This feature documentary follows Toronto mayoral candidate David Miller as he runs in the 2003 municipal election. Polls show Miller at only four per cent 10 months before election day, but his commitment doesn’t falter, even in the face of public attacks from outgoing mayor and political rival Mel Lastman. Campaign: The Making of a Candidate is an underdog story about a man whose commitment to improving Toronto for everyone is infectious and inspiring.
This feature documentary offers an incisive look at Canadian politics at the 1976 Progressive Conservative Party leadership convention. Cape Bretoner Flora MacDonald is campaigning for the Party’s leadership, the first woman to do so. We follow MacDonald behind the scenes as she works with her staff to prepare policy, speeches, and strategies to win the race. We also get a glimpse of MacDonald’s sprightly and upbeat attitude as she puts her best foot forward in front of voters, media, and the Party’s elite.
This documentary offers a glimpse into the 1997 federal election in the Halifax electoral district. Two strong female politicians, Liberal candidate Mary Clancy and NDP party leader Alexa McDonough, are caught in a tight competition in one of the most contested races in the country. Director Meredith Ralston follows the two women around the campaign trail for weeks, getting inside an election that was often described as “nasty.” Both larger than life and hungry to win, in quieter moments Clancy and McDonough reveal the strains and contradictions of their chosen careers. Why Women Run highlights the accomplishments of women in politics and the problems many women face participating in the political process.
This feature documentary is a portrait of Sam Sullivan, a quadriplegic city councillor running for Vancouver mayor. Blending the rough and tumble of the campaign with intimate moments from Sullivan's daily life, the film is an unflinching portrait of the one-of-a-kind politician.
This feature documentary traces the political career of T.C. (Tommy) Douglas, former premier of Saskatchewan and leader of the New Democratic Party, who was voted the Greatest Canadian in 2004 for his devotion to social causes, his charm and his powers of persuasion. Known as the "Father of Medicare," this one-time champion boxer and fiery preacher entered politics in the 1930s and never looked back.
This documentary examines the media's coverage of the federal election of May 1979. Filmed over a 3-week period, it takes a fascinating look at journalists in action and the politicians who attempt to manipulate the media.
This short documentary records Black activist Anne Cools’ 1978 run for the Liberal Party nomination in Rosedale, one of Toronto's largest and socially most diverse federal ridings. The film records her bid for political power, and explains the nomination contest, a basic step in the Canadian electoral process. Because she was competing against the Liberal Party's preferred candidate, the nomination battle in Rosedale turned into one of the most innovative and fascinating in the history of Canadian politics.
In this short documentary, Oscar®-winner Terre Nash turns her lens on Marion Dewar, one of Canada's most successful female politicians, while she was mayor of Ottawa. In her 7 years as mayor, Dewar was instrumental in the Rideau Centre project, introduced disarmament referendums into municipal politics, was the leading force in raising Canada's quota for Vietnamese refugees, and became known for her social responsibility and common sense.
Maude Barlow is a crusading warrior for social justice and the leader of Canada's largest citizens' rights group, the Council of Canadians. This feature film portrays Barlow's progress from young Ottawa housewife, quietly reading Germaine Greer alone at home, to outspoken activist, locking horns with such formidable opponents as media magnate Conrad Black and Thomas D'Aquino of the Business Council on National Issues. On the front lines in the battle against the Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI), Barlow cautions against "the rise of corporate rule”, arguing that such agreements enhance the international mobility of corporations at the expense of Canadian social programs and jobs.
Flora MacDonald was Canada's first woman to make a bid for the leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party. She lost. This documentary shows people who were close to the event. It questions the mechanics of a leadership convention, whether it is the best way to choose a nation's leader, and whether Flora lost because she is a woman. Among the people interviewed are Flora MacDonald herself, the late Judy Lamarsh, political scientist John Meisel, and political commentator Larry Zolf. (Follow-up film to: Flora: Scenes from a Leadership Convention.)
These vignettes from 1949 covered various aspects of life in Canada and were shown in theatres across the country. Here, the camera records the traditional ceremonies of the opening of Canada's Parliament for the first time in history. Senators, parliamentary leaders, and finally the Governor General and his party arrive on the "Hill," and the Vice-Regal group is escorted to the Senate Chamber. The film then takes us inside the House of Commons, where members assemble before being summoned by the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod to the Senate to hear the Speech from the Throne. Then, with pomp and historical ceremony over for another session, the representatives of the people get down to the job of doing the people's business.
The people of the Attawapiskat First Nation, a Cree community in northern Ontario, were thrust into the national spotlight in 2012 when the impoverished living conditions on their reserve became an issue of national debate. With The People of the Kattawapiskak River, Abenaki director Alanis Obomsawin quietly attends as community members tell their own story, shedding light on a history of dispossession and official indifference. “Obomsawin’s main objective is to make us see the people of Attawapiskat differently,” said Robert Everett-Green in The Globe & Mail. “The emphasis, ultimately, is not so much on looking as on listening—the first stage in changing the conversation, or in making one possible.” Winner of the 2013 Donald Brittain Award for Best Social/Political Documentary, the film is part of a cycle of films that Obomsawin has made on children’s welfare and rights.
Also available on the Alanis Obomsawin: A Legacy DVD box set