How can children adapt and do more than survive in neighbourhoods where violence is common? How can they learn in schools where teachers have given up on them? This challenging documentary follows the successful work of Lorna Williams, who set out to help Indigenous children in Canada who are dropping out of school, losing hope, and committing suicide in terrifying numbers. Her search led her to Reuven Feuerstein, an Israeli psychologist who began his work with the children of the Holocaust.
In this short documentary about autism, director Anna Barczewska examines the complex challenge of raising autistic children. Through the voice of Jan's devoted mother and the comments of specialists, the film offers an introduction to this neurological disorder that reduces one’s ability to communicate with the outside world.
WARNING: This film discusses the topic of OCD. Viewer discretion is advised.
This feature documentary explores the daily lives of individuals living with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), a misunderstood anxiety disorder characterized by intrusive thoughts, nagging fears and ritualistic behaviour. From the outside, its sufferers have no physical disabilities and have every appearance of being as functional as the next person. But inside, a daily war is waged for survival.
Over the course of a weekend tournament, youth sledge hockey teams from the U.S. and Canada battle for supremacy. Designed for players who have a physical challenge, the fundaments of the sport — passing, shooting, trash talking your opponents – remain the same. Director Sam Vint captures the end-to-end action as the Manitoba Sledgehammers do it all.
This feature-length documentary from Inuvialuit filmmaker Dennis Allen is an emotional and revealing exploration of addiction among Indigenous people in Canada.After years of struggle and shame, 5 Indigenous Canadians bravely come forward with their stories of substance abuse, presenting the sensitive topic of alcoholism in an honest and forthright manner. Alex, Paula, Desirae, Stephen, and Dennis himself maintain a deep and devoted commitment to their traditional culture to achieve long-term sobriety. Through their voices, this insightful doc offers an inspirational beacon of hope for others.
In this feature-length documentary, Alanis Obomsawin tells the story of Shannen’s Dream, a national campaign to provide equitable access to education in safe and suitable schools for First Nations children. Strong participation in this initiative eventually brings Shannen's Dream all the way to the United Nations in Geneva.
In this short documentary, award-winning filmmaker Annie Frazier Henry follows an elite handful of Indigenous athletes from British Columbia for two years as they make their way to the 2002 North American Indigenous Games in Winnipeg. Over 6,000 young sportsmen and women from across Canada and the US compete in the games, and this film serves as a tribute to their hard work, dedication, and achievements.
How can refugee children integrate into Quebec’s school system, given the unspeakable violence they’ve experienced? Following a psychologist specializing in conflict-related trauma, Unspoken Tears pays tribute to the admirable resilience and survival strategies of these “small adults,” whose spirit the bombs and camps have not completely crushed, at a time when it is vital to raise awareness in Western societies of migration-related issues and children’s rights.
This short film portrays the experiences of Rhonda Gordon and her daughter, Angela, when a simple bus ride changes their lives in an unforeseeable way. When they are harassed by three boys, Rhonda finds the courage to take a unique and powerful stance against ignorance and prejudice. What ensues is a dramatic story of racism and empowerment.
As the only First Nations student in an all-white 1940s school, eight-year old Wato is keenly aware of the hostility towards her. She deeply misses the loving environment of the reserve she once called home, and her isolation is sharpened by her father’s serious illness. When Wato’s teacher reads from a history book describing First Nations peoples as ignorant and cruel, it aggravates her classmates’ prejudice. Shy and vulnerable Wato becomes the target of their bullying and abuse. Alone in her suffering, she finds solace and strength in the protective world of her magical dreams.
Inspired by personal experiences of writer and director Alanis Obomsawin, When All the Leaves are Gone combines autobiography, fiction and fable to create a deeply moving story about the power of dreams.
Uncle Thomas: Accounting for the Days is about the special relationship between Regina Pessoa and her uncle. The film is a testament to her love for this eccentric, who was an artistic inspiration and played a key role in her becoming a filmmaker. A moving tribute to a poet of the everyday.
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This feature documentary offers a comparison of the care of two boys with Down syndrome. Danny lives at home with his brothers and sisters and attends a special neighborhood school for children with disabilities. Nicky lives in a large institution for persons with intellectual disabilities. This film clarifies common misconceptions about intellectual disabilities, and presents an intimate portrait of the families, staff, and communities that come together to assist Danny and Nicky in learning, playing, and living a fulfilling life.