Masters Series Class with Ric Esther Bienstock

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

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

Going Beyond the Headlines – Making Investigative Docs

Documentary filmmaker Ric Esther Bienstock has spent 25 years directing and producing an eclectic body of work. Bienstock’s award-winning projects have explored the magic of Penn & Teller, Ebola, corruption in the world of professional boxing, women who choose to be single mothers, the black market trade in human organs, the business of porn, and sex trafficking. But while Bienstock is most widely recognized for her investigative films with unprecedented access into unknown worlds, she makes no claim to being a journalist.

In her Master Class, Bienstock will discuss her impressive filmography with special attention paid to her process for creating cinematic works out of journalistic topics. The discussion will also touch on Bienstock’s tips for access and the blurred ‘line’ between docs and journalism.

The class will be moderated by Sean Farnel, leading expert of creative docs, producer and previous programming lead for Hot Docs and TIFF. Join the DOC Institute for this intimate, one-of-a-kind Masters Series Class on October 6!

Date: Tuesday, October 6, 2015,  6:30pm – 8:30pm (Doors at 6:00pm)
Location: Camera Bar (Map)
Price: DOC Members: $55* / Non-members: $75 / Students (with valid I.D.) $45 / LIFT Members: $55

*Non-DOC members who purchase tickets can get a special $15 rate on a POV Magazine subscription!

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.

Sean Farnel is among the world’s leading experts of creative documentaries, having specialized in the genre for over 20 years. He was the first dedicated documentary programmer for the Toronto International Film Festival, and following that he was the inaugural Director of Programming for Hot Docs, which tripled its audience during his tenure. He is currently advancing several media projects as a producer, while continuing to consult with organizations and independent filmmakers on distribution, festivals and creative development for feature documentaries.

Critical praise for Ric Esther Bienstock:


“[Bienstock] brings conviction, ingenuity and courage to “Sex Slaves,” a “Frontline” investigation into the global sex trade.”
New York Times


“First-rate reporting and forceful storytelling worthy of the name Murrow.” – Overseas press Club of America – The Edward R. Murrow Award


“An unparalleled career exploring controversial issues…one of Canada’s finest documentary filmmakers.”
Cinema Politica