Baljit Sangra is a Vancouver-based filmmaker whose films shine a light on underrepresented and marginalized voices and stories. A six-time Leo Award nominee, Sangra’s films have routinely premiered at festivals around the world. She directed the NFB-produced feature documentary Because We Are Girls, exploring the impact of sexual abuse on a Punjabi family living in BC. Because We Are Girls had its world premiere in 2019 at Hot Docs and was the Opening Gala film at Doxa Film Festival. It is still screening at festivals and winning awards and is now on Amazon. Other documentaries include the award-winning Many Rivers Home, a personal story about seniors living in assisted care at the end of life; Have You Forgotten Me , that shines a light on North America’s oldest Sikh Temple in North America ‘ anchored by the letters of a wife left behind ; Warrior Boyz, examining the long-running gang scene unique to the Indo-Canadian enclave of BC’s Lower Mainland and Hockey United following dreams of two South Asian hockey hopefuls. Baljit I president of Viva Mantra films Inc which launched by producing several season of an A&E series VIVA! for City TV/ Omni.
Brishkay Ahmed is an Afghan-Canadian filmmaker.
She’s also the director of Unveiled: Kohistan Video Scandal and Story of Burqa. As a member of the Directors Guild of Canada, Playwrights Guild of Canada, and DOC BC, she’s a dedicated member of our creative industries
in Canada and Afghanistan.
Co-Directors: Sean Horlor and Steve J. Adams
Someone Like Me
As proud members of the queer community, directing duo Sean Horlor and Steve J. Adams have created work that shines a spotlight on misunderstandings — queer and otherwise. Their first feature-length documentary, Someone Like Me (NFB), follows a group of young LGBTQ+ strangers who unite to help Drake, a fun-loving gay man, escape to Vancouver from life-threatening persecution in Uganda. Sean and Steve have directed and produced more than 20 projects together, including the award-winning short The Day Don Died (Hot Docs 2019) and Brunch Queen (Inside Out 2018). They recently completed a series of shorts for Knowledge Network entitled Dear Reader, and their next feature documentary, Satan Wants You, is currently in development with CBC documentary Channel.
Director: Shannon Walsh
The Gig is Up
Shannon Walsh has written and directed the award-winning feature documentaries The Gig is Up (2021), Illusions of Control (2019), Jeppe on a Friday (2013), À st-henri, le 26 août (2011), and H2Oil (2009), as well as numerous short films and VR works. Shannon’s films have been broadcast and theatrically-released internationally, played in film festivals globally, and screened in museum spaces, including the Venice Biennale and the Pompidou Centre in Paris. Shannon is an Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia. She is a 2020-2021 Guggenheim Fellow.
Director: Yung Chang
YUNG CHANG is the director of Up the Yangtze (2007), China Heavyweight (2012), and The Fruit Hunters (2012). He is currently completing a screenplay for his first dramatic feature, Eggplant, which was selected in 2015 to participate in the prestigious Sundance Labs. Chang’s films have premiered at international film festivals including Sundance, Berlin, Toronto, and IDFA and have played theatrically in cinemas around the world. Up the Yangtze was one of the top-grossing documentary releases in 2008. In 2013, China Heavyweight became the most widely screened social-issue documentary in Chinese history with an official release in 200 Mainland Chinese cinemas. His films have been critically-acclaimed, receiving awards in Paris, Milan, Vancouver, San Francisco, the Canadian Genie, Taiwan Golden Horse, Cinema Eye Honors, among others and have been nominated at Sundance, the Independent Spirit Awards and the Emmys. Chang’s films have been shown on international broadcasters including PBS, National Geographic, ARTE, ZDF, Channel 4, HBO, TMN, NHK, CBC, TV2, SBS and EBS. Chang is the recipient of the Don Haig Award, the Yolande and Pierre Perrault Award, and the Guggenheim Emerging Artist Award. He is a member of the Directors Guild of Canada. In 2013, he was invited to become a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Director: Caroline Cox
Food for the Rest of Us
Caroline Cox is a Northwest Territories based filmmaker who lives off-grid and specializes in projects that focus on the culture, environment and lifestyles of Canada’s far north. . Raised on a farm in Southern Ontario, Cox moved to the NWT as a young woman working as a folk musician before embracing film as her preferred medium for story-telling. A self-taught cinematographer and editor, Caroline brings a raw authentic lens to her storytelling in the remote part of Canada she has come to call home.
Caroline is the producer and director of the hit TV series Wild Kitchen and CBC series NorthernHer Caroline also works as an Associate Producer for the Discovery Channel. and She is a co-founder at Copper Quartz Media with her business partner, Inuk performing artist, Tiffany Ayalik. Food For The Rest of Us is Caroline and Tiffany’s first feature length documentary film. The film is a Hot Docs Ted Rogers Fund recipient as well as a Doc Society Good Pitch and Redford Centre selected project.
Director: Lyana Patrick
Lyana Patrick is a director, writer and researcher based in Vancouver, BC. She is a member of the Stellat’en First Nation and Acadian/Scottish. Her student short film Travels Across the Medicine Line screened at the American Indian Film Festival (San Francisco) and the Native Voices Film Festival (Seattle). Two short films, A Place to Belong and The Train Station screened at the 2020 Vancouver International Film Festival. Lyana is currently an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences where her work focuses on the intersection of Indigenous health, planning and justice.
Director: Joella Cabalu
Koto: The Last Service
Joella Cabalu is a Filipino Canadian documentary filmmaker based in Vancouver. It Runs in the Family (2015) was her first mid-length documentary, receiving Audience Choice Awards at the Seattle Asian Film Festival and Vancouver Queer Film Festival and a special jury mention at CAAMFest for the Loni Ding Award for Social Justice Documentary. Since then, she has worked as a producer, supporting emerging women directors in creating critically acclaimed short documentaries, including On Falling (Tribeca 2020), Biker Bob’s Posthumous Adventure (Lunenburg 2019), Do I Have Boobs Now? (Slamdance 2017), and FIXED! (DOXA 2017). Currently, she is producing her first feature documentary Back Home with support from the Telefilm Talent to Watch fund. Koto: The Last Service marks her return to the director’s seat, exploring stories about intimacies, identities, and relationships.
Director: Amar Chebib
Syrian-Canadian filmmaker Amar Chebib began making videos while growing up skateboarding in the Middle East. He has since directed various award-winning short films and commercials, as well as a feature documentary about three Syrian musicians turned refugees. Amar resides with his wife in Vancouver, BC on unceded Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh territory.
Director: Kent Donguines
Kent Donguines is a Filipino-Canadian narrative and documentary filmmaker based in Vancouver, BC. He produced the award-winning CBC short documentary, THE INK RUNS DEEP, which premiered at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival. He also wrote, directed, and produced the Telus Storyhive short film KALINGA (Care), a documentary about the sacrifices Filipina nannies make to work in Canada. Kent is one of five Canadian producers selected for the prestigious 2020 Canadian Film Centre Producers Lab. He was a finalist in the 2017 Whistler Film Festival Power Pitch Competition. He’s also an alumnus of the Telus Storyhive-Banff Fellowship and HotDocs Doc Accelerator programs. Kent has worked for production companies in Canada and the Philippines, including Cedar Island Films Inc., Black Cap Pictures (Ten17p), Viva Entertainment, and Star Cinema.
Co-Directors: Jaime Leigh Gianopoulos and Cláudio Cruz
What About Our Future?
Jaime Leigh Gianopoulos (she/her) is a director, producer, editor and founder of BC based production company Her Stories Inc.
Jaime Leigh’s projects primarily concern the empowerment of womxn and environmental justice. Her most recent documentary “What About Our Future?” which she co-directed, shot, and edited with Cláudio Cruz was supported and funded by Creative BC and has appearances by David Suzuki and Greta Thunberg. The project screened at The Vancouver Short Film Festival (2021), DOK Leipzig (2020), Aesthetica Short Film Festival (2020), St. John’s International Women’s Festivals (2020), Planet in Focus (2020), Eco-Cine Film Festival (2020), BIFED (2020) and was a finalist for ‘The SIMA Awards’ (2021.) ‘What About Our Future?’ will participate in the ‘Hot Doc’s Doc’s For School’s’ Program’ and had its broadcast premiere with ‘Hollywood Suite’ March 21st 2021. The film will also screen at DOXA (2021), and One World Human Rights Film Festival (2021.)
Integral to Jaime Leigh’s work is capturing the authenticity and resilience of the human spirit. She has first hand experience of this tenacity, placing herself in unique and eye-opening environments and accepting challenges whenever possible in order to gain new perspectives. She has filmed in a war-torn village in Kosovo, with a curandero in the mountains of Peru, in the underground African feminist poet movement in Brazil. She self-funded, directed and produced three short documentaries in South America which were presented internationally and screened across elementary schools in São Paulo, Brazil.
Cláudio Cruz holds a BA in Design for the Mackenzie University (São Paulo, Brazil) and is a self-taught photographer and filmmaker. Concerned with the perceived world of dualities and what lies beyond it, Cruz has an instinct for creating unique and powerful imagery around heartfelt topics.
In 2015, he had a solo exhibition with his photographic work “Efêmero Eterno” at the São Paulo Museum of Image and Sound in Brazil.
In 2017 he photographed and directed the short documentary “Edu”, about a young man facing death after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit his hometown in Ecuador. The film was exhibited in festivals in Germany, Italy, Portugal, South Korea, and Australia, where Cláudio was awarded Best Emerging Director at the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival.
He recently finished his latest short documentary “What About Our Future?” that he co-directed with Jaime Gianopoulos. The film, which was screened in festivals as DOK Leipzig and Planet in Focus, follows youth climate leaders as they organize the largest protest in Vancouver’s history.