Founded by KPU instructor Janice Morris, KDocs is KPU’s own documentary film festival. KDocs grew out of the popular documentary film series of the Miss Representation Action Group (MRAG), a KPU-based community of practice co-founded by KPU instructors Janice Morris and Helen Mendes (ret.) that came together in response to KPU's Miss Representation documentary screening and town hall event in January 2012. The Miss Representation Action Group’s mission was to continue the dialogues started at that event, and the MRAG documentary series was just one of the projects that sprang forth. The MRAG documentary series received much acclaim and successfully met its mission to foster an interdisciplinary culture of faculty, staff, student, and public engagement through the viewing and discussion of documentary film. Series events included Pink Ribbons, Inc., Payback (with special guests, Margaret Atwood and William Rees), Orgasm Inc. (with director Liz Canner), and How to Survive a Plague (with director David France).
With KDocs, we took the film series to the next (and always intended) stage: KPU’s own official documentary film festival. We were thrilled to launch KDocs in partnership with the Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) with our inaugural screening of The Price We Pay, with special guest, the film’s director Harold Crooks. This launch event was held during VIFF on October 5, 2014, at the Vancity Theatre with approximately 200 in attendance.
On March 14, 2015, KDocs held its first official film festival. Films included Honor Diaries, Do the Math, and A Dangerous Game, as well as special guests Raheel Raza (featured in Honor Diaries), Bill McKibben (via video, star of Do the Math), and Anthony Baxter (director, A Dangerous Game), respectively. Approximately 300 people attended this inaugural film festival, and feedback was overwhelmingly positive.
On February 19 and 20, 2016, KDocs held its second annual official documentary film festival. Films included Drone, The Mask You Live In, Peace Officer, Food Chain$, Ivory Tower, and Fractured Land. Special guests and keynote speakers included Brandon Bryant (star of Drone and Founder, Project Red Hand, via video recording), Michelle Segal (Project Red Hand, for Drone), Luke Bokenfohr (Former Royal Marine Commando, current Vancouver Police Department, for Drone), David Hatfield (Leadership Consultant, for The Mask You Live In), William “Dub” Lawrence (star of Peace Officer), Pablo Godoy (National Representative, UFCW Canada and National Coordinator, Students Against Migrant Exploitation/S.A.M.E., for Food Chain$), Kathy Corrigan (MLA, Burnaby-Deer Lake, and Official Opposition Critic for Advanced Education, for Ivory Tower), and Caleb Behn (star of Fractured Land). Approximately 700 people attended the festival, with a 35% increase in average per-film attendance, and feedback was overwhelmingly positive.
On February 16-19, 2017, KDocs held its third annual official documentary film festival. Films included Racing Extinction; How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can’t Change; The Pass System; After the Last River; We Call Them Intruders; Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World; Do Not Resist; After Spring; Migrant Dreams; Sonita; Life, Animated; and Wizard Mode. Special guests and keynote speakers included William Rees (Human Ecologist, Ecological Economist, and Professor Emeritus, UBC, for Racing Extinction and How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can’t Change), Lekeyten (Kwantlen Nation Elder and Elder-in-Residence, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, for The Pass System and After the Last River), Lisa Monchalin (Professor of Criminology, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, for The Pass System and After the Last River), Alex Williams (Director, The Pass System, for The Pass System and After the Last River), Victoria Lean (Director, After the Last River, for The Pass System and After the Last River), Tamara Herman (Co-director, We Call Them Intruders, for We Call Them Intruders), Susi Porter-Bopp (Co-director, We Call Them Intruders, for We Call Them Intruders), Wade Deisman (Professor of Criminology, for Do Not Resist), Saleem Spindari (Manager, Refugee Settlement Support Projects, Family and Settlement Services, MOSAIC, for After Spring), Min Sook Lee (Director, Migrant Dreams, for Migrant Dreams), Faith Bodnar (Executive Director, Inclusion BC, for Life, Animated and Wizard Mode), Robert Gagno (Star, Wizard Mode, for Wizard Mode), Kathy Gagno (Star, Wizard Mode, for Wizard Mode), Maurizio Gagno (Star, Wizard Mode, for Wizard Mode), Jeff Petry (Co-director, Wizard Mode, for Wizard Mode), and Nathan Drillot (Co-director, Wizard Mode, for Wizard Mode). Over 1200 people attended the festival, which has doubled in size and scope every year!
On February 15-18, 2018, KDocs held its fourth annual official documentary film festival. Films included The Caretakers, How to Stop a Pipeline, To the Ends of the Earth, Modified, Solitary: Inside Red Onion State Prison, Death by Design, Vancouver: No Fixed Address, Hell on Earth: The Fall of Syria and the Rise of ISIS, Birth of a Family, Generation Revolution, Shadow World, Black Code, Workers Voices, and Dolores. Special guests and keynote speakers included Lekeyten (Kwantlen Nation Elder and Elder-in-Residence, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, for The Caretakers, How to Stop a Pipeline, and To the Ends of the Earth), David Goldberg (Director, The Caretakers, for The Caretakers), Gordon Laxer (Political Economist, Author, and Speaker, for To the Ends of the Earth), Aube Giroux (Director, Modified, for Modified), Jay Aubrey (Counsel-Litigation, BC Civil Liberties Association, for Solitary), Stephanie Farrior (Director, Center for Applied Rights; Professor of Law, Center of Applied Human Rights; and USA-Asia Partnerships for Environmental Law Administration, for Death by Design), Charles Wilkinson (Director, Vancouver: No Fixed Address, for Vancouver: No Fixed Address), Jean Swanson (Anti-poverty and Social Justice Activist, for Vancouver: No Fixed Address), Arjun Chowdhury (Associate Professor, Political Science [International Relations], University of British Columbia, for Hell on Earth: The Fall of Syria and the Rise of ISIS), Raven Sinclair (Professor, Faculty of Social Work, University of Regina; and film director/producer, for Birth of a Family), Cicely Blain (Co-founder, Black Lives Matter-Vancouver; and Founder, Cicely Blain Consulting, for Generation Revolution), Johan Grimonprez (Director, Shadow World, for Shadow World), Andrew Feinstein (Founding Director, Corruption Watch; and Author, The Shadow World: Inside the Global Arms Trade, for Shadow World), Ron Deibert (Director of the Citizen Lab, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto; and Author, Black Code: Inside the Battle for Cyberspace, for Black Code), Chaumtoli Huq (Director, Workers Voices, for Workers Voices), and Pablo Godoy (Regional Director, United Food and Commercial Workers' Union, for Dolores). Over 1500 people and 30 exhibitors were in attendance throughout the four-day festival, our biggest yet!
On February 6, 2019, KDocs held its 2019 Spring Mini-Fest. This double-feature showcased the award-winning documentaries RBG and Won’t You Be My Neighbour? Our special guest and Keynote Speaker for the evening was Ellen Woodsworth, and panelists also included Mebrat Beyene (Executive Director, WISH Drop-In Centre Society), Cicely Blain (Co-founder, Black Lives Matter-Vancouver), Chastity Davis (Chair, Minister’s Advisory Council on Aboriginal Women for the Province of British Columbia), Anita Huberman (CEO, Surrey Board of Trade), Debra Parkes (Professor, UBC, and Chair, Centre for Feminist Legal Studies), and Jinny Sims (MLA, Surrey-Panorama). Over 300 people were in attendance!