KDocs 2018

KDocs held its fourth annual official documentary film festival on February 15-18, 2018, at the Vancouver International Film Centre/Vancity Theatre. Over 1500 people and 30 exhibitors were in attendance throughout the four-day festival!

  • The Caretakers: “In 2014, activists, ranging from new Canadians to First Nations people, ascended Burnaby Mountain to make a camp on the future route of the proposed pipeline. They were willing to do whatever it took to prevent the project from going forward, a critical necessity in their eyes, if the earth was to be preserved for future generations. David Goldberg captures the intense conviction that was a central part of the Burnaby Mountain protest. The grit and tenacity of local activists is on full display as they face down the RCMP on the traditional territory of the Coast Salish people. The Caretakers provides ample food for thought as we near our provincial election in which the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion has become once more a hot-button issue.” KDocs’ Special Guests were KPU’s Elder-in-Residence, Lekeyten, and the film’s director, David Goldberg.
  • How to Stop a Pipeline: “From reoccupation camps to the heart of the rugged Coast Range in British Columbia, How to Stop a Pipeline explores First Nations and local community resistance to the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline. A multi-billion-dollar pipeline designed to pump heavy crude oil from the tar sands to the Great Bear Rainforest, the Northern Gateway was supported by the Canadian government and the most powerful industry in the world. Against all odds, a handful of small communities have effectively stalled the project in its tracks. The storytellers traverse 100 miles of the proposed pipeline to better understand the land that would be impacted. Much more than just an environmental story, the film illustrates the First Nation’s fight for their ancestral land rights, self-governance, and social justice. Their commitment and fortitude vividly portrays How to Stop a Pipeline.” KDocs’ Special Guest was KPU’s Elder-in-Residence, Lekeyten. www.uncededlines.com
  • To the Ends of the Earth:To the Ends of the Earth follows concerned citizens living at the frontiers of extreme oil and gas extraction, bearing witness to a global crossroads. They call for human ingenuity to rebuild society at the end of the fossil fuel era. The people we meet are uniquely positioned to watch this global crossroads unfold. For example, the mayor of an Inuit village in Canada’s high Arctic who is concerned that seismic testing for oil in the ocean is blowing up the eardrums of the animals that the Inuit hunt to survive. Or the environmental lawyer who goes on a journey to areas that produce energy for the tar sands of Alberta — he learns of the massive inputs of energy that have to be put into this resource — and the reasons why the second largest oil project in the world is economically unsustainable. Or the river conservationist in Utah who fights to protect the Colorado River from oil shale projects that would disturb its headwaters. To the Ends of the Earth brings forward the voices of those who not only denounce the rise of extreme energy, but also envision the new world that is taking shape in its stead: a future beyond the resource pyramid, a post-growth economy.” KDocs’ Special Guest was KPU’s Elder-in-Residence, Lekeyten, and Keynote Speaker Gordon Laxer. www.endsofearthfilm.com
  • Modified: Modified is a first-person documentary-memoir that questions why genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are not labeled on food products in Canada and the United States, despite being labeled in 64 countries around the world. Interweaving the personal and the political, the film is anchored in the filmmaker’s relationship to her mother, a passionate gardener and food activist. Their intimate mother-daughter investigative journey, fueled by a shared love of food, ultimately reveals the extent to which industrial interests control our food policies, making a strong case for a more transparent and sustainable food system.” KDocs’ Keynote Speaker was the film’s director, Aube Giroux. www.modifiedthefilm.com
  • Solitary: “Located on an Appalachian mountaintop in Wise County, Va., Red Onion State Prison is a “supermax” facility built to house individual inmates in 8’x10’ solitary-confinement cells, 23 hours a day, for months, years, and sometimes decades. Solitary: Inside Red Onion State Prison explores life on both sides of the bars, raising provocative questions about punishment in America today. Drawing on unprecedented, unrestricted access, Solitary: Inside Red Onion State Prison was filmed over the course of one year, chronicling a new reform program intended to reduce the number of solitary-confinement inmates. The recently initiated “Step-Down Program” has allowed more than 350 inmates a chance to return to the general population. But, all too often, after months of solitary isolation, prisoners are ill-equipped to deal with the stresses of being a part of the regular prison population – let alone life on the outside. This unflinching, immersive documentary features intimate interviews with several inmates who reflect on their violent childhoods, open up about the dangers of prison life, and articulate their struggles to maintain sanity in the unrelenting monotony and isolation of confinement. KDocs’ Keynote Speaker was the BC Civil Liberties Association’s Jay Aubrey.  www.candescentfilms.com/solitary
  • Death by Design: “The Dirty Secret of Our Digital Addiction: consumers love – and live on – their smartphones, tablets, and laptops. A cascade of new devices pours endlessly into the market, promising even better communication, non-stop entertainment, and instant information. The numbers are staggering. By 2020, four billion people will have a personal computer. Five billion will own a mobile phone. But this revolution has a dark side, hidden from most consumers. In an investigation that spans the globe, with Death by Design, filmmaker Sue Williams investigates the underbelly of the electronics industry and reveals how even the smallest devices have deadly environmental and health costs. From the intensely secretive factories in China, to a ravaged New York community, and the high tech corridors of Silicon Valley, the film tells a story of environmental degradation, of health tragedies, and the fast-approaching tipping point between consumerism and sustainability.” KDocs’ Keynote Speaker was Vermont Law School’s Stephanie Farrior. www.deathbydesignfilm.com
  • Vancouver: No Fixed Address: “From Toronto to Sydney and from San Francisco to London, the cost of housing in cities around the world is skyrocketing. Vancouver: No Fixed Address takes an uncompromising look at the drama unfolding in one such city, where multi-ethnic citizens fight to preserve homes as living spaces instead of global financial commodities. It is also a story about the very idea of home, what promotes or destroys one’s sense of belonging, and struggling to cope with the strange and often threatening economic and social forces at the start of the 21st century. Vancouver, Canada consistently ranks in the top five cities on Earth to live. A city with unparalleled natural beauty, a relatively clean environment, safe streets, stable institutions, and an attitude that prioritizes lifestyle over work. It’s paradise for some but others are forced by high prices to live on the streets, and live in substandard conditions, or struggle to hang on to the homes they have. The film also looks at our housing casino and those cashing in on the meteoric rise in housing values.” KDocs’ Special Guest was the film’s director, Charles Wilkinson, and Keynote Speaker Jean Swanson. www.charleswilkinson.com/vancouver-no-fixed-address.php
  • Hell on Earth: The Fall of Syria and the Rise of ISIS: “In Hell on Earth: The Fall of Syria and the Rise of ISIS,” Academy-Award nominated filmmaker Sebastian Junger and Emmy winner Nick Quested chronicle Syria’s descent into the unbridled chaos that allowed the rise of the Islamic State. Pulling from nearly 1,000 hours of visceral footage, they capture the Syrian war’s harrowing carnage, political and social consequences, and human toll, while painting an alarming picture of the west’s role in the creation of ISIS.” KDocs’ Keynote Speaker was UBC’s Arjun Chowdhury. www.channel.nationalgeographic.com/hell-on-earth
  • Birth of a Family: “Over three decades, an estimated 20,000 Indigenous children were forcibly taken from their homes and placed with non-Indigenous families in Canada and abroad. Known as the Sixties Scoop, the removals blocked a generation from their traditional knowledge, territory and, most importantly, family. With respect and empathy for her subjects and drawn from past personal experience, with Birth of a Family, director Tasha Hubbard bears witness to the story of four siblings, who in middle age come together for the first time to build the bonds they were denied.” KDocs’ Keynote Speaker was University of Regina’s Raven Sinclair. www.nfb.ca/film/birth_of_a_family
  • Generation Revolution:Generation Revolution brings to screen the powerful story of a new generation of black and brown activists who are changing the social and political landscape in the capital and beyond. This feature-length documentary film follows an exciting new breed of organisations as well as the young Londoners that are part of them. The London Black Revolutionaries, or “Black Revs,” have a predilection for dramatic, raucous, direct action. R Movement challenge the idea of the “Staid and Serious” political activist and The Black Dissidents are a new organisation intent on furthering the fight against oppression along the lines of race, class, and gender. The film vividly chronicles the evolution of our characters as they experience personal and political awakenings, breakthroughs, and, at times, disillusionment. Generation Revolution offers a unique and original glimpse into the rewarding but difficult path that must be trodden in the struggle for personal, social, and political liberation.” KDocs’ Keynote Speaker was Black Lives Matter-Vancouver’s Cicely Blain. www.genrevfilm.com
  • Shadow World:Shadow World reveals how the international trade in weapons – with the complicity of governments and intelligence agencies, investigative and prosecutorial bodies, weapons manufacturers, dealers and agents – fosters corruption, determines economic and foreign policies, undermines democracy and creates widespread suffering. The film unravels a number of the world’s largest and most corrupt arms deals through those involved in perpetrating and investigating them. It illustrates why this trade accounts for almost 40% of all corruption in global trade, and how it operates in a parallel legal universe, in which the national security elite who drive it are seldom prosecuted for their often illegal actions.” KDocs’ Special Guest was the film’s director, Johan Grimonprez, and Keynote Speaker, Executive Director of Corruption Watch and author of The Shadow World: Inside the Global Arms Trade, Andrew Feinstein. www.shadowworldfilm.com
  • Black Code:Black Code is a gripping account of how governments control and manipulate the internet in order to censor and monitor their citizens. With stories from exiled Tibetan monks circumventing China’s surveillance apparatus, Syrian citizens tortured for Facebook posts, Brazilian activists using social media to distribute alternative news, and Pakistani online violence against women, we see firsthand the high-stakes consequences that our unprecedented level of digital communication can produce. As this battle for control of cyberspace is waged, our ideas of citizenship, privacy, and democracy will be challenged to the very core.” KDocs’ Keynote Speaker was Director of the Citizen Lab, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto’s Ron Deibert. www.mongrelmedia.com/index.php/filmlink?id=64c3a8d2-38f8-42db-bca9-f5377a11264d
  • Workers Voices:Worker Voices is the first film to fully explore the lives, work, and organizing efforts of Bangladesh’s garment workers. Through interviews carried out in 2014 and 2015, and filming through 2016, the film chronicles the barriers faced by the mostly female workers at home, at work, and in life.” KDocs’ Keynote Speaker was the film’s director, Chaumtoli Huq. www.lawatthemargins.com/video-sramik-awaaz-workers-voices-documentary-short
  • Dolores: “Dolores Huerta is among the most important, yet least known, activists in American history. An equal partner in co-founding the first farm workers unions with Cesar Chavez, her enormous contributions have gone largely unrecognized. Dolores tirelessly led the fight for racial and labor justice alongside Chavez, becoming one of the most defiant feminists of the twentieth century – and she continues the fight to this day, at 87. With intimate and unprecedented access to this intensely private mother to eleven, the film reveals the raw, personal stakes involved in committing one’s life to social change.” KDocs’ Keynote Speaker was the UFCW’s Pablo Godoy. www.doloresthemovie.com

Courtesy of Kwantlen’s Coast Capital Library, you can read a bibliographic listing of additional resources for The Caretakers, How to Stop a Pipeline, To the Ends of the Earth, Solitary, 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.


KDocs 2017

KDocs held its third annual official documentary film festival on February 16-19, 2017, at the Vancouver International Film Centre/Vancity Theatre. Over 1200 people were in attendance throughout the four-day festival!

  • Racing Extinction: “From Academy Award-winning director, Louie Psihoyos and the team behind The Cove, this groundbreaking documentary examines biodiversity loss, its effect on humanity, and the solutions that inspire hope for a more sustainable future. Joined by new innovators, this groundbreaking documentary brings a voice to the thousands of species teetering on the very edge of life. This highly charged, impassioned collective of activists is out to expose the two major threats to endangered wild species across the globe. Scientists predict that the human footprint on the planet may cause the loss of half of the world’s species by the end of the century. They believe we have entered the sixth major extinction in Earth’s history, following the fifth great extinction which took out the dinosaurs.” KDocs’s Opening Night Gala Keynote Speaker was Dr. William Rees, Human Ecologist, Ecological Economist, Professor Emeritus, UBC. racingextinction.com  

  • How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can’t Change: “In How to Let Go of the World and Love All The Things Climate Can’t Change, Oscar Nominated director Josh Fox (Gasland) continues in his deeply personal style, investigating climate change—the greatest threat our world has ever known. Traveling to 12 countries on 6 continents, the film acknowledges that it may be too late to stop some of the worst consequences and asks, what is it that climate change can’t destroy? What is so deep within us that no calamity can take it away?” howtoletgomovie.com

  • The Pass System: “After the Northwest Resistance of 1885, three Canadian officials put forward a proposal for a system of racial segregation—whites from First Nations—to their Prime Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald, who enthusiastically approves, declaring: ‘…it is in the highest degree desirable to adopt it.’ From then on, and for over 60 years, permits to leave reserve would only be issued at the pleasure of an Indian Agent. From day one, the Canadian government knew this segregationist pass system had no legal basis. The system kept First Nations parents from their children in residential schools, from visiting relatives, from access to towns and cities, and from enjoying the basic freedom of mobility that every settler Canadian took for granted. The Pass System is a result of a five year investigation involving extensive, pan-Canadian archival research and elders’ oral history testimony, revealing a system that appears to be much more widespread than previously thought. Cree, Saulteaux, Dene, Ojibwe and Blackfoot Elders from Treaty areas 4, 6 & 7 tell stories of living under and resisting the system.” KDocs’s Special Guests were Lekeyten, KPU Elder-in-Residence and Alex Williams, Director, The Pass System. KDocs’s Keynote Speaker was Dr. Lisa Monchalin, KPU Professor of Criminology.  thepasssystem.ca

  • After the Last River: “In the shadow of a De Beers diamond mine, the remote community of Attawapiskat lurches from crisis to crisis, as their homeland transforms into a modern frontier. Filmed over five years, After the Last River is a point of view (POV) documentary that follows Attawapiskat’s journey from obscurity and into the international spotlight during the protests of Idle No More. Filmmaker Victoria Lean connects personal stories from the First Nation to entwined mining industry agendas and government policies, painting a complex portrait of a territory that is a imperiled homeland to some and a profitable new frontier for others.” KDocs’s Special Guest was Victoria Lean, Director, After the Last River. afterthelastriver.com

  • We Call Them Intruders: “This century’s global scramble for metals and minerals has led hundreds of Canadian mining corporations to Africa in search of the next big mine find. In Africa, some of the world’s poorest communities sit right beside mines that generate billions of dollars in profit each year. Many of these mines are financed, in part, by ordinary people paying taxes, putting away savings, making RRSP contributions and paying into pension plans in Canada. But who gets rich off Canadian mines? We Call Them Intruders [takes viewers] on a journey to the sites of Canadian-owned mines in Tanzania and Zambia. Set against a backdrop of local sights and sounds, we speak with government officials, community members, industry and corporate representatives, mine workers, independent experts, and non-profit organizations. We find that the situation is more complicated than we first imagined.” KDocs’s Special Guests and Keynote Speakers were Tamara Herman and Susi Porter-Bopp, Co-directors, We Call Them Intruders.  wecallthemintruders.wordpress.com

  • Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World: “Society depends on the Internet for nearly everything but rarely do we step back and recognize its endless intricacies and unsettling omnipotence. From the brilliant mind of Werner Herzog comes a playful yet chilling examination of our rapidly interconnecting lives. Herzog captures interviews with a treasure trove of strange and beguiling individuals—from Internet pioneers to victims of wireless radiation—whose anecdotes and reflections weave together a complex portrait of our brave new world. The Internet may be, as Herzog states, ‘one of the biggest revolutions we as humans are experiencing,’ but he tempers this enthusiasm with tragic stories from victims of online harassment and Internet addiction, wrestling with profound questions about the future of the Internet—and humanity. Is this digitally dominated age humankind’s salvation or a high-speed pipeline to our demise?” loandbeholdfilm.com

  • Do Not Resist: “Starting on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, as the community grapples with the death of Michael Brown, Do Not Resist—the directorial debut of Detropia cinematographer Craig Atkinson—offers a stunning look at the current state of policing in America and a glimpse into the future. The Tribeca Film Festival winner for Best Documentary puts viewers in the center of the action—from a ride-along with a South Carolina SWAT team and inside a police training seminar that teaches the importance of ‘righteous violence’ to the floor of a congressional hearing on the proliferation of military equipment in small-town police departments—before exploring where technology could lead the field next.” KDocs’s Keynote Speaker was Dr. Wade Deisman, KPU Associate Dean, Faculty of Arts and Professor of Criminology. donotresistfilm.com

  • After Spring: “Close to 80,000 Syrian refugees live in the Zaatari Refugee Camp in Jordan, the second-largest such camp in the world. Fifty-eight percent of its inhabitants are children. After Spring immerses us in the rhythms of the camp, the role of the aid workers, and the daily lives of two families as they contemplate an uncertain future. All aspects of refugee camp life are explored, including medical assistance, the self-sustaining economy of its urban center, and even pizza making. But it all arcs on bringing purpose and education to the children uprooted from their homes, often termed the ‘lost generation.’ Executive produced by Jon Stewart, this is a fascinating journey through the camp’s physical and human landscapes.” KDocs’s Keynote Speaker was Saleem Spindari, Manager, Refugee Settlement Support Projects, Family and Settlement Services, MOSAIC. afterspringfilm.com

  • Migrant Dreams: “A powerful feature documentary by multiple award-winning director Min Sook Lee and Emmy award-winning producer Lisa Valencia-Svensson, tells the undertold story of migrant agricultural workers struggling against Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) that treats foreign workers as modern-day indentured labourers. Under the rules of Canada’s migrant labour program, low wage migrants are tied to one employer. Migrant Dreams exposes the underbelly of the Canadian government labour program that has built a system designed to empower brokers and growers to exploit, dehumanize and deceive migrant workers who have virtually no access to support or information in their own language. Workers willing to pay exorbitant fees to work at minimum wage jobs packing the fruits and vegetables we eat in our homes. Migrant workers who deserve basic labour and human rights.” KDocs’s Special Guest and Keynote Speaker was Min Sook Lee, Director, Migrant Dreams. migrantdreams.ca

  • Sonita: “If 18-year old Sonita had a say in things, Michael Jackson would be her father and Rihanna her mother. She captures her dream of being a famous rapper in her scrapbook. For the time being, her only fans are the other teenage girls in a Tehran shelter. There, Sonita, a refugee from Afghanistan, gets counseling for the traumas she has suffered and guidance in shaping her future. Her family has a very different future planned for her: as a bride she's worth $9,000. What's more, women aren't allowed to sing in Iran. How can Sonita still succeed in making her dreams come true? Director Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami ends up personally involved in answering that question, reigniting the discussion as to how documentary makers should relate to their subjects. This is just one of the many unexpected twists in an exciting journey replete with the setbacks and successes of a young women looking for her own path.” wmm.com/sonita

  • Life, Animated: “From Academy Award winning director Roger Ross Williams, Life, Animated is the inspirational story of Owen Suskind, a young man who was unable to speak as a child until he and his family discovered a unique way to communicate by immersing themselves in the world of classic Disney animated films. This emotional coming-of-age story follows Owen as he graduates to adulthood and takes his first steps toward independence. The subject of his father Ron Suskind’s New York Times bestseller, Owen was a thriving three year old who suddenly and inexplicably went silent—and for years after remained unable to connect with other people or to convey his thoughts, feelings or desires. Over time, through repeated viewings of Disney classics like The Little Mermaid and The Lion King, Owen found useful tools to help him to understand complex social cues and to re-connect with the world around him.” KDocs’s Keynote Speaker was Faith Bodnar, Executive Director, Inclusion BC. lifeanimateddoc.com

  • Wizard Mode: “In the game of pinball, there is no greater reward than Wizard Mode—a hidden level that is only unlocked when a player completes a series of lightning-speed challenges. Robert Emilio Gagno has dedicated most of his life to mastering Wizard Mode, and is now one of the top pinball players in the world. He also happens to have autism. As a young boy, his parents realized they could give him a quarter and he would play on a pinball machine for hours. Refusing to believe their son was locked into a limited future, his parents supported him as he practiced non-stop, developing an exceptional talent for the game. But now Robert’s real challenge lies outside the game on his journey to shed his youth and gain independence. Wizard Mode, Salazar Film’s first feature documentary, is a candid personal perspective on autism through the life of one of the world’s greatest pinball players.” KDocs’s Special Guests were Robert Gagno, Kathy Gagno, and Maurizio Gagno, stars of Wizard Mode; and Jeff Petry and Nathan Drillot, Co-directors of Wizard Mode. wizardmodefilm.com

Courtesy of Kwantlen's Coast Capital Library, you can read a bibliographic listing of additional resources for 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.



A Special KDocs Screening: Flin Flon Flim Flam

KDocs hosted a free on-campus screening and panel discussion of John Dougherty's Flin Flon Flim Flam on January 26, 2017.

SPECIAL GUEST: John Dougherty, Investigative Reporter, Business and Political Writer, Columnist, Publisher, and Director, Flin Flon Flim Flam

PANELISTS: John Dougherty, Director, Flin Flon Flim Flam; Paul Richard, Chair, KPU Environmental Protection Program; Kate Murray, Member, Mining Justice Alliance; Bjorn Stime, Stop the Institute

LOCATION: Fir 128, KPU Surrey Campus

About the Film:
"InvestigativeMEDIA turns its unflinching focus on Canadian miner Hudbay Minerals Inc. and its controversial plans to construct the massive Rosemont open-pit copper mine in the Santa Rita Mountains on the Coronado National Forest southeast of Tucson. InvestigativeMEDIA’s John Dougherty documents Hudbay’s legacy of lead poisoning in a remote Manitoba community where the company operated a notorious copper smelter for 80 years. He then turns to Hudbay’s former operations in Guatemala where the company stands accused of murder, rape and shootings in a precedent setting civil trial. Dougherty travels to the Peruvian Andes documenting indigenous villagers occupying a mine site after Peruvian police beat and teargased protestors angry over Hudbay’s failure to abide by an agreement. Dougherty uncovers Hudbay’s misleading statements over its proposed Rosemont copper project and the ecological treasure that would be destroyed if the mine were constructed."



A Special KDocs Screening: KOMBIT: The Cooperative


KDocs held a special FREE! on-campus screening of KOMBIT: The Cooperative on October 27, 2016.

SPECIAL GUEST: Margaret Morey-Reuner, Director, Strategic Partnerships and Business Development at TIMBERLAND

PANELISTS include Kent Mullinix, KPU Director, Institute for Sustainable Food System (ISFS); Larissa Petrillo, KPU Instructor, Anthropology and Director, The Centre for Interdisciplinary Research: Community Learning Engagement (CIR:CLE); and Tasha Nathanson, Youth Program Manager, British Columbia Co-operative Association.

View the trailer at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_771_N7OmXE
Visit the film online at http://www.kombitfilm.com/

About the Film:
"Once known as the richest agricultural country in the Caribbean, Haiti has been wracked by instability and natural disasters. Decades of decline have taken their toll on Haiti’s people, and today the country is 98% deforested with little of its once prosperous agricultural industry enduring. When Timberland commits to creating a sustainable intervention in Haiti that will lead to 5 million trees in 5 years, they work to find partners that understand the harsh realities of aid work but share the vision to build something sustainable. Over the course of 5 years, we follow Timberland’s support of a nascent partnership between a Haitian agronomist and a former NGO leader that commit to empowering communities of farmers to plant millions of trees while improving their crop yields. As the end of Timberland’s financial support approaches, SFA’s leaders race to develop new markets and opportunities for Haitian farmers that will endure and ensure a sustainable, greener future."



A Special KDocs Screening: How We Got Gay and Transforming Gender

As their practicum project, English 4300: Writing and Persuasion Beyond the Classroom students worked with KDocs Community Outreach to create a community event for Pride Week: the screening of two LGBTQ+ documentaries, Transforming Gender and How We Got Gay. A keynote address by Gerald Walton (Educational Studies faculty and author of The Gay Agenda) opened the evening, while the screenings were followed by a panel discussion led by Walton, Tara Lyons (Criminology faculty), and Kari Michaels (KPU student and WOOW co-founder). Brandy Svendson (Co-founder and CEO, Be the Change) served as the event’s moderator. Practicum students Neil Bassan, James Hospedales, Amanda Lam, and Kelsey Oskam were responsible for selecting the documentaries, promoting the event, running social media, recruiting panelists and the keynote speaker, writing a grant application, coordinating set-up, and hosting. This double-feature event took place on July 28, 2016 on the Surrey campus.

A Special KDocs Screening: The Mask You Live In

In partnership with KDoc Community Outreach, English 4300: Writing and Persuasion Beyond the Classroom students hosted a screening of Jennifer Siebel Newsom's The Mask You Live In (2015), a documentary that addresses hypermasculinity and the socialization of boys in America. Sponsored by KPIRG (Kwantlen Public Interest Research Group), the event included the performance of "Lost Boy Like Me" by rapping English major Calvin "Kalvonix" Tiu, a post-screening discussion forum, and breakout groups facilitated by the practicum students. The special guests of the evening were the youth from the Pathways Aboriginal Centre in Richmond. This special event was held at the Melville Centre for Dialogue on June 3, 2016.



KDocs 2016

KDocs held its second annual official documentary film festival on February 19 and 20, 2016, at the Vancouver International Film Centre/Vancity Theatre. Over 700 people were in attendance throughout the two-day festival, with a 35% increase in average per-film attendance.

  • Drone: “Inside the secret CIA drone war. Intimate stories from the war on terror. People living under drones in Pakistan and drone pilots struggling with killing through joysticks in the US. The film covers diverse and integral ground from the recruitment of young pilots at gaming conventions and the re-definition of ‘going to war,’ to the moral stance of engineers behind the technology, the world leaders giving the secret ‘green light’ to engage in the biggest targeted killing program in history, and the people willing to stand up against the violations of civil liberties and fight for transparency, accountability and justice. This is just the beginning. In the midst of fast advancement of technology and lagging international legislation the film shows how drones change wars and possibly our future.”  KDocs’s special guests and keynote speakers were Brandon Bryant (star of Drone and Founder, Project Red Hand), Michelle Segal (Project Red Hand), and Luke Bokenfohr (Former Royal Marine Commando and current Vancouver Police Department).  www.dronethedocumentary.com
  • The Mask You Live In:The Mask You Live In follows boys and young men as they struggle to stay true to themselves while negotiating America’s narrow definition of masculinity. Pressured by the media, their peer group, and even the adults in their lives, our protagonists confront messages encouraging them to disconnect from their emotions, devalue authentic friendships, objectify and degrade women, and resolve conflicts through violence. These gender stereotypes interconnect with race, class, and circumstance, creating a maze of identity issues boys and young men must navigate to become ‘real’ men. Experts in neuroscience, psychology, sociology, sports, education, and media also weigh in, offering empirical evidence of the ‘boy crisis’ and tactics to combat it. The Mask You Live In ultimately illustrates how we, as a society, can raise a healthier generation of boys and young men.” KDocs’s special guest and keynote speaker was leadership consultant David Hatfield.  www.themaskyoulivein.org
  • Peace Officer:Peace Officer is a feature documentary about the increasingly militarized state of American police as told through the story of William ‘Dub’ Lawrence, a former sheriff who established and trained his rural state’s first SWAT team only to see that same unit kill his son-in-law in a controversial standoff 30 years later. Driven by an obsessed sense of mission, Dub uses his own investigative skills to uncover the truth in this and other recent officer-involved shootings in his community while tackling larger questions about the changing face of peace officers nationwide.” KDocs’s special guest and keynote speaker was William “Dub” Lawrence (star of Peace Officer).  www.peaceofficerfilm.com
  • Food Chain$: “There is more interest in food these days than ever, yet there is very little interest in the hands that pick it. Farmworkers, the foundation of our fresh food industry, are routinely abused and robbed of wages. In extreme cases they can be beaten, sexually harassed or even enslaved—all within the borders of the United States. Food Chain$ reveals the human cost in our food supply and the complicity of large buyers of produce like fast food and supermarkets. Fast food is big, but supermarkets are bigger—earning $4 trillion globally. They have tremendous power over the agricultural system. Over the past 3 decades they have drained revenue from their supply chain leaving farmworkers in poverty and forced to work under subhuman conditions. Yet many take no responsibility for this.” KDocs’s special guest and keynote speaker was Pablo Godoy (National Representative, UFCW Canada; National Coordinator, Students Against Migrant Exploitation/S.A.M.E.), and Vice-President, Ontario Federation of Labour).  www.foodchainsfilm.com
  • Ivory Tower: “As tuition rates spiral beyond reach and student loan debt passes $1 trillion (more than credit card debt), Ivory Tower asks: Is college worth the cost?  From the halls of Harvard, to public colleges in financial crisis, to Silicon Valley, filmmaker Andrew Rossi assembles an urgent portrait of a great American institution at the breaking point. Through profiles at Arizona State, Cooper Union, and San Jose State—among several others—Ivory Tower reveals how colleges in the United States, long regarded as leaders in higher education, came to embrace a business model that often promotes expansion over quality learning. But along the way we also find unique programs, from Stanford to the free desert school Deep Springs to the historically black all women’s college Spelman, where the potential for life-changing college experiences endure. Ultimately, Ivory Tower asks, What price will society pay if higher education cannot revolutionize college as we know it and evolve a sustainable economic model?” KDocs’s special guest and keynote speaker was Kathy Corrigan, MLA, Burnaby-Deer Lake and Official Opposition Critic for Advanced Education.  www.takepart.com/ivorytower
  • Fractured Land: “What would it be like to live alongside one of the shapers of human events, in their youth, before they transformed history? In Fractured Land, we follow Caleb Behn, a young Dene lawyer who may become one of this generation’s great leaders, if he can discover how to reconcile the fractures within himself, his community and the world around him, blending modern tools of the law with ancient wisdom. As 350.org founder, Bill McKibben, puts it, “Anyone who can throw a hatchet and sue you is a force to be reckoned with.” Caleb sports a Mohawk and tattoos, hunts moose, and wears a business suit. His father is a devout environmentalist and residential school survivor. His mother is a top executive for the oil and gas industry. His people, at the epicenter of some of the largest fracking operations on earth, are deeply divided. How does Caleb balance their need for jobs with his sacred duty to defend their territory? He has arrived at a key moment in history, sees the contradictions, and wants to reconcile them.” KDocs’s special guest and keynote speaker was Caleb Behn (star of Fractured Land).  www.fracturedland.com

Courtesy of Kwantlen's Coast Capital Library, you can read a bibliographic listing of additional resources for Drone, The Mask You Live In, Peace Officer, Food Chain$, Ivory Tower, and Fractured Land.

A Special KDocs Screening: Vancouver Aquarium Uncovered

KDocs was proud to present Vancouver Aquarium Uncovered, a documentary film by local Vancouver filmmaker Gary Charbonneau, on January 27, 2016. The event was held at Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Surrey campus, with approximately 100 people in attendance.  Our special guests included Mr. Charbonneau; animal law lawyer, Rebeka Breder; and Chief Scientific Officer for the BC SPCA, Dr. Sara Dubois, and together with a lively audience, they participated in an informative Q&A following the film. With Vancouver Aquarium Uncovered, Charbonneau delivers a powerful and explosive documentary uncovering the truth on whale and dolphin captivity at one of Canada’s two remaining aquaria. For more information about the film, including a link to the film itself where it can be viewed free of charge, visit www.vancouveraquariumuncovered.com; click here for a bibliography of additional resources related to this film, courtesy of Kwantlen's Coast Capital Library.



KDocs 2015

KDocs held its first full film festival on March 14, 2015, at the Vancouver International Film Centre/Vancity Theatre. Over 300 were in attendance throughout the day.

  • Honor Diaries: Micah Smith’s 2013 Honor Diaries “is the first film to break the silence on ‘honor violence’ against women and girls.  Honor Diaries is more than a movie, it is a movement to save women and girls from human rights abuses around the world.” KDocs special guest and keynote speaker was Raheel Raza, a Muslim Canadian journalist, author, public speaker, media consultant, anti-racism activist, and interfaith discussion leader.
  • Do the Math: Directors Kelly Nyks and Jared P. Scott’s 2013 film “chronicles ‘America's leading environmentalist,’ Bill McKibben, in a David-vs-Goliath battle to fight the fossil fuel industry and change the terrifying math of the climate crisis.” KDocs's special guest and keynote speaker was Bill McKibben (via video recording).
  • A Dangerous Game: “In this 2014 sequel to the award-winning You’ve Been Trumped, director Anthony Baxter once again follows American billionaire Donald Trump and a cast of other greedy characters who want to turn some of the Earth’s most precious places into golf courses and playgrounds for the super rich. KDocs's special guest and keynote speaker was Anthony Baxter, British journalist and broadcaster and the director of A Dangerous Game and You've Been Trumped.

Courtesy of Kwantlen's Coast Capital Library, you can read a bibliographic listing of additional resources for Honor Diaries, Do the Math, and A Dangerous Game.


KDocs 2014

  • The Price We Pay: KDocs launched on October 5, 2014, with its inaugural event, in partnership with the Vancouver Film Festival (VIFF): a screening of The Price We Pay, with special guest, the film’s director, Harold Crooks.  With The Price We Pay, Crooks, best known for The Corporation and, most recently, Surviving Progress, blows the lid off the dirty world of corporate malfeasance with this incendiary documentary about the dark history and dire present-day reality of big-business tax avoidance, which has seen multinationals depriving governments of trillions of dollars in tax revenues by harbouring profits in offshore havens. KPU's Coast Capital Library has prepared a bibliography of additional resources related to this film.
  • How to Survive a Plague: How to Survive a Plague is the story of two coalitions—ACT UP and TAG (Treatment Action Group)—whose activism and innovation turned AIDS from a death sentence into a manageable condition. The 2014-2015 Documentary Series closed out with 150+ registrants and a visit from David France, award-winning author, journalist, and director of the Oscar-nominated and Peabody-award-winning How to Survive a Plague, a sobering and, at times, heartbreaking, look at the early years of HIV/AIDS activism.  France delivered the event’s Keynote Address and participated as a panelist during the town hall/Q&A, along with Kwantlen students and Canadian HIV/AIDS consultant, advocate, and activist, Brandy Svendson (CEO, Be the Change Group Inc.).  Once again, MRAG worked closely with the KSA and various Kwantlen students groups, including Kwantlen Pride, to present a lively panel discussion in which student representatives from Kwantlen’s queer, gender diversity, and social justice groups drove a lively conversation and debate.  The event garnered media attention from CBC Radio, AIDS Vancouver, and Positive Living BC and demonstrated once again the far reach of MRAG and its high-quality, community-based, social justice-oriented events. For additional resources related to How to Survive a Plague, you are welcome to review the bibliography prepared by the Coast Capital Library.



KDocs 2013

  • Orgasm Inc.: Orgasm Inc. is an extraordinary behind-the-scenes access reveals a drug company's fevered race to develop the first FDA-approved Viagra for women and offers a humorous but sobering look inside the cash-fueled pharmaceutical industry. The 2013-2014 Documentary Series kicked off in October 2013, when we hosted filmmaker Liz Canner for a day on KPU’s campus, where she not only delivered the Keynote Address for the evening’s main event, but also met with smaller student/class groups (breakfast and lunch events) and participated in the town hall/panel discussion that followed the main event.  This was another sold-out MRAG event, with over 200 registrants, and feedback was overwhelmingly positive, especially for Liz Canner, as well as special panel member, Saleema Noon, one of Canada’s most well-known and highly respected Sexual Education Consultants.  Audience members responded enthusiastically to such high-profile speakers/ professionals, and this set an even higher standard for what had already become a well-known, quality brand (MRAG).  The Orgasm Inc. event also solidified what was already a growing partnership with the KSA and secured even more, deeper student involvement in the planning and execution of the day’s events.
    Bibliography of Additional Resources (courtesy of KPU's Coast Capital Library)
  • Payback: This feature documentary offers a fascinating look at debt as a mental construct and traces how it influences relationships, societies, governing structures, and the fate of the planet itself. Exploring the link between debtor and creditor in a variety of contexts and places, from the mountains of northern Albania to the tomato fields of southern Florida, the film blends compelling stories of “owing” and “being owed.” This event was a high-profile Kwantlen cultural event that attracted an audience of over 200 people from Kwantlen’s communities and beyond, with major contributions in kind made by the School of Horticulture and the Faculty of Design and the direct involvement of their faculty and students in the project. MRAG was pleased to welcome special guest Margaret Atwood. Atwood, author of Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth, on which the film is based, took part in the town hall discussion following the screening, along with Dr. William Rees, originator of the “ecological footprint” concept and measurement, who also served as the evening's keynote speaker. CBC Radio One was the event’s media sponsor and provided CBC Radio One host Sheryl MacKay to MC the evening as well as timely media support and coverage. Audience feedback was extremely positive. By all accounts, this event set a new bar for Kwantlen’s MRAG, and Kwantlen events in general.
    Bibliography of Additional Resources (courtesy of KPU's Coast Capital Library)


KDocs 2012

  • Pink Ribbons, Inc.: Pink Ribbons, Inc. is a 2011 National Film Board of Canada (NFB) documentary about the pink ribbon campaign, directed by Léa Pool and produced by Ravida Din. The film is based on the 2006 book Pink Ribbons, Inc: Breast Cancer and the Politics of Philanthropy by Samantha King, associate professor of kinesiology and health studies at Queen's University. In October 2012, as just one of MRAG’s projects, we launched its first annual Documentary Series with a screening of this controversial documentary film, including an interdisciplinary panel of Kwantlen faculty and students, as well as Keynote Speaker, Dr. Judy Segal, distinguished UBC professor of English and a scholar in the rhetoric of health and medicine. The Pink Ribbons, Inc. event again attracted a full house; a lively discussion followed, led mainly by the audience, our community; and media interest. Bibliography of Additional Resources (courtesy of KPU's Coast Capital Library)
  • Miss Representation: Miss Representation is a 2011 American documentary film written, directed, and produced by Jennifer Siebel Newsom. It explores how mainstream media contribute to the under-representation of women in influential positions by circulating limited and often disparaging portrayals of women. The film premiered in the documentary competition at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. This first screening and town hall panel/community dialogue (January 2012) attracted over 150 participants and received an overwhelming show of positive feedback within and across KPU’s many communities, including the media. We received many requests for more such events and dialogues across KPU campuses, ranging from community action-oriented meetings, to speaker evening/series, to group websites/social media/blogs, and of course, more film screenings and town hall discussions.
    Bibliography of Additional Resources (courtesy of KPU's Coast Capital Library)