Master Series Class with Ann Shin and Moderator Gerry Flahive

Thursday, August 4

This intimate professional development series focuses on the craft and art of documentary media. Celebrated documentary filmmakers and other acclaimed pros (including editors, cinematographers and sound design) share their expertise and experiences. For more on the DOC Institute’s Masters Series, click here

Staying Nimble in Non-Fiction:
Adaptability and Creative Problem Solving 

Success in today’s shifting mediascape requires a strong mix of creative problem solving and flexibility. But how do you stay true to creative vision while adapting to evolving formats and realities?

Ann Shin is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and digital media producer whose storytelling has captured audiences across a diverse range of mediums – from features and shorts to series and interactive projects. Most recently, her cross-platform project The Defector, Escape from North Korea garnered two Canadian Screen Awards (for Best Directing and Best Documentary Program), a Digi Award and FITC award, and her short film My Enemy, My Brother was nominated for an Emmy and shortlisted for a 2016 Academy Award.

In this intimate Master Class, Ann will share her unique approach to adaptability in storytelling – including conquering new technologies and platforms, her strategy for determining the best medium for an idea, and how to creatively tackle the challenges unique to each format.

The discussion will be moderated by Emmy and Peabody Award-winning writer and producer Gerry Flahive.

Date: Thursday, August 4, 2016,  6:30pm – 8:30pm (Doors at 6:00pm)
Location: Camera Bar, 1028 Queen St W, Toronto
Price: DOC Members: $55* / Non-members: $75 / Students (with valid I.D.) $45 / LIFT Members: $55

Following the class, a formal Sony FS5 product demo will be held by Vistek staff.

Multiple award-winning director and producer, Ann Shin produces and directs, films, series and new media projects. She has produced series for CBC, TVO, Discovery Channel, History Channel, W Network, HGTV, Fine Living Network and SLICE! Network. Her programs have aired on History Channel, CBC, CBC Newsworld, HBO, ABC and Vision TV as well as sold in territories in the US, Europe, East Asia and Southeast Asia. Her cross-platform project The Defector: Escape from North Korea won Best Documentary and Best Documentary Director at the 2014 Canadian Screen Awards, as well winning a Canadian Digi Award and FITC Award.

Her films have garnered awards at festivals including the San Francisco Film Festival, Montreal World Film Festival, New York Festivals, Mumbai International Film Festival and the Chris Awards. Her credits include Gemini nominated Four Seasons Mosaic (CBC), Almost Real (CBC Newsworld), Western Eyes (CBC Newsworld), Best Feature Film Post-Concussion (at Taos Talking Pictures Festival), Chris Award-winning The Roswell Incident (History Channel). In 2016, her New York Times Op Doc, My Enemy, My Brother was short-listed for an Academy Award.

Gerry Flahive is a Toronto-based writer, producer and creative consultant at his media arts company, Modern Story. Until May 2014, Flahive was Senior Producer at the National Film Board of Canada, which he joined in 1981. His productions have won many international awards including 2 Emmy Awards, a World Press Photo Award and a Peabody Award for HIGHRISE (, a global interactive documentary. He produced & co-produced more than 80 documentary films & interactive projects on a wide range of subjects.

Flahive is a frequent contributor to the Globe and Mail and has been published in Time, The New York Times and The Walrus, and many media industry publications. He is a member of the boards of the Pages Unbound literary festival, the Toronto Irish Film Festival and the Seneca College Documentary Film Institute, and was on the Advisory Board for the MIT Open Documentary Lab report “Mapping the Intersection of Two Cultures: Interactive Documentary and Digital Journalism”.

Projects for Discussion Include: 

My Enemy My Brother: An ongoing multi-platform documentary project following the story of Zahed and Najah, two former enemies from the Iran-Iraq War who become blood brothers for life. The short film was nominated for an Emmy Award and Special Jury Prize at Tribeca and was shortlisted for a 2016 Academy Award. Topics for discussion: Adapting an idea across multiple platforms, the rise of short-form storytelling, creative problem solving, and more.

The Defector: Escape from North Korea: A cross-platform documentary about North Korean defectors. The feature film premiered at the Hot Docs in 2012 and was accompanied by The Defector Interactive, an interactive documentary that uses a videogame-like approach to let the user find out about life in and escape from North Korea. It won Best Documentary and Best Documentary Director at the 2014 Canadian Screen Awards, as well winning a Canadian Digi Award and FITC Award. Topics for discussion: Conquering new technologies and platforms, creatively tackling challenges unique to different formats, and more.

Four Fridges: 4 Fridges is in development as both a feature and TV-hour documentary about the truths and myths behind “superfoods,”. The accompanying digital experience allows users to explore different superfoods and the stories of the people who cultivate and rely on them. Topics for discussion: Determining the best medium for an idea, adapting an idea across multiple platforms, and more.

Ann’s other critically acclaimed projects include:
Four Seasons Mosaic (CBC, Gemini nominee – Best Performance Doc)
Post-Concussion (Best Feature Film, Taos Talking Pictures Festival)
The Roswell Incident (History Channel, Chris Award Winner)


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