Lights for Gita

Director Michel Vo
Year 2002
Run Time 7min
Genre Animation
In her first winter in Canada after her family moved from India, Gita finds a special way to celebrate Divali, the Hindu festival of lights.

Director

Michel Vo

Genre

Animation

Interests

BIPOC Stories, Global Experiences

Original Languages

English, French

Language Versions

EN CC, FR CC

  • Own Voice

Mohawk Girls

Director Tracey Deer (Mohawk)
Year 2005
Run Time 55min
Genre Documentary
For three teenage girls growing up in Kahnawake — and indeed, all teenagers on the reserve — life can be quite confusing. If they want to move away to pursue new experiences — perhaps in nearby Montreal — they risk losing credibility, or worse yet, their rights as Mohawk women. Of course, if they stay, their opportunities in the tiny community are limited.

With insight, humour and heart, director Tracey Deer (who left Kahnawake to attend school and pursue filmmaking) returns to her community to follow these Mohawk girls and tell their stories. Her deeply emotional documentary reveals the complex hope, heartache and promise of growing up Indigenous in the 21st century.

Director

Tracey Deer (Mohawk)

In 2008, Deer won a Gemini Award in Best Documentary Writing, for Club Native. Her debut doc was the award-winning Mohawk Girls, which she adapted into a TV series that ran for five seasons and was nominated for seven CSAs. Beans has won eleven awards, including Best Picture at the CSAs. Most recently, she directed episodes of the series Three Pines, and is currently working on the feature Thorpe, about Native American Olympic gold medalist Jim Thorpe.

 

Writer

Tracey Deer (Mohawk)

Producers

Christina Fon, Linda Ludwick, Adam Symansky, Joanne Robertson

Genre

Documentary

Interests

Biography, BIPOC Stories, Female Filmmaker, Indigenous Filmmaker

Original Language

English

Language Version

EN CC

Canadian Distributor

NFB

Speed Sisters

Director Amber Fares
Year 2015
Run Time 80min
Genre Documentary
The Speed Sisters are the first all-women race car driving team in the Middle East. They're bold. They're fearless. And they're tearing up tracks all over Palestine.

Director

Amber Fares

Writer

Amber Fares

Producers

Amber Fares, Avi Goldstein, Jessica Devaney

Genre

Documentary

Interests

BIPOC Stories, Female Filmmaker, Global Experiences, Sports, Strong Female Leads

Original Language

Other Language

Language Version

EN CC

Canadian Distributor

KinoSmith

Warrendale

Director Allan King
Year 1967
Run Time 100min
Genre Documentary

Originally produced for the CBC (but not aired on TV due to profanity), Warrendale is one of Allan King’s most searing and revealing pieces of work. King places us inside Warrendale (a facility for troubled youth in Toronto’s Rexdale community) like a fly on the wall, and we witness the full spectrum of emotions displayed by 12 fascinating children and the caregivers trying to nurture and guide them.

The stunning Warrendale won the Prix d’art et d’essai at the Cannes film festival and a special documentary award from the National Society of Film Critics.

Director

Allan King

Writer

Allan King

Producer

Allan King

Genre

Documentary

Interest

Social Justice & Politics

Original Language

English

Language Version

EN CC

Canadian Distributor

Allan King Films

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Where The River Widens

Director Zach Greenleaf (Mi’gmaq)
Year 2014
Run Time 5min
Genre Documentary
A lyrical ode to the hard work, determination, and kinship of the fisherman of Gesgapegiag First Nation.

Director

Zach Greenleaf (Mi’gmaq)

Writer

Zach Greenleaf (Mi’gmaq)

Genre

Documentary

Interests

BIPOC Stories, Indigenous Filmmaker

Original Language

English

Language Version

EN CC

Canadian Distributor

Wapikoni Mobile

The Accountant of Auschwitz

Director Matthew Shoychet
Year 2018
Run Time 78min
Genre Documentary

This powerful documentary chronicles the trial of Oskar Gröning, one of the last surviving perpetrators of the Holocaust and a former members of the SS. In 2015, the 94 year old was brought to trial for his role in the murder of 300,000 Jewish people.

This thought-provoking and insightful film explores his life and actions before, after and during the Second World War. An emotionally affecting and intellectually challenging look at responsibility, forgiveness, justice, and the role of an individual in one of human history’s greatest evils.

The runner-up for the audience award at the 2018 Hot Docs festival, this deeply affecting documentary has resonated with critics and audiences around the world.

Director

Matthew Shoychet

Writer

Ricki Gurwitz

Producers

Ric Esther Bienstock, Ricki Gurwitz

Genre

Documentary

Interests

Biography, Global Experiences, History

Original Languages

English, Other Language

Language Version

EN CC

Canadian Distributor

Aqute Media

Our Man in Tehran

Directors Larry Weinstein, Drew Taylor
Year 2013
Run Time 85min
Genre Documentary
In 1979, when the US embassy in Iran was seized by militant Islamic revolutionaries, six American diplomats managed to escape. They found shelter in the home of Canadian ambassador Ken Taylor and eventually escaped the strife-torn country, thanks to his efforts.

These events were fictionalized in the Hollywood film Argo, but this fascinating doc sets the record straight through archival footage and the words of those who experienced it, all culminating in the fantastical plan devised to smuggle the fugitives out.

“Sometimes, the truth can be more entertaining than fiction. If Argo was a high-stakes political thriller…it was also a simplistic and escapist escape movie about the power of Hollywood to defeat evil. So now…we Canadians respond with a documentary to reclaim our true story.” — Simon Houpt, The Globe and Mail

Directors

Larry Weinstein

Weinstein has received three Gemini awards for his work, including Best Direction for Beethoven’s Hair. Weinstein also directed the docs Mulroney: The Opera, The Devil’s Horn, Leslie Caron: The Reluctant Star, and Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas, and co-directed Our Man In Tehran. His latest, Propaganda: The Art of Selling Lies, premiered at Hot Docs 2019.

Drew Taylor

Our Man in Tehran was Taylor’s first film after careers in baseball and bio-engineering. He has also directed Lost and Found.

Writers

Drew Taylor, Robert Wright

Producers

Niv Fichman, Larry Weinstein, Drew Taylor

Genre

Documentary

Interests

Biography, Global Experiences, History, Literary Adaptation, Social Justice & Politics

Original Language

English

Language Version

EN CC

Canadian Distributor

eOne

  • Own Voice

Now Is the Time

Director Christopher Auchter (Haida)
Year 2019
Run Time 16min
Genre Documentary
In 1969, the community of Old Massett raised a totem pole carved by Robert Davidson, the first new pole in Haida Gwaii in almost a century. 50 years later, a Haida filmmaker remixes the incredible archival footage and animation to reflect on the important event.

Director

Christopher Auchter (Haida)

Writer

Christopher Auchter (Haida)

Producer

Selwyn Jacob

Genre

Documentary

Interests

BIPOC Stories, History, Indigenous Filmmaker

Original Language

English

Language Versions

EN CC, FR Subtitles

A Place Called Chiapas

Director Nettie Wild
Year 1998
Run Time 89min
Genre Documentary

Filmmaker Nettie Wild notes that in Canada, the North American Free Trade Agreement, which went into effect in 1994, was a matter for lively discussion and political debate. In Chiapas, one of the poorest states in Mexico, it provoked an actual revolution.


In this remarkably clear-eyed and vivid documentary, Wild follows the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) as they fight and evade the Mexican army. Wild takes viewers on a journey through fear and hope, telling a complex story of Indigenous rights and corporate interests in the wake of NAFTA.


The film won the Genie for Best Documentary, among several other awards.

Director

Nettie Wild

Writers

Manfred Becker, Nettie Wild

Producers

Betsy Carson, Kirk Tougas, Nettie Wild

Genre

Documentary

Interests

Environment, Female Filmmaker, Global Experiences, Social Justice & Politics

Original Language

English

Language Version

EN CC

Canadian Distributor

Zeitgeist Films

Forbidden Love: The Unashamed Stories of Lesbian Lives

Directors Aerlyn Weissman, Lynne Fernie
Year 1992
Run Time 85min
Genre Documentary

This Canadian documentary chronicles the era of lesbian-themed pulp romance paperbacks of the 1950s, a time when titles such as “Odd Girl Out” spoke to the isolated and confused young lesbians of the era. Ten women (including one of the authors of these novels), talk about being queer in the 1940s, ‘50s and ‘60s, discovering these books, and going through their own first love affairs and painful breakups.

The hardships they faced (from being shunned by their families to enduring police raids) are interspersed with archival footage and four dramatized chapters from a pulp novel, Forbidden Love. The desperate measures resorted to by the protagonists in these works of pulp fiction are shown to have been quite tame compared to the real-life experiences of these women.

The film won the Genie Award for best feature documentary.

“It is testimony to how clever the film and filmmakers are that a documentary about history continues to seem so utterly timeless.” – Matthew Hays, POV Magazine

Directors

Aerlyn Weissman, Lynne Fernie

Writers

Aerlyn Weissman, Lynne Fernie

Producers

Margaret Pettigrew, Ginny Stikeman

Genre

Documentary

Interests

Female Filmmaker, LGBTQ2S+

Original Languages

English, French

Language Versions

EN CC, EN Subtitles

Canadian Distributor

NFB

Hitman Hart: Wrestling with Shadows

Director Paul Jay
Year 1998
Run Time 93min
Genre Documentary
Bret Sergeant Hart — known in the professional wrestling world as Bret “The Hitman” Hart — was one of the greatest pro wrestlers in the sport’s history.

In 1997, at the Summer Series in Montreal, Hart put his WWF (now WWE) title on the line against Shawn Michaels, where the two privately agreed to end the fight with a no contest conclusion.

Referred to in the wrestling community as the “Montreal Screwjob,” the agreement was believed to be a secret betrayal of Hart, who was one of the WWF’s most popular performers. In the end, Michaels won the match, and Hart lost his title.

Jay’s award-winning documentary is an honest and engaging look at a world-famous career of highs and lows.

Director

Paul Jay

Writer

Paul Jay

Producers

Silva Basmajian, Sally Blake, Paul Jay, David M. Ostriker

Genre

Documentary

Interest

Biography

Original Language

English

Language Version

EN CC

Canadian Distributor

NFB

  • Own Voice

Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance

Director Alanis Obomsawin (Abenaki)
Year 1993
Run Time 119min
Genre Documentary
In July of 1990, the Oka Crisis was a critical moment in contemporary Canadian history and a turning point for Indigenous affairs. That summer, as the small Quebec community was thrust into the international spotlight, master filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin spent 78 nail-biting days filming the armed stand-off between the Mohawks of Kanehsatake, Quebec, the Quebec police and the Canadian army.

This powerful documentary takes you right to the heart of the action, painting a sensitive and deeply affecting portrait of the people behind the barricades.

Winner of the Toronto International Film Festival’s Best Canadian Feature Film prize.

Director

Alanis Obomsawin (Abenaki)

Legendary Abenaki filmmaker Obomsawin has made over 50 documentaries on issues affecting Indigenous peoples in Canada, including Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance, Trick or Treaty?, Is the Crown at War with Us?, Our People Will Be Healed and Jordan River Anderson, The Messenger. Her most recent film is the short documentary Honour to Senator Murray Sinclair. Next, she is set to appear in an episode of Marie Clements’ Bones of Crows: The Series.

Writer

Alanis Obomsawin (Abenaki)

Producers

Wolf Koenig, Colin Neale, Alanis Obomsawin (Abenaki)

Genre

Documentary

Interests

BIPOC Stories, Classics, Environment, Female Filmmaker, History, Indigenous Filmmaker, Social Justice & Politics

Original Language

English

Language Versions

EN CC, EN Subtitles, FR CC, FR Dub, FR Subtitles

Canadian Distributor

National Film Board (NFB)

  • Own Voice

Trick or Treaty?

Director Alanis Obomsawin (Abenaki)
Year 2014
Run Time 84min
Genre Documentary

One of the masters of Canadian documentary cinema, Alanis Obomsawin has spent decades chronicling the injustices visited on First Nations communities, creating a remarkable body of work. In her latest film, she digs into the difficult history of Treaty 9, the infamous 1905 agreement in which First Nations communities allegedly relinquished their sovereignty over their traditional lands.

Setting the film against the recent resurgence of First Nations activism (Chief Theresa Spence’s hunger strike and the Idle No More movement), Obomsawin interviews legal, historical and cultural experts — as well as people whose ancestors were present when the treaty was signed — to explore some fundamental questions about Canada’s relationship with our First Nations.

“Obomsawin’s documentaries inform, inspire and shock us. Trick or Treaty? is no different.” — Nadya Domingo, Toronto Film Scene

Director

Alanis Obomsawin (Abenaki)

Legendary Abenaki filmmaker Obomsawin has made over 50 documentaries on issues affecting Indigenous peoples in Canada, including Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance, Trick or Treaty?, Is the Crown at War with Us?, Our People Will Be Healed and Jordan River Anderson, The Messenger. Her most recent film is the short documentary Honour to Senator Murray Sinclair. Next, she is set to appear in an episode of Marie Clements’ Bones of Crows: The Series.

Writer

Alanis Obomsawin (Abenaki)

Producers

Annette Clarke, Alanis Obomsawin (Abenaki)

Genre

Documentary

Interests

BIPOC Stories, Environment, Female Filmmaker, Indigenous Filmmaker, Social Justice & Politics

Original Language

English

Language Versions

EN CC, FR Subtitles

Canadian Distributor

NFB

Kissed

Director Lynne Stopkewich
Year 1996
Run Time 88min
Genre Drama
Based on Barbara Gowdy’s short story "We So Seldom Look On Love", Kissed tells the offbeat and unlikely story of Sandra (Molly Parker, who won the Genie Award for best actress for the role), a young woman whose lifelong preoccupation with death leads her to study as an embalmer at a mortuary school, where her romantic feelings about death blossom into full-blown necrophilia.
 
A fellow student (Peter Outerbridge) develops feelings for Sandra, but struggles to cope with her unusual and disturbing sexual desires. Kissed is a rare film about sexual awakening that manages to be both profoundly subversive and extremely tender.
 
“Stopkewich has managed the unlikely feat of making a film about necrophilia that is neither a black comedy nor a horror outing. Rather, she has crafted a poetic, provocative love story about sex, romance and death that is surprisingly endearing.” – Brendan Kelly, Variety
 

Director

Lynne Stopkewich

Writers

Angus Fraser, Lynne Stopkewich

Cast

Molly Parker, Peter Outerbridge, Jay Brazeau

Genre

Drama

Interest

Female Filmmaker

Original Language

English

Language Versions

EN CC, FR Subtitles

Canadian Distributor

Malofilm Distribution

Blood and Donuts

Director Holly Dale
Year 1995
Run Time 89min
Genre Horror

Most people prefer coffee with their pastry, but then, most people aren't Canadian vampires trapped in an all-night donut shop! Boya (Gordon Currie), a sexy Gothic vampire, rises after 25 years of hibernation in ‘90s Toronto. Overwhelmed by his new surroundings, Boya takes refuge in an all-night diner where he forms a close relationship with a charming waitress (Helene Clarkson) and an offbeat cabbie (Justin Louis) who’s in too deep with the local gangsters, lead by none other than Filmmaking Icon David Cronenberg. Blood & Donuts is the hilariously morbid debut feature film from accomplished Canadian director Holly Dale (Dexter, The Americans, Durham County).

Director

Holly Dale

Writer

Andrew Rai Berzins

Cast

Gordon Currie, Louis Ferreira, Helene Clarkson, Fiona Reid

Genre

Horror

Interests

Cult & Offbeat Cinema, Female Filmmaker

Original Language

English

Language Versions

EN CC, FR Subtitles

Canadian Distributor

Malofilm Distribution

  • Own Voice

Better Than Chocolate

Director Anne Wheeler
Year 1999
Run Time 101min
Genre Comedy

Maggie (Karyn Dwyer) is happy with her life in Vancouver. She works at an LGBTQ+ bookstore owned by Frances (Anne-Marie MacDonald) and has recently fallen head over heels with a young artist named (Christina Cox). When the couple decide to take their romance to the next level and move in together, everything seems perfect.

That is, until Maggie’s recently-divorced mom Lila (Wendy Crewson) and brother Paul turn up at her doorstep, looking to stay with her. The unlikely foursome end up sharing Maggie’s Vancouver loft, and Maggie must decide whether to keep her relationship – and her sexuality – a secret, or reveal who she really is to her well-meaning but naïve and conservative mother.

“Anne Wheeler's sexy, funny, poignant film, from a bright script by Peggy Thompson, is a real charmer, with considerable brains.” – David Noh, FilmJournal International

Director

Anne Wheeler

Writer

Peggy Thompson

Cast

Wendy Crewson, Karyn Dwyer, Christina Cox, Christina Cox, Karyn Dwyer

Producer

Sharon McGowan

Genre

Comedy

Interests

BIPOC Stories, Female Filmmaker, LGBTQ2S+

Original Language

English

Language Versions

EN CC, FR Subtitles, Other Subtitles

Canadian Distributor

TVA Films

Indian Horse

Director Stephen Campanelli
Year 2017
Run Time 100min
Genre Drama
Adapted from the much-celebrated novel by the late Ojibway writer Richard Wagamese, Indian Horse is a powerful drama that delves deep into the shameful history of Canada’s Residential Schools.

The young protagonist of Wagamese’s saga – brought to the screen by a team that includes director Stephen Campanelli, screenwriter Dennis Foon and executive producer Clint Eastwood — Saul comes to know the worst of the system’s abuses after a series of family tragedies leave him in the care of authorities in Manitoba of the late 1950s.

When one of the priests – played by Michiel Huisman of Game of Thrones – recognizes Saul’s hockey talents, a potential pathway opens up before the youngster but like so many survivors of the schools, he remains haunted by the traumas of the past.

Director

Stephen Campanelli

Director and cinematographer Campanelli got his start as a camera operator, working on many of Hollywood legend Clint Eastwood’s features, including Million Dollar Baby, Mystic River, Grand Torino, and others. His directing credits include Momentum, Indian Horse, Grand Isle, and most recently, Drinkwater. Next, he is set to direct The Outlaws.

Writer

Dennis Foon

Cast

Sladen Peltier (Ojibway), Forrest Goodluck (Diné/Mandan/Hidatsa/Tsimshian), Ajuawak Kapashesit (Ojibway/Cree), Michael Huisman

Producers

Trish Dolman, Paula Devonshire (Mohawk)

Genre

Drama

Interests

BIPOC Stories, Discrimination, History, Literary Adaptation, Social Justice & Politics, Sports

Original Language

English

Language Versions

EN CC, FR Subtitles

Canadian Distributor

Elevation Pictures

45 R.P.M.

Director David Schultz
Year 2008
Run Time 91min
Genre Drama
Small-town life is driving Parry Tender (Orphan Black's Gavaris) crazy. It’s the fall of 1960, and Parry spends his time being pursued for truancy by the town constable (Coates) and hanging out with his best friend, Luke (Banszky), a tomboy with some dark secrets in her past. When an American military man (Madsen) brings his family to town, his daughter Debbie (Porter) steals Parry’s heart, much to Luke’s jealous frustration.

This heartfelt and often funny coming-of-age drama takes a turn when a strange weather condition suddenly allows Parry to receive a radio broadcast from New York City, and he starts to believe that a contest the station is running might just be his ticket out of town.

Director

David Schultz

Winnipeg-born writer and director Schultz has worked in TV, shorts and feature films. He wrote and directed the features Jet Boy, Rufus, and Considering Love and Other Magic and wrote screen adaptations of Joy Fielding’s novels Don’t Cry Now, and The Other Woman, as well as the screenplay for The Humanity Bureau, starring Nicolas Cage. He’s currently writing the feature The Side of the Road.

Writer

David Schultz

Cast

Jordan Gavaris, Michael Madsen, Kim Coates, Justine Banszky, MacKenzie Porter

Producers

Anand Ramayya, Michael Frislev, Chad Oakes

Genre

Drama

Interests

Arts and Culture, Family Relationships, Strong Female Leads

Original Language

English

Language Versions

EN CC, FR Dub

Canadian Distributor

IndustryWorks

Hockey Night

Director Paul Shapiro
Year 1984
Run Time 74min
Genre Drama, Family
Cathy (Follows), an avid youth hockey player, moves with her mother to Parry Sound and finds no leagues for girls her age. After securing a spot in the lineup of an all-boys team, she finds that regardless of how well she plays on the ice, she continues to face opposition from a major sponsor who insists he doesn’t want her on the team. As the team nears a major final, she has to rely on the support of her teammates, and particularly its star player (Bisson) to let her achieve her hockey dreams.

A Canadian sports classic, Hockey Night features the on-screen debut of Yannick Bisson (Murdoch Mysteries) and memorable performances from Rick Moranis and Megan Follows (Anne of Green Gables).

Director

Paul Shapiro

Writers

Jack Blum, Paul Shapiro

Cast

Megan Follows, Rick Moranis, Gail Youngs

Producer

Martin Harbury

Genres

Drama, Family

Interests

Classics, Discrimination, Sports, Strong Female Leads

Original Language

English

Language Version

EN CC

Ballerina

Directors Éric Summer, Éric Warin
Year 2016
Run Time 89min
Genre Animation, Comedy, Family
Eleven-year-old orphan Félicie (Elle Fanning) has one dream: to go to Paris and become a dancer. Her best friend Victor (Dane DeHaan), a highly imaginative boy, has a dream of his own: to become a famous inventor. In a leap of faith, Victor and Félicie leave their orphanage in pursuit of their passions. But there’s a catch —Félicie must pretend to be the child of a wealthy family in order to get into a prestigious ballet school, where she quickly learns that talent alone is not enough to overcome the ruthless attitudes of her fellow classmates, led by Camille le Haut (Maddie Ziegler) and her wicked mother, Régine (Julie Khaner).

Determined to succeed, Félicie finds her mentor in the tough and mysterious school custodian, Odette (Carly Rae Jepsen), who, along with Victor’s encouraging friendship, helps her reach for the stars.

Directors

Éric Summer, Éric Warin

Writers

Éric Summer, Laurent Zeitoun, Carol Noble

Cast

Elle Fanning, Dane DeHaan, Carly Rae Jepsen

Producers

Valérie d'Auteuil, Nicolas Duval-Adassovsky

Genres

Animation, Comedy, Family

Interests

Arts and Culture, Strong Female Leads

Original Language

English

Language Versions

EN CC, FR Dub, FR Subtitles

Canadian Distributor

eOne