KDocs is a film festival like no other. It succeeds in doing what many film festivals fail to do. Through its powerful use of expert panels, keynote speeches, and Q&As, KDocs creates a setting where film audiences, instead of simply walking out after a film, are encouraged to reflect more deeply on what they have seen, and become empowered with the tools and knowledge to become more engaged in the issues presented by the film. KDocs organizers have done an outstanding job creating a welcoming, inclusive festival, one that can bring about real change in the world.
I will always cherish the sincere outpouring of encouragement and the interest shown in the film Peace Officer that was featured and screened at KDocs 2016. I was honored to be the subject of the film and even more deeply honored to have been able to travel a thousand miles to Canada to participate in the Kwantlen Documentary Film Festival to share it. Much success to you and yours.
KDocs does something very well that few film festivals attempt - to facilitate a meaningful connection between filmmakers, leading scholars and the public to discuss some of the most pressing issues of the day, that extends far beyond the festival itself. It’s a vital and essential cultural event, and I can’t wait to return!
KDocs is a way for KPU and the Kwantlen Student Association to jointly create safe spaces for dialogue on issues related to social justice and sustainability on a global level. It is our responsibility to be leaders on these issues in our communities and provide a hub for learning and discussion. KDocs has already seen some great success, and we look forward to the amazing shared experiences that will come in the future.
KDocs brings social justice issues to a diverse audience. It creates a shared learning experience that is beyond what you learn in a classroom. Every time I attend a screening, I leave knowing a little bit more about the world around me and feeling a closer connection to the people in my community.
I’m still processing the energy and sensations of the day’s event. I know it took a lot of hard work to organize and ensure its success. So I would like to acknowledge that work by all who gave their time and energy to this endeavor. There were so many “AHA!” moments for me, and I’m sure for many others as well. So many times I was taken to places within me that stirred my angst, rage, discontent, and disapproval of how our world has been visioned for us. On the other hand, I was also brought to tears of hope and happiness at the level of passion that we all have for our communities, families, and world around us. It takes courage, conviction, and a multitude of experiences to come and stand our ground and say what we feel to large audiences. So to the panelists, filmmakers, and communities represented today—I hold my hands up to you. You fill my cup with hope for the future. When I go to sleep tonight I will stand on the earth with my feet firmly planted on the ground, knowing I did what I could today to help make our world a better place, and say a prayer for all of you who were present and share that assertion in that we all did the same. To the filmmakers, keep showing us that this corrupted vision of the world around us will not be handed over to tricksters so easily. Be the image makers—all of us. Hey’ch’ke ey’siem.
The KDocs Community Outreach program (through its diverse activities and fora) offers students, educators, and community members at large across Metro Vancouver’s K-12 and postsecondary institutions cutting-edge and pertinent learning and growth opportunities. The program promotes critical reflection on historically situated social, economic, political, and cultural questions that shape contemporary societies in their diversities, crises, and struggles. It does so from within social justice, anti-racist, and critical global citizenship perspectives that bring the power of visual media, testimonials, and representation to bear on an informed discussion of BC, Canada, and world issues. KDocs Outreach offers a pedagogically indispensable public platform for discussion, debate, and appreciation of the political, ethical, and aesthetic aspects of our life and the politics that underpins it. Its activities have been instrumental to my course on documentary films and the possibilities and limits of dialogic education. It enriched classroom discussions and opened up opportunities for course participants to creatively engage broader questions of colonialism, Indigenous knowledge and issues, social justice, solidarity, and transformative change in a troubled world.
Photo credit: Suher Zaher (2013)