DOC BC presents: A Filmmakers Brunch!

The Documentary Organization of Canada, BC chapter, kicks off this spring with a special professional development panel event. DOC BC presents: A Filmmakers Brunch! A series of conversations with three of our most talented DOCmakers.

Saturday, March 23, 12-3pm

in The Startup Studio at The Post at 750, 750 Hamilton St, Vancouver, BC V6B 2R5

Come spend the early afternoon with the three local and fiercely talented directors and members of the DOC community, ahead of the HotDocs and DOXA Film Festivals. This panel series celebrates the success of our members and will provide aspiring and current filmmakers insight on documentary production, funding strategies, representation and production challenges, marketing, and festival experiences.


Julia Ivanova, director: Family Portrait in Black and White (Sundance/Hot Docs/IDFA)

Baljit Sangra, director: Warrior Boyz (NFB/DOXA)

Kat Jayme, director: Finding Big Country (Telus STORYHIVE/VIFF)


Joella Cabalu, director: It Runs in the Family (OUTtv/VQFF)


  • 11:30am — Doors open
  • 12:00pm — Brunch and coffee
  • 12:30pm — Panel
  • 2:30pm — Mixer


  • Members: FREE
  • Non-Members: $10

RSVP and Get Your Tickets Here

**Coffee and Brunch Snacks provided**

Julia Ivanova

Julia Ivanova is a Vancouver filmmaker who has been honored with “Focus On” Retrospective at Hot Docs 2019 as a “significant Canadian filmmaker”.

Julia Ivanova is the creative force behind ten feature and TV documentaries, including Family Portrait In Black And White that played Sundance, IDFA and was named Best Canadian Feature at Hot Docs 2011. Her credits on Family Portrait In Black And White include directing, photography, writing, shooting, and editing. The film was produced by Boris Ivanov, who was the producer of most of her films.

Ivanova’s other credits include such films as Limit is the Sky, produced by NFB, that won Colin Low Best Canadian Feature Award at DOXA 2017; Love Translated andFatherhood Dreams.  She just completed the film My Dads, My Moms and Me through Telus Storyhive and NSI initiative that would get its world premier at Hot Docs. Julia has been working on a film about the Trans Mountain Pipeline since 2014. Her films played Sundance, Hot Docs, IDFA, Hamptons, Chicago, LA, VIFF, Seattle, DOXA, Cleveland and many other international film festivals.

Baljit Sangra 

Baljit Sangra is a Vancouver based filmmaker who has been working in documentary and factual entertainment with an emphasis
in exploring social and cross cultural issues through film. She just finished a feature documentary ‘Because we are Girls’ with the NFB, a social issues documentary that explores the impact of sexual violence on a family.  Other documentaries she has directed include:

Warrior Boyz’ in association with NFB and Canwest that examines the long running gang scene unique to the Indo-Canadian enclave in the Lower Mainland (broadcast on Global TV/Knowledge Network/KPS television/PBS). It was nominated for three Leo Awards. ‘Many Rivers Home’, a personal story that focuses on seniors living in assisted care and  the end of life (co-produced with Omni TV)Awarded best documentary Chicago South Asian film festival. (Played in festivals in Chicago, New Haven, South Africa, Mumbai, Toronto, Seattle) ‘Hockey United ‘ which follows two amateur South Asian hockey players with their eyes on the NHL (for Omni TV broadcast date TBA). She also produced/directed an A&E series ‘VIVA!’ for CityTV and Channel M/ Omni TV for several seasons.

Baljit runs her own production company Viva Mantra Films and is always looking to meeting new people and collaborators for projects. Baljit is the Chair of DOC BC and has been a programmer for the Vancouver Asian Film Festival. She has also been a juror for many local festivals.


Kathleen Jayme

Kathleen Jayme is an award-winning Canadian filmmaker based in Vancouver, BC, who is passionate about telling meaningful and personal stories. Her latest project “Finding Big Country” has been a resounding success and has energized sports fans both in Vancouver and across North America. It was the winner of the Vancouver International Film Festivals (VIFF) prestigious Audience Choice Award as well as the Must see BC award as voted by the VIFF audience.

She is a graduate of the University of British Columbia’s Film Production Program and also worked at the National Film Board of Canada where she coordinated and oversaw over thirty documentaries, animations, and digital projects through all stages of production. She is a fellow of the 2016 Inspirit Foundation’s Story Money Impact program, the 2017 Hot Docs Documentary Channel Doc Accelerator program, and the 2017 Telus STORYHIVE Banff World Media Festival program.


Joella Cabalu
Joella Cabalu is an award-winning Filipino-Canadian Vancouver-based documentary filmmaker. Her first credit as a producer and director was for her own personal family documentary It Runs in the Family (2015), which won Audience Choice Awards at the Seattle Asian American Film Festival and Vancouver Queer Film Festival and an honourable mention for the Loni Ding Award for Social Justice Documentary at CAAMFest. Since then, she has developed a track record as a creative and collaborative producer working with emerging women directors on compelling short documentaries, including the uplifting environmental film FIXED! (2016) and Do I Have Boobs Now? (2017) a fascinating portrait of a trans activist which screened in festivals worldwide, including Slamdance, BFI Flare, and OUTFest LA. She recently produced a CBC Docs short Biker Bob’s Posthumous Adventure (2019), about a community of strangers coming together after discovering a message in a bottle containing human ashes.

Impact Producing One-on-One Workshop with Katherine Dodds

Now Accepting Applications for Impact Producing One-on-One Sessions

New Deadline:

Friday, February 8, 2019 at 8am PST

What is this course and who is it for?

Katherine Dodds from Hello Cool World will be taking one-on-one meetings with six documentary filmmakers (or teams) who are looking to start an Impact Film Production and Distribution campaign. This course is best suited for documentary filmmakers who have already started a project, and are beginning to think of ways to distribute and exhibit their films of any length. With all six film teams present, Kat will walk through a series of one-on-one private sessions. She will demystify the world of Impact and provide a clear set of tools and guidelines to raise funds, make partnerships, and exhibit your film beyond festivals, broadcasters and traditional distribution.

What is Impact Producing and Distribution?

“The 21st century has become one in which the power of film to change the world is impossible to ignore. Through the hard work and commitment of thousands of dedicated individuals, we’ve seen it all: major artistic achievement, radical experimentation and innovation, and serious societal change.

Your film is ready to go out into the world. There are many paths to audiences, but which is right for you? Maybe you’ll hand your film over to a distributor. Maybe you won’t get any decent distribution offers. Or given the possibilities of the digital age, maybe you’ll decide to self distribute. Maybe you’ll do a bit of both. Maybe, maybe, maybe. The fact that this is an impact project adds even more opportunity and even more complexity. Given your impact goals and your partnerships, your priority may be working with community organisers to equip them in their changemaking. Or perhaps you are focused on effective political lobbying around the release. Any one of these outcomes could spell success, there are no wrong answers, just what makes sense for your film and issue.” From The Doc Society’s Impact Field Guide

Who is Kat Dodds?

Katherine Dodds (AKA “Kat”) got her start in advertising at Adbusters and learned to run a company through her work with The Corporation, Canada’s top-grossing documentary of all time and winner of 26 international awards. Founder and creative director of Hello Cool World since 2001, she is known for highly effective and heartfelt transmedia campaigns in film, video, print and digital. She masterminded The Corporation film’s infamous brand, produced the digital media component, and directed the audience engagement campaign in four countries. As an impact producer, she successfully crowdfunded to get the film free to 1,000 schools. She is also the creator of the #4Eva campaign for organ donation and cystic fibrosis awareness centred around the film 65_RedRoses, which launched in the US on Oprah Winfrey’s documentary club on OWN. Closer to home, she partnered with BC Transplant to get the film free to BC high schools.

To Apply:

  • Two pager (synopsis and team’s bios) + contact information:
    • In one paragraph, answer the following question: Why do you think your project would be good for an Impact Campaign?
  • Submit any footage related to a working project (trailer, sizzle reel, work in progress) maximum 5 minutes
  • Submit via email to
  • FREE to apply


DOC Members: $75 per 2-person team

Non Members: $125 per 2-person team

Teams will be contacted directly.

Payment of the private session due upon acceptance.

Limited to 6 projects.

Date and location:

Sunday, February 24, 2019

The Post at 750 – The East Studio

110-750 Hamilton Street

Vancouver, BC, V6B 2R5

Doors open: 9:30 am | Private Sessions: 10 am – 5 pm

For more information:

If you are a DOC member or STORYHIVE alumni, you have FREE access to the Kat Dodd’s Masterclass “The Hydra Headed Beast of Impact Production

To learn more about Impact Distribution visit The Doc Society’s Impact Field Guide



Doc Distribution 101

The Doc Ignite distribution workshop will equip filmmakers with the tools they require to develop distribution strategies for their projects, helping them to understand the rights at their disposal, how to identify key audience segments, and to hone their marketing messaging. The workshop will also help participants better understand how they can put distribution strategies into action, offering insights into the roles played by festivals, sales agents, and distributors, as well as how they can take a hands-on role in the creative distribution of their own projects.

Roadmap To Creative Distribution

DOC’s recently published “Roadmap To Creative Distribution” (link: is an essential tool for producer’s seeking to navigate the international market. Sean Farnel will provide an overview to this resource supplemented by lessons learned in the trenches of producer-driven marketing, sales and distribution of independent documentaries.


  • DOC BC Members: FREE
  • Students/Low Income: $10
  • Non-Members: $30

Click here to reserve your spot


  • Tuesday, February 5, 2019 – 6:30 PM – 9:30 PM (Doors open at 6:00 PM)


InFocus Film School
306 Abbott St,
Vancouver, BC
V6B 2K9

By registering for this workshop you agree to receive emails from DOC.

Julian Carrington

Julian Carrington is Distribution Manager at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival. He oversees the Festival’s distribution marketplace, including the Distribution Rendezvous pitch meeting program, and the Doc Shop, the Festival’s on-demand industry screening library. Julian also currently serves as a film programmer with Toronto’s Planet in Focus Environmental Film Festival. Previously, he acted as an associate programmer with the Toronto International Film Festival, and, from 2015 to 2017, managed the Documentary Organization of Canada’s Festival Concierge service.

Sean Farnel
Sean Farnel provides creative, marketing and distribution services to documentary producers, companies and institutions. He was the first Director of Programming for Hot Docs, which tripled its audience during his six-year tenure. Prior to joining Hot Docs, Sean created the popular screening series Doc Soup and founded the documentary programme at the Toronto International Film Festival. As well, he developed and launched tiff’s initial strategic plan for Learning programmes. Sean has done research and strategic consulting for the National Film Board of Canada, Telefilm Canada, the Documentary Organization of Canada, FilmFreeway and other media companies in the private and public sectors. Along with writing for numerous publications, Sean has served as a mentor, facilitator, panelist and juror at hundreds of film events.


The Documentary Organization of Canada helps Canadian documentary creators get their work produced and seen. At local levels we offer top-notch professional development and networking opportunities through our workshops, masterclasses, and mentorship programs. We also continually work to build a suite of services and benefits that lower the professional expenses of our members.

Nationally, DOC is the collective voice of independent documentary creators across Canada and the premier organization for Canadian documentary advocacy. We analyze policy, conduct insightful research, and speak up at all orders of government to help our distinctly Canadian genre flourish.


Hot Docs’ Doc Ignite labs are offered in communities across Canada each year. Offering direct market intelligence and skills training, each lab provides filmmakers with professional development curriculums on such topics as audience engagement, marketing and distribution to help successfully launch their films in the marketplace.
With a focus on reaching underserved regions and communities within Canada, Doc Ignite labs aim to provide new opportunities to filmmakers across all regions of Canada and continue to help them launch sustainable documentary careers.


Meet the Broadcasters is back!

Monday, January 19th, 2015 at 6:30 PM
Where:  Pull Focus Film School (306 Abbott St, Vancouver)
Reserve your tickets here!

 DOC BC Meet the Broadcasters workshop is back! Representatives from Bell MediaSuper Channel, Knowledge Network and the NFB will be present to discuss the state of the industry, what kind of content they are looking for, how much they will pay and their process for proposals, among other things. This will be great opportunity for participants to understand executives’ programming priorities and broadcast services. Bring your questions and be prepared to engage in an active discussion with peers and other industry professionals!

With special guests:

 Murray Battle, Director of Original Content and Brand at British Columbia Knowledge Network television.
Murray Battle is the Director of Original Content and Brand at British Columbia’s Knowledge Network. Recent documentary commissions include the award winning series, Emergency Room: Life and Death at Vancouver General Hospital, Oil Sands Karaoke, Just Eat It, Backward Class, Father Figures, Do You Really Want to Know? and Coast Modern. In a previous life, he was a filmmaker for over 30 years.

Michelle McMahon, Development Manager Independent Production, B.C. and the Territories at Bell Media

Michele McMahon is Development Manager Independent Production for B.C. and the Territories.  In this role, Michele is the point of contact for the local production community, acts as the creative executive on projects in development and production, and initiate community engagement and outreach initiatives. Michele is currently one of the Production Executives for Bell Media on 19-2 (BRAVO) and MOTIVE (CTV).Prior to joining Bell Media, Michele McMahon spent 10 years with Omnifilm Entertainment, the last five as Director of Drama Development. There, she developed the drama PRIMEVAL: NEW WORLD (Space) and ARCTIC AIR (CBC).

In her diverse 20-year career as a journalist, writer, and TV producer, McMahon has edited a weekly paper, freelanced for newspapers and magazines, and written and story edited several screenplays. She also acted as the Chair of the Amnesty International Film Festival (Vancouver).  Michele earned degrees in Political Science (Carleton University), Journalism (Algonguin College) and Writing for Film and Television (Vancouver Film School) and is slowly working towards her Masters’ Degree at Simon Fraser University.

Maureen Levitt, Creative Development Executive at Super Channel.

Maureen Levitt joined Super Channel, Canada’s only national English Pay TV service, at its inception in 2007. As Creative Development Executive for Western Canada and the Territories she works with the independent production community in the development and production of their feature length films (Lawrence & Holloman, Sitting on the Edge of Marlene, STAY) and documentaries intended for theatrical release (Occupy Love, Unclaimed, SOL, The Exhibition).   Maureen is a cofounder of Vision TV. Between 1994 and 2005 she was Manager and Commissioning Editor of its Western Region office focusing on documentaries (The Corporation, Sacred Sacred) and Executive Producer of various in-house series. Previous to that she was First Assistant Editor on the Canadian film classic, The Grey Fox, and on the quintessential Canadian series The Beachcombers and The Canadian Establishment. Maureen has a Masters in Communications from Simon Fraser University.

Shirley Vercruysse, Executive Producer of the National Film Board of Canada, Pacific & Yukon Studio.Shirley Vercruysse is the Executive Producer of the National Film Board of Canada, Pacific & Yukon Studio, based in Vancouver BC. Prior to joining the NFB in February 2014, she was independent film and television producer based in Calgary Alberta. Credits include; Fubar II, the first Canadian film to open the high profile “Midnight Madness” section of the Toronto International Film Festival; Radiant City, winner of the Genie Award for Best Theatrical Documentary & waydowntown winner of the prestigious Toronto City Award for Best Canadian film at Toronto International Film Festival. Other feature credits incldue The Future Is Now!; Angels Crest; Comeback Season; A Problem with Fear. Television credits include Gavin Crawford’s Wild West; My Rona Home, Season’s I and II and The Secret of the Nutcracker.

Space is limited so remember to reserve your seats here. 
We look forward to seeing you there! 



Six Years and Counting: Reflections on the Hyperlocal Documentary” with David Vaisbord

“Six Years and Counting: Reflections on the Hyperlocal Documentary” with David Vaisbord

Where:  Pull Focus Film School (306 Abbott St, Vancouver)
When: Wednesday, November 12, 2014 – 7:00 PM
Tickets: DOC BC Members: Free, Non-Members: $15.00, Students: $10.00 (with valid ID)

Is the next great story happening within walking distance from your home?

David Vaisbord wants to re-ignite your passion for the profession of documentary filmmaking. On the heels of a successful crowd funding campaign for The Little Mountain Film earlier this year, Vaisbord brings us a reflexive look at the last six years of a filmmaking experiment he named THE HYPERLOCAL DOCUMENTARY.

Following a successful career that resulted in several successful feature docs, Vaisbord wrote the “6 Block Documentary Manifesto”, and launched the Little Mountain Project. Through many creative twists and turns, including building an award winning social media site, Vaisbord used the project to spearhead an activist media campaign, which revoked the government’s right to evict tenants from the prominent social housing project. Next year the POV doc will be complete and in 2016 it will morph into a one-man show at a prominent Vancouver art gallery.

You may think you have to search far and wide for your subjects, when the greatest story could be coming from your neighbour or local area. Who is going to tell that story? This presentation will excite and engage attendees in a wide-ranging discussion on how to create a hyperlocal documentary from challenges to successes.

  Province Press image
David Vaisbord

As a neighbour with a number of award-winning documentaries under his belt, David joined his community and housing activists in 2008 to document events and fight the evictions. His work became The Little Mountain Project (, an activist media website that has disseminated essential media to the community from 2010 to the present date, and served as a lightening rod at crisis points in the conflict.

David Vaisbord’s film career has included documentaries such as Mischa 1996 (Canada Council/NFB/CBC), Juicy Danger Meets Burning Man 1998 (CTV/TVO/BRAVO!), Britannia Beach 2002 (CTV,TVO, CBC) Drawing Out the Demons: A Film About the Artist, Attila Richard Lukacs 2004 (BRAVO!/TVO), Dark Pines: An Investigation into the Death of Tom Thomson 2006 (BRAVO!) and work in series TV.

In 2008 Vaisbord launched the Little Mountain Project which won the 2012 Farris Award for Art and Social Media.  His Masters thesis on social media and activism was published in POV Magazine the same year.  This web project has evolved into The Little Mountain Film!  Vaisbord is a board member of the Documentary Organization of Canada.

DOC BC Hosts Screening with Local Filmmakers

June Summer Salon Screening4

Where: Pull Focus Film School (306 Abbott St, Vancouver, BC)

When: June 20th, 2014 at 7:00pm

RSVP to our Facebook Event and Get your tickets HERE

DOC BC Members get in for free, but should still reserve a (free) ticket as the event WILL SELL OUT. 

DOC BC, in partnership with Creative BC, is delighted to be showcasing the work of some fantastic local documentary filmmakers.

We’ll be screening work from:

Joella Cabalu

Sydney Southam

Aaron Goodman

Shayne Kasai

Ken Matheson

Mathew Parry

Arun Fryer

Malek Shafi’i

Lettie Costea

Rami Katz

Sonia Suvagau

Chris Bruntlett

 David Vaisbord

Erica Landrock

Be sure to book your ticket – this is an event you don’t want to miss.

Call For Entries – DOC BC Summer Salon Screening Series

DOC BC wants to screen YOUR film at our annual Summer Salon!
Send us links to your documentary shorts or a segment from your feature doc and be part of our yearly showcase. We will show as many locally produced projects as possible and also provide an opportunity for feedback and networking within our vibrant filmmaking community.Please email your links (and any necessary passwords) by June 1st at Films should not exceed 15 minutes in length.

We’re looking forward to celebrating your creations, and of course friends & family are welcome to attend. See you at the Salon!

New Workshop Announced. Distribution Workshop: March 7, 2014

Produced with DOC BC

a Distribution Workshop with Avi Federgreen

Do you have a film that’s finished and/or in development? Are you looking for a distributor to help you sell your film domestically or internationally.  Have you made a film that you would like to try and self distribute. Well in three hours you’re going to learn all there is to know about distributing your film from Indie Producer/Distributor Avi Federgreen.

Date: Friday March 7th
Time: 9:30 – 12:30
Location: VIFF’s Vancity Theatre, 1181 Seymour St., Vancouver

Topics covered include:
– Different types of distribution and the realities of distribution
– What’s happening now in the world of distribution
– Knowing Your Audience, How Do You Reach Them
– All of the necessary tools you need for your film (press kit, synopsis, stills, epk, poster, trailer etc)
– Contracts, E&O and other paperwork requirements
– Deliverables
– Festival strategies
– P&A – Ways to promote your film – The old way and the new way
– Social Media
– The Ratings Game
– Theatrical Distribution
– ITunes and other internet options
– DVD/Blu-ray
– TV (Cable, Pay, Free)
– Educational, Alternative and International Distribution
– Monitizing Your Film

Cost: $30 WIFTV and DOC BC Members/ $50 non-members

Go HERE to register

Avi Federgreen’s nearly 20 years of experience in the Canadian film industry feature many highlights, from music videos to TV series to full-length feature films.

Federgreen’s current releases include Empire of Dirt directed by Peter Stebbingss, Random Acts of Romance directed by Katrin Bowen, the first ever Canadian fully financed 3D feature Dead Before Dawn directed by April Mullen and the documentary 30 Ghosts directed by Sean Cisterna.

Federgreen’s other producing credits include Still Mine, Score: A Hockey MusicalMoon Point, I’m YoursHUNGRY HILLS, One Week, High Life, Leslie, My Name Is Evil, and the documentary As Slow as Possible.

In November 2011, Federgreen opened his own film distribution company INDIECAN ENTERTAINMENT.  The company services not just up-and-coming Canadian filmmakers, but also those indies making films in a lower budget bracket who have otherwise virtually no chance to shine in a market of big studios, distributors and exhibitors.


DOC BC is delighted to be bringing you our first workshop of 2014:



A co-presentation with Cineworks

RSVP to the event HERE

Most film school educations focus heavily on the creative and technical sides of the process while ignoring the equally vital financial tools that one needs to understand in order to make sure things in the office run as smoothly as things on set.  As you become more serious about your filmmaking career, having a solid handle on your (company’s) financials becomes increasingly  important and complicated.  Topics we’ll cover include:

  • the pros and cons of incorporation
  • tax considerations (collecting GST)
  • accounting and bookkeeping best practices/finding an accountant
  • making sure your crew is filling out the proper paperwork/tax credits
  • deductions for self-employed individuals
  • budgeting basics
  • and more…
Instructor Sherrill Sirrs CMA:

Finding a niche market and possessing a love for the entertainment industry, Sherrill began working with independent film and television producers in 1997. Her practice is made up of primarily film-related clients and with dozens of film credits to her name, you  can pretty much ask her anything about film financing and production accounting.

Date: Wednesday, January 29th
Location: Cineworks 1131 Howe St
Time: 6:30 – 9:00pm
Tickets: DOC Members: FREE, Cineworks Members: $15.75 Non-Members: $21.00
(all prices include GST)

AGM Save the Date

DATE: Tuesday, December 10th 2013
TIME: 7 pm for DOC BC members, 8 pm for friends/general public
Come celebrate the year at our holiday/year end party on December 10th. We’ll have drinks and delicious appetizers to share. If you are a DOC BC Member, you’re invited to attend the AGM which begins at 7 pm sharp. If you just want to come mingle and say hello, we ask that you arrive at 8 pm. Thanks, and hope to see everyone out then!
DOC BC is always looking for innovative and inspiring individuals to join our community and the Board of Directors. If you’re interested in learning more and joining the Board please don’t hesitate to email
We look forward to seeing you for our year end party to celebrate a year of success!