Tag Archives: Female Filmmakers

May 07

Changing Reels Ep. 18 – Pariah

How does a teenager come to terms with her sexual identity in an environment that refuses to acknowledge who she really is? This is the predicament that 17-year-old Alike finds herself in as she tries to navigate an overbearing mother, a father in denial and her own quest to find a relationship. We celebrate LGBT […]

May 04

Hot Docs 2017: Hobbyhorse Revolution

I was excited to see Hobbyhorse Revolution because I’d heard of, and was mystified by, ‘hobbyhorsing’ and needed to know more about it. Hobbyhorsing is a lot like the horse competitions you’re used to seeing on TV, or in Olympic events.  Dressage, an equestrian sport, is the highest expression of horse training. In the events, […]

May 02

Hot Docs 2017: Step

As the final credits began to roll on Amanda Lipitz’s Step, a woman sitting next to me turned and said “wow.” She stated that she felt like she had cried throughout the whole film, the sound of sniffles and the frequent dabbing of eyes did not go unnoticed, but these were clearly tears of joy. […]

May 01

Hot Docs 2017: Manic

It’s apparent that Kalina Burton’s Manic is made with passion, care, and respect for the mental health of its subjects: Burton’s own brother and sister.  It’s also clear that an amateur is at the helm.  Burton has a lot to learn about pacing, structure, and focus. The film opens with blunt white text on a black […]

April 30

Hot Docs 2017: Ask The Sexpert

When Dr. Mahinder Watsa was starting out his career as a doctor, he wrote a medical column in the back of a ladies’ journal. At the time, young women were dying from back-alley abortions while others committed suicide, unwilling to let their prospective husbands know they were not virgins (due to sexual abuse). Dr. Watsa […]

April 30

Hot Docs 2017: Tokyo Idols

Sad-sack middle-aged men in Japan are flocking to ‘pop’ concerts performed by underage girls. These artist are called Idols, they perform in ‘girl groups,’ and to date there about 10,000 of them. They are so intoxicating that one 43-year-old man has blown his life’s savings on this “religion” that saved him from depression. They’re providing […]

April 29

Hot Docs 2017: Thank You For the Rain

There are moments in this world when we know we could have done more. The recent elections in the US, Brexit in the UK, among many others have left many people realizing they should have done more. The focus of the new documentary, Thank You For the Rain, directed by Julia Dahr, is a Kenyan […]

April 27

Hot Docs 2017: The Road Forward

There’s been a great deal of discussion in recent years about the past and ongoing injustices suffered by the indigenous community. As there should be. From suicide epidemics to systemic racism to the alarming number of missing and murdered Aboriginal women to the over-representation of Aboriginal men in Canadian prisons, the challenges of the First […]

April 27

Hot Docs 2017: Sunday Beauty Queen

Hong Kong, like many cities around the world, benefits from the help of underpaid Filipino workers. A local domestic worker would cost $8 an hour, but a Filipina in the same role works round the clock, 6 days a week, for just $500 a month. There are strict rules for these poor workers, who aren’t […]

April 27

Hot Docs 2017: Bee Nation

In a tension filled room, an audience sits on the edge of their seats, gazing at William Kaysaywaysemat III standing on stage. They wait in anticipation for the young man to open his mouth and spell a word into a microphone. Regardless of one’s personal views of such competitions in terms of spectator sports, it […]

April 26

Hot Docs 2017: Mermaids

The myth of the mermaid has been told by the ancient Greeks, Inuit communities, and most famously in children’s fairy tales. Popular culture has also played a key role in perpetuating the allure be it the romantic charm of Disney’s The Little Mermaid or the dark musical fun of Agnieszka Smoczynska’s The Lure, our love […]

April 26

Hot Docs 2017: Let There Be Light

Today, the vast majority of the energy we produce comes from burning fossil fuels.  We generate smaller amounts by splitting large radioactive atoms, capturing a tiny percentage of the energy in sunlight, or other various techniques, but these are not currently capable of generating energy at the same cost and abundance of fossil fuels.  Let […]

April 25

Hot Docs 2017: Shiners

Shoe shiners: at the airport, a busy subway station, a kiosk in your local mall, even on the street corner. There they are, every day, providing a service to the people walking by. Yet this humble profession is often overlooked. Who goes into shoe shining, and why? Director Stacey Tenenbaum gives us the answers by putting […]

April 24

Hot Docs 2017: Do Donkeys Act?

Did you ever have existential questions about donkeys? No? Well, move on. Or not. The truth is, you haven’t seen anything like Do Donkeys Act? It’s a documentary about donkeys, made reputedly by humans (Ashley Sabin and David Redmon), for the enjoyment of – donkeys? There are no talking head interviews in the film, very […]

March 31

HRWFF 2017: Tickling Giants

Bassem Youssef has been called the “Egyptian Jon Stewart” for his popular brand of political satire. In a country where journalists are routinely jailed, or mysteriously go missing, for exercising free speech, the surgeon turned televised comedian is truly one of a kind. As Youssef points out in Sara Taksler’s charming and poignant documentary Tickling […]

March 30

HRWFF 2017: Fantassút

Filmed at the Greece’s Idomeni refugee camp, the largest informal refugee camp in Europe, Fantassút (Rain on the Borders) is an unflinching look at the refugee crisis through the eyes of those impacted the most. Opening with a shot of the double barbed wire fence that encloses the camp, as angelic choir music plays in […]

March 10

Shadow Girl

“Going blind is a fear of darkness when you can see. Darkness has a different meaning when you are born blind” states filmmaker Maria Teresa Larrain at one point in her moving documentary Shadow Girl. For Larrain, going blind has been both a source of fear and inspiration. After years of working in the visual […]

February 25

Changing Reels Ep. 13 – Beyond the Lights

The world of pop music is often explored in film through a satirical lens. Gina Prince-Bythewood’s Beyond the Lights is one of those rare films that takes an honest look at the complexities of the industry. Centered around a romance between a pop star and a police officer, the film boldly examines topics such as […]

February 24

A United Kingdom

Amma Asante’s latest film, A United Kingdom, tells the real-life story of Seretse Khama (David Oyelowo), a prince who nearly lost his throne and country simply because he wanted to follow his heart. A member of the royal family in his native Bechuanaland (now known as Botswana), Seretse meets and falls in love with Ruth […]

January 16

Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival: Window Horses (The Poetic Persian Epiphany of Rosie Ming)

If we wait long enough everything will change. Our perception of self, love and family will all have greater meaning. Of course, one needs to be open to the notion that life is rarely what it appears to be. It is this inner journey towards understanding that marks the visual splendor of Ann Marie Fleming’s […]