About the DOC Institute
The DOC Institute is an initiative of the Documentary Organization of Canada, Ontario Chapter. After several vital Canadian programs for filmmakers closed their doors, DOC Ontario undertook extensive research and conducted interviews with documentary practitioners to determine what they needed to make their films, make connections and make it. The result of that research is the DOC Institute. With the aim of supporting doc-makers’ creative journeys, the DOC Institute is a hub for established and emerging voices in the non-fiction world. Through its program streams—the Masters Series, the Producers Exchange and DOC Connects—the DOC Institute offers essential professional development for documentary media artists of all levels.
About DOC Ontario
The Ontario Chapter of the Documentary Organization of Canada is the organization’s oldest and largest chapter. Formerly known as the Canadian Independent Film & Video Caucus, DOC Ontario began as an advocacy group in 1983. In its 30-year history, DOC Ontario conceived of the Hot Docs International Film Festival and Point of View Magazine, as well as successfully lobbied for the creation of Telefilm Canada’s documentary broadcast envelope. Today, DOC Ontario has over 350 active members—including award-winning directors, writers, editors, producers, cinematographers and researchers—forming the unified regional voice of the Documentary Organization of Canada.
Sherien Barsoum is a filmmaker and impact producer who is inspired by people and issues making the world a better place. Her first feature, COLOUR ME was a bold exploration of black identity narratives. Most recently, Sherien directed and produced RIDE FOR PROMISE, winning the HotDocs Short Film Pitch and Best Canadian Documentary at NorthWest Fest, and PLAYER ZERO. She produced BABE, I HATE TO GO, which played top festivals internationally and was nominated for a Canadian Screen Award. Sherien was the story consultant on the Oscar-shortlisted FRAME 394 and co-produced HOUSE OF Z, the first feature film bought and distributed by Condé Nast, now on Netflix. Sherien is the former
Director of Programming for the Reelworld Film Festival and has served as a mentor with the Documentary Organization of Canada.
Ric Esther Bienstock is an Emmy Award-winning filmmaker best known for her groundbreaking investigative documentaries. Her films have screened at over 60 international festivals and have aired on networks in over 50 countries. Her most recent feature length documentary, Tales From the Organ Trade, tackles the international black market trade in human organs. Narrated by David Cronenberg, the film was produced for HBO in the U.S. and Shaw Media and Canal D in Canada.
She has produced, written and directed a diverse range of acclaimed films including Sex Slaves (aka The Real Sex Traffic) (CBC, PBS Frontline, Channel 4) an expose into the trafficking of women from the former Soviet bloc into the global sex trade. Other films include the 3-part series Penn & Teller’s Magic and Mystery Tour (CBC, TLC, Channel 4), The Sexual Century: The Money Shot, Boxing: In and Out of the Ring (A&E, TVOntario, Sky), Ebola: Inside an Outbreak (aka The Plague Fighters) (CBC, PBS Nova, Channel 4) and Ms. Conceptions (CBC, TLC). Her work has garnered numerous awards including a U.S. Emmy for Outstanding Investigative Journalism, an Edward R. Murrow Award, a Dupont-Columbia University Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism, a British Broadcast Award for Best Documentary, a Royal Television Society Award, a nomination for a British Academy Award (BAFTA), two HOT DOCS Awards, two Gemini Awards, a Genie, a Cable Ace Award, two Gold Hugos from the Chicago Film Festival, a Distinguished Documentary Achievement Award from the IDA in Los Angeles, 2 Hot Docs Awards, 3 Gold World Medals from the New York Festivals, the Grand Prix at the Nyon International Film Festival in Switzerland and two Overseas Press Club of America Awards for her investigative documentaries.
She speaks three languages, none of which her children listen to.
Nicholas de Pencier is a director, producer, and director of photography specializing in documentary for the past 20 years. He is President of Mercury Films.
As both producer and DOP his credits include Let It Come Down: The Life of Paul Bowles (Genie & Banff Rockie nominations, International Emmy in 1999). Also The Holier It Gets (Best Cultural and Best Independent at Hot Docs, 2000, Geminis for best writing, editing, and direction in a documentary series, nomination, Donald Brittain Award). In 2002 he produced and shot The True Meaning of Pictures (TIFF, Sundance, Best Arts Doc Gemini). This was followed in 2003 by Hockey Nomad (nominated for Banff Rockie, as well as three Geminis, won the Best Sports). He also co-directed, produced and photographed for TVOntario a series of 40 short profiles on artists who have received Ontario Arts Council grants over the past 40 years.
He produced Manufactured Landscapes (Chum City Award – best Canadian feature TIFF 2006, Genie for best Doc, distributed in 15 countries). He also directed and partially shot Four Wings and a Prayer (Grand Prix Pariscience, Banff Rockie best Wildlife and Natural History Program, Jules Verne Nature Award, Gemini nominations for Best Science, Cinematography and Direction, Emmy nomination for PBS NOVA version). He was producer and DOP on Act of God (opening night film, Hot Docs 2009). Among ongoing DOP work for docs and doc series on CBC, History, Discovery, National Geographic and many others, he has recently been shooting the documentary adaptation of Payback, Margaret Atwood’s Massey Lecture on debt which will be released theatrically in Canada in March 2012 and producing and shooting a feature doc on water with Edward Burtynsky.
Tiffany Hsiung is an international award-winning filmmaker based in Toronto, Canada. Her debut award-winning feature-length documentary The Apology (2016) produced by the National Film Board of Canada, has won over a dozen awards internationally. This includes the prestigious Peabody Award along with the Allan King Memorial award presented by the Documentary Organization of Canada. The Apology was one of the top 10 films at Hot Docs (2016), the best documentary at the Busan International Film Festival and the Oslo International Film Festival to name a few. Nominated for an Allan King Award for Excellence in Documentary by the Director’s Guild of Canada. The Apology was theatrically released in Canada and Korea and broadcasted by POV/PBS in the US and world-wide released by Al Jazeera. Hsiung co-created and co-directed interactive web documentary The Space We Hold (2017) After the world premiere at Sheffield Documentary Film Festival The Space We Hold is awarded a Peabody – Futures of Media Award (2018) and a Canadian Screen Award for Best Original Digital Production. Hsiung directed her first episodic show for Sinking Ship Entertainment, ‘Dino Dana’ and selected as one of eight directors from across Canada to participate in the 2018 Canadian Academy Directors Program for Women.
Hsiung recently completed her short The Bassinet, a commissioned film for The NFB’s LGBTQ2+ series Five@50. Hsiung is currently in post-production for her CBC short documentary ‘Sing Me a Lullaby’ set in Taipei, Taiwan.
Lalita is an award winning filmmaker and transmedia producer. Her work has been broadcast on all major networks and featured at film festivals around the world. Lalita’s documentaries are used extensively both in the Canadian and international educational market. Currently, she is executing multiple transmedia productions in partnership with award winning game producers, designers and developers. Lalita is a featured speaker at prestigious conferences and professional development events. She also chaired the steering committee of docSHIFT and DOCS IN CLASS two major flagship programs run by DOC Toronto.
Lalita was recently recognized with the Crystal Award for mentorship by WIFT-T. She has also been awarded the Dream-Catcher Award for using her craft to better humanity and is the recipient of the 2010 Reel World Trailblazer award.
Michael McNamara lives in Toronto working as a filmmaker, screenwriter and director. In February 2002, he launched Markham Street Films with his partner Judy Holm, specializing in projects that are edgy, smart, provocative and funny. McNamara’s films include Radio Revolution – The Rise and Fall of The Big 8 (2004 Best History Program Gemini), The Life and Times of Robert Munsch and 100 Films & A Funeral, about the rise and fall of PolyGram Films. He wrote and directed Driven by Vision, a 17-part series on visionary outsider artists (Gemini for Best Direction in a Documentary Series). In 2011 he also won a best directing award for his feature-length documentary Acquainted With The Night. His recent films include Lights Out! for The Nature of Things, The F-Word: Who Wants to Be a Feminist? and Ice, Sweat and Tears for DocZone, as well as Fanboy Confessional, a six part documentary series produced for Space Television. He serves on the DOC Toronto chapter board and represents Toronto on the DOC National board. He served a full term as Chair of the Doc National Board and currently serves on the editorial committee of POV Magazine and the executive committee of the Hot Docs International Film Festival.
Nadine Pequeneza is an award-winning Producer, Director and Writer best known for her observational films offering unique access to character-driven stories about social justice. With over 15 years international experience, she has multiple awards to her credit including; a Gold and Silver Hugo from the Chicago International Film Festival, a Golden Sheaf from the Yorkton Film Festival, and a Gold Panda from the Sichuan Festival in China. Nadine is a 4-time Canada Screen Award nominee in both directing and writing categories. Her work has broadcast in more than 50 countries on networks such as: CBC, PBS, A&E, Discovery Channel International, Global Television, History Television, and National Geographic.
Colette Vosberg is a TV, Film and Digital professional that specializes in business affairs and producing with a creative flair. Colette has written, directed and produced two shorts, one drama entitled “Gotta Get Ahead” and the other a documentary, entitled “The Hootenanny”. Early in her career, she worked on CFC shorts and MOW’s for Showtime, such as “What Girls Learn” with Elizabeth Perkins and Scott Bakula.
Colette has a unique background of having worked in the fields of broadcasting, distribution, Independent production, and a funding agency, providing a rich and well-rounded expertise in the TV, Film and Digital industry. In this capacity, she provides to independent producers, business affairs, funding opportunities, finance plans, budgets, and tax credit expertise. Colette has also been instrumental in offering business strategies to broadcasters on how to manage and grow their CMF broadcaster envelopes and ideas of Canadian content spend.Focusing on production, Colette has Produced a Co-Production digital documentary between Canada and New Zealand entitled “Spurred On”, Line Produced for a feature-length documentary “This is Not a Movie”, a Co-Production between Canada, NFB and Germany, and Associate Produced a TV dramedy series “Mangoes: A Slice of Life” and a feature docudrama “Shelter From the Storm”. Colette is also pitching her own TV series called “Work it and Wear it” that explores wearable technology that enables people with disabilities.
Danny is a partner with Hall Webber LLP which is recognized by Who’s Who Legal® and Lexpert® one of Canada’s top rated boutique entertainment law firms and serves as the official legal counsel to the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television and the Canadian Screen Awards. He has also acted as an executive producer on more than 25 film & television productions and is currently producing a feature length documentary. Danny is a frequent guest lecturer with programs such as the Seneca@York Documentary Institute, and the Ryerson Radio & Television Arts Program, a member of the Academy of Canadian Film and Television, and in addition to recently joining the board of Doc Ontario he also serves as the President and chair of the board of the non-profit Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company. For further details see: http://www.hallwebber.com
James Weyman is President of media production and consulting company Barn 12 Inc. A 35 year veteran of the screen-based industries, he recently exited the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC) where he was responsible for managing a $20 million portfolio of funds including the OMDC Film Fund. As a producer and filmmaker, James has been involved in a range of critically acclaimed productions, including the recent feature documentary Finding Fidel. As an executive, James has extensive experience in policy and program development and administration; project development and financing; domestic and international business development and co-production strategies; and communications and governance. Along the way he has worked closely with industry organizations such as DOC and Hot Docs, supported the careers of two generations of filmmakers, and participated in financing hundreds of film and TV productions including recent documentary titles such as League of Exotique Dancers, A Better Man, All Governments Lie and the upcoming Anthropocene. His new company, Barn 12, is committed to creating high quality film, television and digital media in partnership with like-minded creators for a global audience and has several projects in development. James also does business development consulting in the domestic and international creative industries, is a frequent speaker and moderator on industry panels, and currently sits on the Steering Committee for Artscape Launchpad.
Clayon Windatt is a Métis, non–binary multi-artist living and working between Sturgeon Falls and Toronto, Ontario. With an extensive history working in artist-run culture and community arts, Clayton works towards healthier relationships for national and global Indigenous artists and communities. The former Executive Director of the Aboriginal Curatorial Collective, Clayton is an active writer, filmmaker and visual-media artist, who also works with several colleges and universities, arts magazines, arts councils and organizations, providing professional services as a critical writer, columnist and consultant. Clayton is an active filmmaker and director with works featured in festivals such as ImagineNative and the Toronto International Film Festival, and recent commissions by the National Film Board of Canada. Clayton holds a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts degree from Nipissing University and certification as a Graphic Designer from Canadore College.
Christine Kleckner has 18 years of combined experience in film, television, interactive and social impact production. Her portfolio includes a range of credits at the National Film Board and independent productions including Stories We Tell, A Better Man and the impact campaign for nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up. As lead producer on A Better Man, Christine took the multi-faceted film through all stages of development, production and distribution, including pitching at the Hot Docs Forum, screening at the Hot Docs Festival, and managing the film through an extended impact campaign. Her skillset includes project management, grant and proposal writing, fundraising, knowledge of distribution and impact producing, and she has facilitated numerous training sessions for filmmakers.
Christine is passionate about the documentary community and is working towards expanding and building the DOC Institute into a world-class destination for professional development. She is an alumnus of the National Screen Institute and a Fledgling Fellow.
Lara Bulger comes from a background of film festival and theatre festival work. Most recently, she did communications and community outreach work for the Toronto Jewish Film Festival, and prior to that at The Kick & Push Festival in Kingston, Ontario.
She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music, Film and English from Western University and a Master’s Degree in Arts Leadership from Queen’s University. Lara is driven by the capacity of documentary film to bring about social change, and she is very excited to bring her passion for the arts to her role and to DOC Institute.