To celebrate our 35th anniversary, the Documentary Organization of Canada (DOC) is proud to honour Canada’s front line of documentary storytellers with DOC35, a special selection of films, social gatherings and industry workshops at DOXA Documentary Film Festival 2018.

Join us in celebrating the rich legacy of documentary film in Canada, and the filmmakers who continue to push the boundaries of documentary with their stories, at DOC35.



Meet DOXA’s filmmakers face-to-face, bond over a love of documentary, and celebrate DOC’s role as the collective voice of independent documentary creators in Canada at DOXA’s industry reception – all while enjoying delicious light eats and drinks. DOC35 is proud to present this special reception following the May 5 screening of The Road Taken (1996) with The Issue of Mr. O’Dell (2018). Join us in celebrating the 35th anniversary of the Documentary Organization of Canada!

When: Saturday, May 5, 2018 – 6:00pm-11pm

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Get tickets to this special DOC35 screening and reception here (May 5).


DOC35 is proud to present DOXA’s industry weekend, featuring panels, workshops and masterclasses. Explore the art and craft of documentary filmmaking through this series of panels and masterclasses, and connect with local and international directors, producers, and creatives.

Panels and workshops will explore visual research and clearances, documentary journalism, opportunities in short form documentary, storytelling through sound, the art of filming memory with filmmaker Ruth Zylberman, plus a meet and greet with fellow industry participants.

DISCOUNTS FOR DOC MEMBERS: Doc Members receive a $25 discount on Industry passes!

Contact for the discount code

Not a DOC member yet?  Now’s a great time to join! In celebration of DOC35, we’re offering a 35% discount off DOC memberships! Enter discount code: DOC35 on check out.

Contact for info.

Get Industry passes/tickets here.

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To celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Documentary Organization of Canada (DOC), DOC35 is proud to present a selection of bold documentaries by Canadian filmmakers.


The past and present of racial activism and civil rights meet in this riveting DOC35 presentation of The Road Taken (1996) by director Selwyn Jacob and The Issue of Mr. O’Dell (2018) by Rami Katz. Directors in attendance! Plus, join us for a reception following the May 5 screening of this program.


In the early 1960s, when America was brimming with racial tension and Martin Luther King was marching in Alabama, Jack O’Dell was at his side. At age 94, O’Dell eloquently recounts his experiences and views—from his early membership in the Communist Party to his opinions on the current state of racial affairs in the US, as well as the significance of Black Lives Matter.


From the early 1900s through the 1960s, black men from across Canada, US, Africa and the Caribbean worked as sleeping-car porters for Canada’s railway companies. As one of the few jobs available for people of colour at the time, the occupation was well-respected but also full of challenges. Set to a jazz score by Joe Sealy (whose father was also a porter), Selwyn Jacob interviews retired porters and their families to craft a vibrant portrait of these civil rights trailblazers.


  • Saturday, May 5, 2018 – 6:00pm
  • Tuesday, May 8, 2018 – 2:45pm

Get tickets here.


Directed by Vancouver-based director Leon Lee, this documentary was filmed largely in secret, and uncovers the reality of China’s police state and the true meaning behind the ominous phrase “re-education through labour.” Following his Peabody Award-winning exposé Human Harvest, director Leon Lee continues to expose human rights abuses in China with this message in a bottle thriller. This screening is part of the justice forum series and will include a post-film discussion with the director in attendance.


  • Saturday, May 5, 2018 – 2:00pm

Get tickets here.

PRIMAS (2017)

Directed by Montreal-based Laura Bari, this moving and poetic film follows the two girls as they begin to claim agency and tell their truths to themselves and each other. Rocío and Aldana are two young women whose lives have already been marked by profound trauma. The two girls are cousins, and while they go about their daily lives in Argentina facing the same excitement and challenges as their peers, they both carry the weight of the respective experiences that have shaped them. When she was only ten years old, Rocío, now 18, was kidnapped by a stranger, raped, and horribly burned by the side of a road. Her cousin Aldana suffered ongoing sexual abuse by her father, and is only now beginning to come to terms with the full psychological and emotional damage. DIRECTOR IN ATTENDANCE.


  • Saturday, May 5, 2018 – 7:00pm
  • Monday, May 7, 2018 – 12:00pm

Get tickets here.

CIELO (2017)

In a remote region of Chile, Canadian filmmaker Alison McAlpine immerses herself amongst people who watch the sky. Some are there for the stars and planetary bodies, others just happen to live nearby in the harshly beautiful valleys, mountains, and deserts. Narrated by the filmmaker, Cielo is a personal story about the celestial realm, as well as an investigation into the human mind and spirit. It is impossible to overstate the extraordinary visual quality of this film, with starscapes and light shows which are wild, intense, and literally cosmic. DIRECTOR IN ATTENDANCE.


  • Sunday, May 6, 2018 – 6:00pm
  • Monday, May 7, 2018 – 8:30pm

Get tickets here.


This selection of short films showcases Indigenous filmmakers reclaiming their images and narratives, whether it’s reflecting on the legacy of settler documentation, repurposing archival footage, or honouring activism through a monument.

  • LOOKING AT EDWARD CURTIS directed by Marie Clements. Director Marie Clements (The Road Forward) confronts the legacy of photographer Edward Curtis, and raises necessary questions about the ethics of documenting Indigenous experience.
  • THREE THOUSAND directed by Asinnajaq. Images taken from the National Film Board’s archive are chronologically interwoven with original animation, ending with the filmmaker’s vision of the future.
  • BUTTERFLY MONUMENT directed by Jules Koostachin & Rick Miller. The directors of this short film affectionately capture the legacy of the young Cree education advocate Shannen Koostachin, highlighting her community’s effort to build Canada’s first public statue honouring an Indigenous youth.


  • Wednesday, May 9, 2018 – 12:00pm
  • Friday, May 11, 2018 – 6:00pm

Get tickets here.

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