The Insular Empire

A work-in-progress screening of a new PBS documentary by Vanessa Warheit.  Presented as part of DOCScreens – a monthly event showing local documentaries and works-in-progress.

– for immediate release-

DOC SCREENS: The Insular Empire A PBS Documentary Work-in-Progress About America’s Pacific Territories

Raw Canvas
1046 Hamilton, Vancouver, BC
January 21, 7:30pm

(Vancouver, January 16, 2009) – The Documentary Organization of Canada, BC chapter presents a rough-cut screening of The Insular Empire: America in the Marianas at Raw Canvas, 1046 Hamilton St., January 21 at 7:30 pm, as part of its DOC SCREENS
program featuring the work of BC documentary filmmakers.

Join producer/director/editor Vanessa Warheit and editor Laurie MacMillan for a special sneak preview of the latest film from Vancouver-based Horse Opera Productions. Seven years in the making, The Insular Empire is a PBS documentary about America’s Mariana Islands. Six thousand miles west of California, the Marianas are home to over 200,000 US citizens who do not share the same rights as their fellow Americans in the States.

What is it like to be a colonial subject of the ‘greatest democracy on Earth’? From the beaches of Guam to the White House, from the CIA to the Peace Corps, from beauty pageants to the UN, The Insular Empire takes us on a journey to discover what it really means to belong to America’s ‘insular empire’ in the Pacific. Ultimately, it is a story of loyalty and betrayal, about a patriotic indigenous people struggling to find their place within the American political family.

The film is supported in part by Pacific Islanders in Communications (part of the
PBS/CPB Minority Consortium), the Guam Humanities Council, the Pacific Pioneer
Fund, and the Northern Marianas Council for the Humanities.

Film’s total run time is 65 minutes. There will be a Q&A with the filmmakers after the

For more information and photos please contact:
Vanessa Warheit

Carts of Darkness


The treacherous mountain roads and discarded shopping carts of North Vancouver become the rivers and boats of self-exploration for a group of homeless “free birds” who have few chances at joy. Murray Siple’s documentary adopts the tropes of extreme sports filmmaking; fluid flowing cinematography, intense music, visceral pulse pounding action and irreverent characters unbounded by society’s constrictions, to bring viewers deep into a world and deep into people they would normally look away from.

Shot in stunning high-definition, and featuring the music of Vancouver bands such as Black Mountain and Ladyhawk, Carts of Darkness is a story of endurance that captures the risk and intensity of life lived on the very edge.

“Former snowboarder and filmmaker Murray Siple sets his sights on a group of bottle collectors in mountainous North Vancouver who take ordinary grocery carts laden with empties down some of the steepest hills in Western Canada. The result is a strange
mix of high-octane action, delicate social probing and charismatic characters that’s hard to ignore, and incredibly fun to watch.”
Katherine Monk, Vancouver Sun.

Presented in co-operation with the National Film Board of Canada, DOC BC, and the Vancouver International Film Centre
ADDITIONAL SCREENINGS (admission for DOC members is not free on these days)
April 29, Tues: 9:15pm, May 1, Thurs: 7:30pm

Free for DOC members only
on Monday April 28, 7:30pm
Canada 2008 // Director:
Murray Siple // 63 min //

Kathaumixw: A Thousand Voices, A Single Passion

KATHAUMIXW: A Thousand Voices, A Single Passion
Dynamic music and song celebrates the human spirit

June 4, 7:30 pm at the Vancity Theatre (1181 Seymor St. at Davie, Vancouver, BC)
Admission is free for DOC BC members and $9 for non-members.

The Documentary Organization of Canada, BC chapter presents Kathaumixw: A Thousand Voices, A Single Passion, by
producer and director, Tony Papa, as part of DOC SCREENS , its new monthly screening series, which features the work
of its members, documentary filmmakers in British Columbia.

The film will be preceeded by a dynamic performance by Nettwerk recording artists Aliqua, as well
as Vancouver Choir, Enharmonium. This 70 minute feature Doc won “Best Overall Sound at the Leo’s last year and has
been touring the world to rave reviews.

Every second summer, choirs from around the world, converge on the edge of British Columbia’s coastal wilderness to
celebrate the splendor of their love for singing. KATHAUMIXW: A Thousand Voices, A Single Passion, directed by Gemini
Award winner Tony Papa interweaves the heart of the choral experience with explosive performance from international
choirs. Kathaumixw (pronounced Ka-thou-mew) is a local Coast Salish First Nations word meaning: “a gathering of
different peoples.” The film won a Leo Award for Best overall Sound, and has traveled the world through festival

The film features the Taipei National University of the Arts Orchestra and Chorus; Powell River Academy Chamber Choir,
Canada; Christ the King Church Choir, Uganda; Aliqua, Canada; Guangdong Experimental Middle School Choir, China;
Taipei National University of the Arts Chorus, Taiwan; Adelaide Chamber Singers, Australia; Seycove Chamber Choir,
Canada; Coro de Camara de la Universidad Autonoma del Estado de Mexico, Mexico; Philippine Saringhimig Singers,
USA; and St. Margaret’s AGS, Australia.

DOC SCREENS will showcase the work of BC producers and directors and provide a forum for discussion and
presentation. Films will be long and short, commissioned or labours of love, very new (even works-in-progress that need
feedback) or older. DOC Screens will take place every month. Locations will vary, check for details.
“The film is a celebration of the human spirit as expressed through music and song. We’re thrilled to share this wonderful
experience through this documentary,” said DOC BC co-chair, Julia Ivanova.

For more information and photos please contact:
Maia Iotzova
Julia Ivanova