Throat Singing In Kangirsuk
Description of the film: Eva Kaukai and Manon Chamberland practice the Inuk art of throat singing in their small village of Kangirsuk. Their mesmerizing voices carry through the four seasons of their Arctic land.
Director biography: Eva Kaukai was born in Nunavik on January 13, 2001. She grew up in Kangirsuk. With Wapikoni Mobile, she was able to use sound and video to express her reality, her culture and her attachment to the land through throat singing.
Manon Chamberland was born in Nunavik on March 19, 2002. She grew up in Kangirsuk. With Wapikoni Mobile, she was able to use sound and video to express her reality, her culture and her attachment to the land through throat singing.
Social Media: @wapikoni
Description of the film: “Daddy” is a story about a young girl catching her father packing his bags to run away from his abusive, alcoholic wife and the trials and tribulations that follow.
Director biography: “Daddy” marks the first directorial collaboration between Nathanael Vass and Leah Barley. Nathanael is a Vancouver-based filmmaker known for his psychological horror films (O for a Thousand Tongues, Silk) and for his dreamy, love-infused music videos (Natalie Moon – “Sweetness in the Shadows”, Skye Wallace – “Scarlet Fever”). Leah is a folk-rock singer/songwriter with over a decade of performing under her belt, performing for festivals such as JUNOfest and CBC Music in Vancouver. A musician with a keen ear for storytelling, “Daddy” is her directorial debut and the spark of a love for a new medium in which to tell her stories.
Social Media: Instagram: @nathanaelvass
Living in the Story
Description of the film: Living in the Story explores three photographic series dealing with immigration/internment and nuclear issues by distinguished photographic artist Patrick Ryoichi Nagatani. These issues are particularly relevant today, in light of escalating threats of war, toxic pollution and a growing refugee population worldwide. Nagatani pioneered a new visual vocabulary by constructing tableau photographs from sets, sculptures, models, and paintings. The film portrays an artist deeply concerned and well informed about world events who uses imagery, storytelling and narrative fiction to raise awareness, with emphasis on the threat of nuclear weapons technology and government policies that foment fear of immigrants and minorities.
Director Biography: Lynn Estomin is a video and interactive media artist who creates art that speaks to social issues. As an artist who deals with political subjects, she is interested in human stories and what they tell us about society. Estomin has directed ten documentaries on a variety of human rights issues including domestic violence, women in the military, garment workers, Katrina, teenage pregnancy and racial profiling. Her award-winning documentaries have been exhibited at film festivals internationally and broadcast nationally on PBS. Her web art won awards from Adobe Corporation and The Webby Awards.
The Weapon You Choose
Description of the film: Born and raised in the projects on the south side of Chicago, Eric experienced a childhood of peril and trauma. Coping with a father who was both distant and violent, Eric turned to a life on the streets in his hometown, America’s most dangerous city. He reveled in drugs, guns and gang violence throughout his formative years. The turning point came the evening after his twentieth birthday, as Eric’s relationship with his dad reached a violent crescendo. Eric provides an intimate account of this fateful night and how he tries to redirect his energy toward a new passion: creating music.
Director Biography: Chris Newberry is an award-winning documentary filmmaker based in Minneapolis. His films have appeared on two acclaimed PBS series, America Reframed and Independent Lens, as well as several national and international television networks. Chris’s first feature-length film, AMERICAN HEART, enjoyed a successful festival run and made its national broadcast debut in 2015 on the PBS World Channel. His latest feature as producer and cinematographer, TIME FOR ILHAN, premiered at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival and recently took home a Daytime Emmy Award. Chris is currently in production on his third feature-length documentary, which explores the 1989 abduction of Jacob Wetterling.
Social Media: Instagram: @chrisnewberry Twitter: @cfnewberry
Description of the film: “Nadia’s Songs” follows a teenage boy who finds a collection of CDs that used to belong to a stranger known only as Nadia. In their shared taste in music he imagines her life story while in turn reflecting on his own. One part essay and one part love letter to second hand music shops, “Nadia’s Songs” explores the many ways we can forge our identities through the art we consume and things we collect as young adults.
Director Biography: Born and raised in Orangeville, Ontario, Canada, Nick White began making short experimental films on his own in his teenage years before attending York University’s film production program. His past works have straddled multiple styles including essay films, experimental, documentary, science fiction, and comedy. He has continued to work as a picture editor and sound designer on films for others while he directs his own projects.
Five Bucks at the Door: The Story of Crocks N Rolls
Description of the film: In the mid-’80s and early ’90s, the heyday of indie rock, Crocks N Rolls became the epicentre of Canadian pop culture. Located in Thunder Bay, Ontario, atop the iconic Highway 61, Crocks (as it is affectionately called by its patrons) was a bridge for East and West coast musicians crisscrossing their way through the country. The story focuses on those pre-internet days of D.I.Y. culture and the grassroots alternative movement. The documentary talks with seminal independent Canadian musicians each having a personal connection to the venue and its owner Frank Loffredo — who turned his family-owned Italian restaurant into a premiere Canadian venue. All roads lead to Crocks, and 30-years later its impact is still being felt.
Director Biography: Kirsten Kosloski is a documentary filmmaker, media artist and educator. Originally from Thunder Bay, Ontario, she turned a passion for pop culture into a career, and has spent most of her adult life obsessing over music and film. She has been a music writer, film critic and editor at FFWD, Calgary’s alternative weekly. In Thunder Bay, she founded the artist-run media arts collective, North Light Media Collective, and has directed and produced documentaries about the Northwestern Ontario region. FIVE BUCKS AT THE DOOR: THE STORY OF CROCKS N ROLLS is her second feature film.
All It Gives
Description of the film: Showcasing one of Toronto’s best up and coming Hiphop dancing stars, “All It Gives” follows the story of Kosi Eze, a Nigerian immigrant who moved to Canada when she was 14. Her transition to the country brought immense culture shock, loneliness and loss of identity. She was immediately hooked by the vibrant HipHop scene in Toronto and Mississauga. After meeting key members of the dance community Marcelino “FrostFlow” DaCosta, Mariano “Glizzi” Abarca and Caroline “Lady C” Fraser, she was able to meet even more new people, share perspectives, and excel as a dancer in the Toronto community and beyond. From dancing in the hallways at her high school, to winning battles across the globe, Kosi’s story of growth is a glowing example of how the power of Hiphop can inspire, uplift and support anyone who needs it and wants to discover it.
Director Biography: A professional dancer and filmmaker, Talia Woodland is a multi-media artist from Whitehorse, Yukon. Wearing many creative hats, she feels adept both in front of and behind the camera. A graduate of Humber College’s renowned Film & Television Production program, her foray into documentary filmmaking began with her as picture editor on the critically acclaimed short,“Stripped.” From there, she worked as a camera operator on several short film projects, which led to her role as Cinematographer on the short musical drama, “Lola Jones.” Talia is excited to be releasing her directorial debut, a hip-hop dance documentary entitled “All It Gives.” Her strong connection to the dance community comes from the work she has done with Borealis Soul, a multimedia dance and theatre company from Whitehorse Yukon. Her hard work at Humber earned her the 2019 Women in Film Award. A recent graduate, Talia is interning with celebrated Canadian filmmaker Liz Marshall and continuing her dance work with Borealis Soul. Talia is excited to continue working on diverse multimedia projects in Toronto, Whitehorse and beyond.
A Series on Surviving
Film Description: A Series on Surviving follows the inner monologue of two survivors in their journey after experiencing sexual violence. Exploring the words they cannot say outloud and the feelings they battle with.
Director Biography: Elizabeth Broghanne Jessamine is the Artistic Director and Owner of Elemental Women Productions LLC and a survivor. Originally from Scotland Broghanne has worked in Theatre (#metoo plays, The Left and Right Plays), Voice over (Panda and Krash) and Film since emigrating to the United States of America. Prior to moving to New York, Broghanne participated in numerous performing arts cultural festivals throughout Scotland and in Germany to bring theatre and performance that explores social issues to a wider audience.
Film Description: Inspired by guest book entries of artists in residence at Riding Mountain National Park, Amber O’Reilly weaves a thoughtful poem about overcoming creative insecurities and embracing nature.
Director Biography: Sara Bulloch is a filmmaker from Winnipeg, Canada. Many of her films explore themes of mental health, social media, and relationships. As an intersectional feminist, she believes women have valuable perspectives to bring to the screen.
Bible Camp Memories
Film Description: Damien revisits his experiences at Bible Camp from the ages of 11 to 13. He couldn’t fit in at school, but maybe he might fit in at camp? Watch
Damien dive back into past traumas with oblivious camp counselors, fresh air, nature, evangelical Christianity, and worst of all, a cabin full of five other thirteen-year-old boys.
Director Biography: Damien Ferland is a self-analyzing filmmaker who tries to find the humour out of any past situation. It only takes him a few years to get over what happened in order to share the story.
Métis Femme Bodies
Film Description: Métis Femme Bodies is an exploration into the experiences of what has become a repressed identity in both Indigenous and femme forms. Métis Femme Bodies aims to offer visibility and voice to those who have been denied such luxury in order to accurately represent themselves and correct misleading narratives imposed by greater power structures.
Director Biography: A dyslexic 7w6 who does not know her sun sign from her moon sign, Chanelle Lajoie is continuously striving to align her ethics, principals, and goals better than she does her posture. As a Queer Métis Femme living on Treaty 1 Territory, community building is Chanelle’s medicine. Rooting and weaving her academic studies, work, and creative passions closely alongside her personal politics aids in merging the communities that reside in each.
How Did We Get Here
Film Description: How Did We Get Here is a short drama film. It follows Kieran, an introverted artist who is reflecting on his relationship with a girl named Valerie. Kieran feels like Valerie changed his life, he doesn’t feel so miserable, he comes out of his shell and tries a different art style. After the excitement from the new relationship fades away and Kieran starts to feel the way he did before meeting Valerie which impacts their relationship.
Director Biography: Liam Leblanc is a blossoming filmmaker from Manitoulin Island in Northern Ontario. Currently based in North Bay, Liam has graduated the Digital
Cinematography program at Canadore College. He is working in the film and television industry but is always working on scripts and producing his own projects. He hopes to produce, write and direct feature length films in the future.
Life in Synchro
Film Description: If a single figure skater is a marvel, a team of figure skaters is practically a miracle. Welcome to the beautiful, cold, hard world of synchronized ice skating – the toughest sport you’ve never heard of.
Director Biography: Angela is a Baltimore-based Dominican-American filmmaker who has produced and worked on various fiction and documentary films. Her first feature film, Life in Synchro, is about the most feminist sport you’ve never heard of: synchronized ice skating. The documentary has screened at over 20 festivals across the country. She is the co-producer/co-writer for Riding Wild, a Saul Zaentz Innovation Fund film, about a BMX-lifer who dreams big and builds an illegal bike park on a patch of forgotten woods in Baltimore City. She earned her MFA in Film and Electronic Media from American University.
The Long Ride Home
Film Description: Years of inter-generational trauma has caused an over representation of First Nations children in care causing further trauma and leading to dangerous coping methods and often death.A brave group of natives leave on a nomadic horseback journey 600 kms south. Powered only by their spirit and tradition they attempt to spark change, bring awareness of the missing indigenous women, 60s scoop survivors and bring their children home.
Director Biography: Steve Haining is an internationally award winning photographer gone director from Hamilton Canada. Growing up in the North American music industry he started his career shooting creative portraits and documenting travel for musicians and other celebrities. Over the past decade his unique perspective and lighting pushed him into the film industry where he began doing DOP work for TV, commercials and music videos. In 2018 he fell in love with the art of directing for films and television and has been doing that since!
Film Description: The Mill is a gripping portrait of a rural community deeply divided over the fate of the local pulp mill. Welcome to Pictou County, Nova Scotia where a plan to redirect pulp effluent into the fishing grounds of the Northumberland Strait has stirred controversy. Lobster fishermen say “No Pipe!” The mill says “No Pipe No Mill”. A line has been drawn and with hundreds of jobs at stake the issue has reached a boiling point! An interprovincial co-production between Halifax based Vertical Productions Inc. and Toronto based Site Media Inc.
Director Biography: David W. Craig | Producer, Writer, Director
Based in Toronto and Pictou County, David Craig is a co-founder of the independent documentary film company Site Media Inc., and a producer on all its films. Site Media’s last film, Strange and Familiar: Architecture on Fogo Island, won Best Atlantic Documentary at the 2015 Atlantic Film Festival and screened around the world. Before heading to Toronto to work at the Ontario Arts Council and Telefilm Canada, he started his career in film in Halifax working on William D. MacGillivray’s Life Classes, one of the first feature films to be made in Atlantic Canada.
Valley of the Southern North
Film Description: Valley of the Southern North is a love letter to The Peace Valley and the people and creatures that make it their home. The Site C dam, now under construction, will be used to power fracking operations and will destroy ancestral territory of the Dane Zaa and Cree, violate treaties and displace residents, farmers, and wildlife living along its shores.
Director Biography: Byron Dueck is photo journalist and award winning documentarian, currently based in Vancouver. He holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Lethbridge, a GrDip in Visual Journalism from Concordia University and an MFA in Documentary Media from Ryerson University. His work focuses on the intersection of human rights, protest movements, and the environment.
Mni Wiconi: Mitakuyelo (Water is Life: Protect It, Defend It)
Film Description: Nearly a year after meeting at the Oceti Sakowin camp during the NoDAPL resistance movement at Standing Rock, five Indigenous Water Protectors are reunited in Toronto, Ontario to share the ways in which the ‘spirit of the camp’ created a family out of their shared passion and action, ultimately transforming their lives forever. Brought together by a calling to protect the water, their experiences moved them to further elevate their voices in solidarity with the global Indigenous community.
Director Biography: Victoria Anderson-Gardner is a queer Indigenous filmmaker and activist. They come from the Ojibway lands of Eagle Lake First Nation and currently based out of Thunder Bay, Ontario. The most recent projects they have worked on include: An Inconvenient Indian directed by Michelle Latimer; they co-directed “Inviolable” (segment) for In Search of a Perfect World directed by Manfred Becker and hosted by Peter Mansbridge, along with numerous other independent films that are in post- production.
Film Description: The “Squeegee Boys” are best known for washing windshields of cars stopped at intersections around Baltimore. Seen by some as hooligans and by others as entrepreneurs, little is known about the actual circumstances that drive these young men to pick up a squeegee. This documentary follows the working days of seven young men as they navigate the busy intersections of Baltimore in search of tips. The footage shows scenes likely familiar to many locals who daily encounter the “squeegee boys” from their cars. But shown from the point of the view of the “squeegee boys”, the film offers new insights into the lived experiences of these young men.
Director Biography: Filmmaker, photographer, and educator based in Baltimore, Maryland. Khalid studied filmmaking at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California with the intention of pursuing a career in Hollywood. That all changed when he travelled to China for the first time. Upon graduation, Khalid began taking yearly trips to China to collaborate with brothers Omar and Tariq on more ambitious personal projects. These trips evolved into a series of short documentaries exploring Chinese kung fu, street food, and folk music. Khalid is co-founder of Ali Films, a dynamic, geographically mobile film production company specializing in promotional and industrial documentaries. He has been instructor of digital film at George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology since 2010.
Film Description: Cara, a professor who teaches about prisons, is stunned when she learns that her mother Jo was jailed as a teenager for running away from home – a secret Jo had kept her entire life in deep shame. Confused that she has never heard of these youth jails called Training Schools, Cara hits the books and the streets, meeting other survivors, and immersing herself in the vast history of these Canadian institutions that terrorized generations of poor children. But as Cara tries to help her mother, she soon realizes she is also facing the unspoken intergenerational traumas that have shaped her own life.
Director Biogaraphy: Lokchi Lam is a Toronto resident and emerging doc-maker who loves to chew on paradigmatic ideas about power and society through both observational mode and deep-dive systemic and historical research.
Cara Fabre is settler of English, Irish, Scottish, and German descent currently living in the territory of the Mississaugas of the New Credit, the Haudenosaunee, the Anishnaabe, and the Wendat, which is governed by the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant. She strives in her work and relationships to identify and transform oppressive structures by centering the wisdom and liberation of oppressed people. She has been doing prison education work for a decade. She is a writer, educator, and an animal lover. Unmanageable is her first film project.
Land of my Father
Film Description: Set in the unresolved trauma of the Japanese occupation of Korea, Land of My Father (아버지의 땅) is a story about two individuals who take on the establishment in an attempt to change accepted historical narratives. A Korean farmer protests the Japanese government in Tokyo for claiming the disputed island territory of Dokdo after finding out his father was abducted and enslaved in a coal mine during the Japanese occupation of Korea. A Korean woman who lived on Dokdo with her father struggles to keep his legacy alive after the Korean government mysteriously erased their history of being pioneering residents.
Director Biography: Matthew is a filmmaker, cinematographer, and professor based in the USA. He has been the cinematographer on documentary films that have played at International Documentary Festival Amsterdam, Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, DocumentaMadrid, and True/False Film Festival. In 2016 he received the Antarctic Service Medal from the US congress when he was commissioned by the National Science Foundation to travel to the Antarctic Peninsula to make a documentary about paleontological expeditions and has a film playing at Carnegie Museum of Natural History about dinosaurs of Antarctica. Matthew personally focuses on cinema-vérité documentary films that explore the evolution of tradition, individual and national identity, and unseen processes. Land of My Father is Matthew’s feature documentary directorial debut.
Healing the Nation
Film Description: ‘Healing the Nation’ is a documentary following the healing journey of community members from the Toronto-based Aboriginal Healing Program which has been designed and led by Elder Little Brown Bear (Ernest W. Matton, Athehsa Niohkwá:rita:a) for First Nation, Métis and Inuit persons. The Elder believes that being Aboriginal is a way of life, not a lifestyle. The strong cultural foundation of this program provides a stable, safe and confidential environment for which community members can explore current and past unresolved issues that need to be addressed to help them on their trauma, mental health and addictions healing journey.
This empowering documentary dares us to think beyond mainstream medicine and embrace Indigenous ways for overcoming mental health and addiction issues.
Director Biography: Jack Major is an LGBTQ+ documentary filmmaker and writer. He currently co-runs Mission + Theory Co., a purpose-driven video production company that reinvests its profits into creating documentaries with a social impact. Jack’s first short documentary ‘The Venus Project’ won Best Social Impact Film at the Grenada Afterglow Film Festival, as well as Best Micro Short at the Oregon Documentary Film Festival.
Ernest W. Matton is an artist, mental health and addictions counsellor, and an Elder in his community. He takes his years of experience in the field and in life to make wellness practices and spirituality accessible to others.
Life After Life
Film Description: When Sarah, Eneida, and Juanita join a dance outreach program for seniors, a choreographer challenges them to create and perform an original modern dance in one week. As the recital approaches, the women struggle to overcome a range of mental and physical limitations. What they create, and their journey along the way, offers an intimate look at what happens to the creative process when every body dances. Life After Life is a poignant, surprising, and at times hilarious documentary about aging, ability, and artistic expression that shows it is never too late to explore the unknown.
Director Biography: Dr. Christopher Boulton has written and produced television for Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, Discovery Channel, Travel Channel, and Court TV. His films on sports, science, and dance have shown at festivals all over the world including Filmwinter in Germany, Revelation in Australia, On Art in Poland, Besides the Screen in Brazil, and the Sarasota, Santa Cruz, and Cinema on the Bayou film festivals in the United States.
Film Description: Rahel has come from early childhood in rural Ethiopia to becoming an intensely devoted student at a top art school in the US. She has just been recognised for her talent and rewarded with an invitation to prepare her first ever solo exhibition. As she is immersed in the creation process, an old friend knocks on the studio door, eager to celebrate this first milestone in Rahel’s career. But why can’t she bring herself to sign her own artwork? The old friend knows only too well where the sore point is. Rahel is haunted by her own surname, yet has a much stronger reason not to change it. This dilemma evokes Rahel’s memories of when the old friend was her academic advisor at high school. By then, Rahel had managed to adapt to America, but not to the dark despair of being in the grip of a dysfunctional family.
Director Biography: We were both wandering souls who had come to feel so much at home in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. And yet it was by complete chance that we stumbled into another in the city nightlife. Thus Ethiopian-American Abezash Tamerat met me, Gonzalo Guajardo, Spanish by birth and Ethiopian by heart. That was in 2016. Though only in her mid-30s, she was writing her memoirs. What she had been through before we met turned out to be harrowing, shocking, tearful, yet also profoundly inspiring. I was blown away and wanted to take it to the screen. So much happened since then. We married, had a child, I got a scholarship to come to Los Angeles, pursued a Master’s Degree in Filmmaking, and finally directed this short film as a foretaste of a much longer and larger format that we hope to bring to life in the years to come.
Film Description: A hopeless romantic discovers an unlikely intruder and finds love at first fight.
Director Biography: Justin & Kristin Schaack are a comedy directing duo that have been making films together for 20 years. They’re a married team that started their creative partnership in the theater…waaaaaay off-broadway. Since their illustrious career on the middle school stage, they’ve found success directing commercials, online content, and independent films that have screened at 300+ international film festivals, receiving over 20 audience choice awards and over 70 jury awards.
Film Description: Allyson catches a lucky break when she’s given the opportunity to co-write and publish a novel with her best friend. Allyson quickly realizes how difficult it can be to balance co-writing a novel with keeping up her relationship with her aging father, and new boyfriend. As she strives to find equilibrium between her personal relationships and her drive to become a successful artist, she is forced to compromise in ways that she never would have anticipated. In order to become the writer she’s always wanted to be, Allyson will see just how far she’s willing to go.
Director Biography: Trivelle Simpson cut his teeth for nearly a decade as a poet and music artist exploring the avenues of narrative storytelling to audiences of different interests, disciplines and focuses. After loving the experience of directing several music videos, Trivelle decided to pursue a new creative avenue of storytelling through film. The foundations of a good story change depending on the persons trying to tell it. It is these foundations, and the ways that they change that are the most fascinating to this developing director. The goal is to make something people enjoy and enjoy talking about after it’s over.
Brave Little Army
Film Description: The bold new girl at school inspires three classmates to follow her down a blissful path of self-realization, where they stumble upon a dark truth that forever galvanizes their friendship. Director Bio: Michelle D’Alessandro Hatt is an award-winning filmmaker based in Toronto. Brave Little Army, her directorial debut, made with an all-female crew, has been a selection of numerous festivals, including the Canadian Film Festival and Fantasia International Film Festival, winning Best Short at Voce Spettacolo Film Festival (Matera, Italy), a Special Jury Mention at Festival Courts d’un Soir (Montreal, Canada), and a Jury Award at Lady Filmmakers Festival (Los Angeles, USA).
Director Biography: Michelle is a Canadian actor and filmmaker, known for her directorial debut Brave Little Army (2018), Lifechanger (2018) and Friends on Facebook (2017). She has appeared in numerous independent films that have screened at festivals worldwide and on the Sundance Channel.
The Window’s Muse
Film Description: A painter lacking inspiration, Moussa moved to a new neighbourhood. As soon as he arrived, he was intrigued by the calm that reigned in his alley. He never sees his neighbours. Except for this young girl who lives across the street from him. A young girl he can’t figure out. The day she appears before him veiled, and at night she reveals herself completely. The situation begins to turn into an obsession for Moussa. This young girl may well be his new muse.
Director Biography: Filmmaker, photographer and journalist, Mamadou Diop lives and works in Dakar and in some African cities. After a Master’s degree in film and audiovisual in Cape Verde in 2011, he directed his first short film which has participated in several festivals in Senegal, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Canada among others. Since then, he has been involved in several projects as Director of Photography. Today he works as a reporter/videojournalist while continuing to develop his film projects.
Film Description: Anna, a middle-aged single mother, lives in a small industrial town in war-torn Eastern Ukraine. She works in a meat processing plant, lives in a rundown apartment and dreams for a better life for herself and her 16-year-old daughter.
Desperate for a change, she is lured by a radio advertisement to attend a party organized for foreign men who are touring the country, searching for love. Despite not having been out for years she decides to take part in the event.
At the party, Anna is confronted with the realities of old age, with the American men’s real intentions, and by her underaged daughter who is also attending the event. Both mother and daughter realize the absurdity and indignity of the situation and abandon their dream for a better life.
Director Biography: Dekel Berenson is a UK based writer, director, and member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Drawing inspiration from travelling to more than sixty countries, Dekel explores real-world social and humanitarian issues. His film ‘Anna’ premiered in Competition at the 72nd Cannes Film Festival, won the Best British Short Film award at the 22nd BIFA awards, and was shortlisted for a BAFTA. His short film, ‘Ashmina’ won numerous prizes, including Best Short Film at the 59th Krakow Film Festival and Best Live Action Short at the 36th Jerusalem Film Festival, qualifying the film for Academy Awards consideration.
Film Description: Ashmina tells the story of a 13-year old girl in Nepal, who lives with her family on the outskirts of Pokhara – the paragliding capital of the world. Ashmina must miss out on childhood experiences and schooling in order to help her family earn money from the tourists that flock to the area.
Director Biography: Passionate about writing and storytelling, Dekel has been shooting short “films” since he was 8 years old, using a VHS camcorder and a VCR for editing. When he was 21, after completing a mandatory three years’ service in the Israeli Defense Forces, he left his home country and moved to Budapest, London and New York before embarking on a five years long trip around the world, reaching far away places as the North Pole and Mount Everest. He returned to London in 2016 to write, direct, and produce his first film – The Girls Were Doing Nothing. The film has since been screened at dozens of festivals and received critical acclaim. His second short film, Ashmina, was inspired by his travels and is being turned into a full-length feature. The film will be made of five segments, each shot in a different country, and will capture the struggles that women face around the world, regardless of their age, race, or social background.
Film Description: SAINT-TITE tells the story of a family living their last weekend together at the rodeos of the Festival Western de Saint-Tite.
Director Biography: Since 2011, Florence Pelletier has had the chance to write and direct several short films and documentaries that have appeared at festivals in Québec and overseas. In 2013, alongside Juliette Gosselin, Florence co-directed the fiction short film MES ANGES À TÊTE NOIRE, which won the Horizon Award at Sundance Film Festival. In 2014, Florence’s short drama BROMANCE was presented at AirCanada Enroute Festival. Later that year, her short comedy FONDUE CHINOISE brought home ‘Jury Prize’ at the Montreal World Film Festival.
Film Description: Mike, a scruffy man in his late 20s is a financially struggling pilot chartered to fly a mysterious passenger to a remote airfield. The routine flight goes sour when Mike discovers the stolen Heart of the Ocean; a famous necklace worth millions in The Man’s briefcase. Mike wants to get in on this deal to solve his financial problems and make a better life for his family but is afraid of what he might be getting himself into.
Director Biography: I’m Christopher Bond, the director of SOAR. I made SOAR with the help of many others here in Thunder Bay where I’ve lived my whole life. Directing for me has become one of my all time goals to continue with after finishing my post secondary education at Lakehead after this year. I hope to make many more films like this in the future and make them even better than the last.
Film Description: A teenage girl in Iran is a model unbeknown to her traditional and religious father. At her sister’s wedding, her father finds out about her job. The girl, who has spent her income to help her sister get married, realizes that her sister has exposed her to her father. The father scissors her long hair, but she tries to continue her career whit her new style.
Director Biography: Atefeh Rahmani is a Women Filmmaker. ISFA official member (Iranian Short Film Association) She works as an Independent filmmaker in Iran. She made 5 short films and won several awards from many festivals around the world. She also Works as Assistant Director in the film industry.
Film Descriptions: Scott is looking for love in all the wrong places. Will he find it ? Or will it be disastrous.
Director Biography: Born and raised in Ottawa, Ontario; Mandie Kingsbury moved to Toronto in 2016 to seek an education and career in Film Production. With a fascination in the horror genre, she was able to write and direct her first film, “WITHIN”, while attending the Toronto Film School. “MATERNAL LOVE” and “DREAM DATE”, allowed her to explore a world away from blood and guts to look closely at love, loss and laughs. Someday she hopes to walk in the footsteps of directors, such as Wes Craven and Steven Spielberg, to create a collection of films for every generation.
The Manhattan Project
Film Description: ‘The Manhattan Project’ is a character-driven dark-comedy set in a small-town in Northern Ontario. The film follows local cocktail enthusiast Bob Bevaneh as he comes to grips with a cancer diagnosis by devising the perfect plan; take his favorite chair out onto the frozen lake, make a gallon of Manhattans and drink until he freezes to death. The only thing thawing his exit strategy is his son, and a town determined not to let him ruin their tourism season. Filmed on location with the help of local talent and businesses, ‘The Manhattan Project’ captures the serene locales and community spirit indicative of small-town life.
Director Biography: Born in Toronto, Ontario, Matthew holds a degree in Film Studies at Ryerson University. His work to date has been in short films, and his first feature film debuted in 2019.
Film Description: Nick and Frank hatch a plan to break into a house Nick’s parents once owned, under the impression something of value was left there.
Director Biography: Jimmie Chiverelli is a short film director from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. He has written and directed a handful of short films that have been featured around the world. Prior to filmmaking, Jimmie performed with Juno award nominated musician Kalle Mattson. Jimmie’s films have been nominated and won awards at Sudbury Cinefest and the Northern Ontario Music and Film Awards.
Film Description: As Nazis separate children from their parents in the Warsaw Ghetto, a gang of women risks everything to smuggle their friend’s three-month-old baby to safety. Inspired by true events. Starring Alia Shawkat (ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT, SEARCH PARTY), Rebeca Robles (BETTER THINGS), Edin Gali (MAD MEN), and Mark McCullough (LOGAN LUCKY).
Director Biography: Rami is an LA-based writer/director. His award-winning narrative shorts and documentaries have screened worldwide, most recently in the Director’s Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival. He is an alumnus of the Sundance Feature Film Program and Berlinale Talents. Rami is currently developing a feature film with XYZ Films (MANDY, THE RAID) and Scythia Films (THE WITCH), as well as one-hour TV drama, inspired by his own experiences as an immigrant and displaced child of war, for AMC Networks and Participant Media.
No More Jokes
Film Description: On an annual fishing trip Charlie and Peter share a case of beer. Charlie is mildly inebriated and opening up about how his life is falling apart due to an affair, the subsequent divorce, and impending bankruptcy. Compulsively, he tells off-colour jokes to connect with his emotionally distant brother-in-law and to disguise his own misery. Humour sometimes masks despair, hopelessness, a sense of futility. It can also be used to place our sorrow in perspective; as a catalyst to gain a more expansive and grateful viewpoint. “No More Jokes” explores humour expressed in both ways.
Director Biography: Born and Raised in Thunder Bay Ontario, Nicholas Palinka began his film making career in front of the camera and made the transition creating films in 2006. He is very excited to be a part of the Vox Popular Festival for 2020, as he feels that this is a difficult time and bringing No More Jokes to you, will show that we can make humour in any predicament. With out the words on John Pringle this play turned film would never have been conceived, thank you John and all the cast and crew for your passion.
Film Description: The female body is often seen in small pieces. Close ups of full lips, sexy eyes, long legs, etc, are intercut with wide shots to create a convincing whole. But what if we took the pieces apart and found that they belonged to not one, but two women? At first Vanity White’s relationship with the young and pretty Hand Model is clear. The Hand Model will pose for the hands and Vanity will do the rest of the body. On the set for Closer Look’s new beauty product line, Vanity tries to ignore the Hand Model and do her job. But when images of the two woman are edited into one sequence it creates a new disjointed being, a woman made from pieces. Strange things begin to happen and the body becomes confused with its own image.
Director Biography: Often working with feminist sensibilities, Lasha Mowchun has made several films which position the body within the tensions of culture, gender, and power. Using conceptually motivated narratives, Mowchun’s characters realize themselves in odd relationships to their bodies. Their bodies are the source of music, subterfuge or abstraction. Mowchun uses her lens as a mirror to expose hidden reality of the body buried beneath gender, the play of power and the glossy surface of the photograph.
Caribou in the Archive
Film Description: In Caribou in the Archive, rustic VHS home video of a Cree woman hunting caribou in the 1990s is combined with NFB archival film footage of
northern Manitoba from the 1950s. In this experimental film, the difference between homemade video and official historical record is
considered. Northern Indigenous women hunting is at the heart of this personal found footage film in which the filmmaker describes the
enigmatic events that led to saving an important piece of family history from being lost forever.
Director Biography: Jennifer Dysart is an archive enthusiast with a deep love of found footage and experimental films. Her films Caribou in the Archive (2019),
Kewekapawetan: Return After the Flood (2014) and Moss Origins (2011) have screened around the world. She was born in Alberta, raised in
BC, currently lives in Hamilton, Ontario and has Cree roots from South Indian Lake in northern Manitoba, Canada.