This short documentary is a quirky ride into the world of Duncan McKinlay, a man with Tourette Syndrome. At 7 he noticed what he called a devil in his head that made his life hell. In his teens, it wasn't a question of whether to kill himself, but when. At 19, when he was finally diagnosed, Duncan made researching TS his life path. He's come to understand that his strange ticks are release triggers for the high energy charging through him. At 27 he's a virtuoso at channelling this energy. He's just finished a doctorate in psychology. He's in nationwide demand for his workshops that enlighten and boost the spirits of the 100,000 across Canada who have Tourette's.
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.
In a check-box society that functions by dividing us into neatly-defined categories, where does someone with a strong mind and a weak body fit in? Dr. Heidi Janz - award-winning playwright, accomplished academic, and self-described ‘crip’ – has a curious problem. Despite her obvious physical limitations she is denied financial assistance from government programmes because of her “productive” mind. Following Heidi through her everyday life, with all its unique responsibilities, opportunities, and challenges, We Regret to Inform You... offers an unsentimental, and unapologetic, look at what it means to be both “disabled” and “productive”.
Murray Siple's feature-length documentary follows a group of homeless men who have combined bottle picking with the extreme sport of racing shopping carts down the steep hills of North Vancouver. This subculture shows that street life is much more than the stereotypes portrayed in mainstream media.
The film takes a deep look into the lives of the men who race carts, the adversity they face and the appeal of cart racing despite the risk. Shot in high-definition and featuring tracks from Black Mountain, Ladyhawk, Vetiver, Bison, and Alan Boyd of Little Sparta.
A story from Victoria, British Columbia, of one young man who, despite a crippling malady, is determined to experience as many of life's offerings as possible. Brian Wilson is spastic, confined to a wheelchair, but he works at a job, looks after himself, and moves about from place to place on his own. Every day has its challenges and victories, and sometimes defeats. With this example of personal courage, the film provides insight into the private and daily struggle of the disabled.
This feature documentary follows 2 artists, Thelma Pepper and Jeff Nachtigall, as they work with the residents of Sherbrooke Community Centre, a long-term care facility in Saskatoon. As Thelma documents the residents of Sherbrooke through her own portrait photography, Jeff spends close to a year as artist-in-residence, helping them make art. The film explores how creativity can transform people's lives, from the abled to the differently abled—all the while vividly demonstrating the healing power of art and community.
This feature documentary is a portrait of Luke Melchior (1973-2021) who, at 26, had already lived longer than most people with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a progressive wasting of the muscles. Knowing his life would be relatively short had made Luke feel an urgency about making a lasting contribution. Living independently, with the help of 3 homecare workers, he ran a web-based business selling outdoor gear, and chaired the board of the Disability Resource Centre in Victoria, BC, where he was a passionate advocate for the rights of the disabled.
Bearing Witness consists of 3 films, each approximately one hour long, on people with life-threatening illnesses. The series also profiles Jocelyn Morton, who died of liver cancer at 44, and Robert Coley-Donohue, who died of ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease) at age 74.
This short film follows a group of teenage boys eager to emulate the muscle-filled bodies of their media heroes. Revealing the lengths these boys are willing to go to achieve their goal, this film explores the use of supplements and the temptations of steroids. The boys relate their experiences, desires and motivations to the audience, who are left to draw their own conclusions.
The film is designed to provoke discussion among teenagers about body image and where lines should be drawn between healthy and dangerous behaviour.
The Impossible Takes a Little Longer documents the work and personal lives of five physically disabled women. It shows how they are coping with the problems they share with all women, the problems they share with other disabled women and those unique to their particular circumstances. The film affirms that disabled women can lead full and productive lives as workers, as mothers and as valued community members. It informs both disabled women and the able-bodied about the possibilities of adaptations in the workplace, the use of technological aids and the need for support systems if disabled women are to have satisfying and productive lives. The Impossible Takes a Little Longer undermines the stereotypes and prejudices that further hinder a large segment of our population.
This Oscar®-winning documentary presents Nadia, a 9-year-old girl with spina bifida. Her dream is to attend a regular school, even though she knows other kids will tease her. Wise for her young age, Nadia simply decides that she'll "find a way to deal with it." Despite having to overcome many obstacles, Nadia's got spunk and makes it clear she's not looking for sympathy. This film is part of the Children of Canada series.
In this feature-length documentary, Troy James Hurtubise goes face to face with Canada's most deadly land mammal, the grizzly bear. Troy is the creator of what he hopes is a grizzly-proof suit, and he repeatedly tests his armour – and courage – in stunts that are both hair-raising and hilarious. Directed by Peter Lynch, the film has become a cult classic in the United States and is rumoured to be a favourite of director Quentin Tarantino.
This feature-length documentary explores the diabetes epidemic within Indigenous communities in Canada. Ojibway filmmaker Brion Whitford lives with the pain of advanced diabetes, but shunned traditional Indigenous medicine and healing practices. But as his health deteriorated, he had a change of heart. Join Brion as he connects with his culture, comes to grips with his own mortality, and tries to re-establish balance in his life.