via iPhones and cheap cameras, docs are everywhere. So you dream of making a doc?

'Not Criminally Responsible' Patients Come Out of the Shadows

John Kastner | Posted 12.03.2014 | Canada Impact
John Kastner

Most high-profile NCR patients -- that is, sufferers of mental illness who have committed horrific acts of violence and have been declared "not criminally responsible" by the courts -- are usually kept well-hidden from public view. But on Wednesday, October 8, another high-profile NCR patient, Sean Clifton, who tried his best to stab to death a complete stranger because his psychosis led him to believe he had to kill "the prettiest girl in the mall," will bravely step on stage to face the public after the screening of my documentary NCR: Not Criminally Responsible, in which he is featured.

I'm Caught Up in the Whirlwind of Cannes

Marie-Josée Saint-Pierre | Posted 07.22.2014 | Canada Living
Marie-Josée Saint-Pierre

I'm caught up in the whirlwind of the world's biggest film festival, Cannes. Here, young filmmakers are realizing their dreams. My turn will come on Thursday afternoon when I present Jutra on the Croisette at Cannes. My stomach is doing flips at the thought of going onstage to introduce my film. But I'm also deeply proud.

My First Time at Cannes: The Trip of My Life

Marie-Josée Saint-Pierre | Posted 07.20.2014 | Canada Living
Marie-Josée Saint-Pierre

Cannes is not your ordinary film festival; set up in an idyllic location where the beach deploys its beauty in the background and palm trees provide the shade, everything seems to be bigger, louder and somehow showcasing the complexities of oppositions in the film industry.

Documentaries May Be Cool, But They Aren't Making Money

Kevin McMahon | Posted 07.03.2014 | Canada Living
Kevin McMahon

Canadian governments and broadcasters have been quietly withdrawing all support for documentary. Commercial television, now concentrated in the hands of a few megacorps, does its shareholder diligence by playing strictly to the cheap seats; its screens are filled with sporting fights, gun-toting men, bouncing breasts and dancing cats. Federal governments, increasingly influenced by neo-liberal doctrine, have been shrinking the NFB and CBC for a generation now while refusing to enforce license conditions which might force TV to create a little public parkland within the malling of our mindscapes.

What Do You Do When Your Star Quits Your Film?

John Kastner | Posted 06.29.2014 | Canada
John Kastner

There he stood with his excellent manners telling me politely that he did not want to be in my film, or discuss his tragic case or for that matter have anything further to do with me, not now or ever. And for the next few months, cut me dead. Welcome to the cruel realities of the world of documentary making. It's supposed to get easier when you've won four Emmys.

Would You Expose Your Darkest Secrets For a Documentary?

Angela Hartlin | Posted 06.11.2014 | Canada Living
Angela Hartlin

Have you ever wondered what it would be like for a film crew to follow you day in and day out, documenting your daily rituals all in an effort to create a successful film? I have a chronic condition called Dermatillomania, which has left me scarred and disfigured on the outside, alienated and "different" on the inside.

Noor Inayat Khan: The Muslim Spy Who Fought The Third Reich

Hina P. Ansari | Posted 06.11.2014 | Canada
Hina P. Ansari

With our media landscape filled with historical wartime accounts of various heroes and heroines and their respective call of duties, I honestly though...

Why You Need To Visit The Calgary Underground Film Festival

Shannon McClennan | Posted 06.07.2014 | Canada Alberta
Shannon McClennan

As a self-admitted film fan, I'll be taking in as many of these underground gems as I can, but even the best of us need a little guidance when it comes to structuring seven days of celluloid immersion. So here I have for you my top picks for this years' Calgary Underground Film Festival.

How My Documentary Film Took Me From a Glacier in Alberta to Sundance

Chelsea McMullan | Posted 03.27.2014 | Canada
Chelsea McMullan

It was a gruelling schedule. I came to deeply respect the life of the touring musician as I battled reoccurring ear infections and worriedly Googled the symptoms for scurvy after eating at McDonald's three times in one day, and enlisted our coats and bags to construct makeshift bunks on the overnight bus rides.

Fort McMoney: A Documentary Game That's Quickly Becoming a Reality

David Dufresne | Posted 02.15.2014 | Canada
David Dufresne

This week, the third episode of our documentary game came to life and exceeded all our expectations. And this week, tens of thousands of players the w...

The Many Global Citizens Living in Fort McMoney

Dominique Willieme | Posted 02.10.2014 | Canada Alberta
Dominique Willieme

For about two weeks now, everyone who stops by our office has been wondering the same thing: Why do we keep glancing obsessively at a second screen, over there on the side of the room to the left? That second screen shows a small map of the world, scrolling bars and a number that changes constantly: the number of people playing Fort McMoney at this very moment.

Fort McMoney: Make Your Worldview Triumph!

David Dufresne | Posted 01.25.2014 | Canada
David Dufresne

In a few days, Fort McMoney will finally emerge after more than two years of gestation. The experience is going to plunge you into the heart of the black gold rush and let you explore the city, interact with its residents, and address questions to oil industry bosses and environmental activists. The Fort McMoney experience will be a kind of web-era platform for direct democracy. The winner, if there is one, will be the battle of ideas.

VIFF 2013: 'Finding Vivian Maier' Reviewed

Heather Magee | Posted 12.06.2013 | Canada British Columbia
Heather Magee

In 2007, Chicago-based historian and collector John Maloof discovered 100,000 negatives and hundreds of hours of Super 8 film footage and audio recordings which he acquired during a storage locker auction. What he didn't know was he was on the cusp of uncovering some of the most prolific American street photography of the 20th century. Vivian Maier spent next forty years working as a nanny for various families of Chicago's upper crust neighborhoods. She also spent much of her time with a Rolleiflex camera hanging from her neck, shooting people and scenes around the city, a hobby she kept quiet throughout her life. Her subjects ranged from the rich and affluent to the poor and impoverished with a penchant for politics and highlighting historical moments.

Can Documentary Films Be Catalysts For Change?

Liz Marshall | Posted 07.28.2013 | Canada
Liz Marshall

I'm often asked: Do you really believe in change? And while I acknowledge that it's hard to be hopeful sometimes, I do, undeniably, believe that a better world is always possible. This is where documentaries play a significant cultural sociopolitical role. They are the narratives of our times.

Roméo Dallaire's Fight to Make Child Soldiers an Oxymoron

Adam Moscoe | Posted 07.16.2013 | Canada Impact
Adam Moscoe

Fight Like Soldiers, Die Like Children humanizes the global struggle to end the use of children in armed conflict. Pushing aside the morass of international norms and NGO reports -- important and useful as they are -- Dallaire asks a simple yet harrowing question: how is it that we can go "apeshit" -- to use his word -- when our own children's rights are violated, but passively accept the reality of child soldiers throughout the world?

Where Is The Love In Social Struggle?

Jarrah Hodge | Posted 07.02.2013 | Canada British Columbia
Jarrah Hodge

When B.C. filmmaker Velcrow Ripper started making Occupy Love in 2009, some of his activist friends weren't sure what to make of his questions. How can the crises we're facing socially, economically and environmentally become - of all things - a love story? But as he continued to film social movements from the Arab Spring to the European Summer, Occupy Wall Street and environmental movements, he started seeing a shift, with more and more people responding: "Of course it's a love story."

Finding Community in Peru

Elia Saikaly | Posted 09.24.2012 | Canada Travel
Elia Saikaly

Since my departure from Canada five days ago, I've flown from Lima to Cusco, met up and spent time with my friend's in Cusco, rented a 4x4, explored various remote regions in the Sacred Valley, developed the FindingLife 2014 student initiative, paragliding, mountain biking and canyoning were all part of the agenda.

Tar Trek: New Short Film Offers a Teenage Take on the Alberta Tar Sands

Heather Libby | Posted 11.27.2011 | Canada
Heather Libby

When we talk about the Alberta tar sands, a lot of phrases come to mind. "Summer vacation spot" is generally not one of them.