In this short documentary, three French-speaking women (from Senegal, Mexico and Belgium) examine their own experiences as immigrants in Vancouver, where they raise their children alone. With strength and resilience, these women take up the challenge of rebuilding their lives to provide a “new world of possibility” for their children, while seeking to find their place in Canadian society.
This film was made as part of the Tremplin program, in collaboration with Radio-Canada.
Filmed at the Wing Fong Farm in Ontario, this documentary follows the tilling, planting and harvesting of Asian vegetables destined for Chinese markets and restaurants. On 80 acres of land, Lau King-Fai, her son and a half-dozen migrant Mexican workers care for the plants. For Yeung Kwan, her son, the farm represents personal and financial independence. For his mother, it is an oasis of peace. For the Mexican workers, it provides jobs that help support their children back home.
This documentary recounts filmmaker Pierre Sidaoui’s immigration journey from the small Lebanese town of Abey to Montreal, the city he now calls home. Sidaoui had a carefree childhood, but civil war forced him and his family to flee Lebanon in 1982, the first in a series of moves that would ultimately separate him from his parents, brother and sisters. Two decades later, Sidaoui pauses to reflect. His precious family photos, carefully kept in a shoebox, bring forth a flood of memories - of family, landscapes, music and war. A touching meditation on the pursuit of happiness and the immigrant experience.
This documentary travels the migration corridor forged between Sherbrooke, Quebec, and the town of Brooks, Alberta, by French-speaking Africans. Most have come from the Democratic Republic of Congo, some by way of refugee camps in Uganda and Tanzania. Unable to find employment in Quebec, they travelled out West. An interweaving of personal stories and the filmmaker’s own trips back and forth through the corridor offer an honest look at how much work is yet to be done to successfully integrate these newcomers.
This feature documentary paints an engaging portrait of Oumar, an auto mechanic from Burkina Faso. Always ready to lend a helping hand, Oumar has become a vital, central part of his community, in Montreal’s Côte-des-Neiges neighbourhood. People tend to gather round as he works, and talk often turns to weighty issues: feminism, polygamy, politics, religion. In eight months’ time, he is due to return for a visit with his family after six years away, so he is searching for hundreds of presents to take with him. Back home, when you leave the nest, it’s to look for wealth. Otherwise, failure awaits…
Monika Delmos's documentary captures a year in the life of two teenage refugees, Joyce and Sallieu, who have left their own countries to make a new life in Ontario. Joyce, 17, left the Democratic Republic of Congo to avoid being forced into prostitution by her family. Sallieu, 16, had witnessed the murder of his mother as a young boy in wartorn Sierra Leone.
Delmos follows them as they bear the normal pressures of being a teenager while simultaneously undergoing the refugee application process. She shows how the guidance and support of a handful of people make a real difference in the day-to-day lives of these children.
This feature documentary zooms in on Montreal’s Côte-des-Neiges borough, where over 75 ethnic groups live side by side in a dizzying swirl of sound and colour. One day, filmmaker Lucie Lachapelle began knocking on the doors that isolated her from her neighbours. The result is a vibrant film about freedom and uprootedness set to urban music composed by Montreal jazz artist Harold Faustin.
In the stark Labrador interior, a growing number of Filipino workers have recently landed in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, travelling halfway around the world for jobs they hope will offer their families new opportunities and a better life. Becoming Labrador follows a handful of those women and men as they make a place for themselves in Labrador while dealing with the unexpected costs of living far from their family.
This feature documentary tells the stories of 5 asylum seekers who flee their native countries to escape homophobic violence. They face hurdles integrating into Canada, fear deportation and anxiously await a decision that will change their lives forever.
A young immigrant arrives in Canada from France—and brings his Citroën 2CV with him. The iconic post-war car stands out on the streets of Vancouver, and before long he meets up with a group of like-minded car buffs. In Julien Capraro’s documentary short, Franck, Lionel, Harjeet and Johnny Mac, who are busy preparing for an upcoming antique-car show, explain how these vehicles not only evoke nostalgia for a past era but are also a powerful marker of identity and a link between two cultures. Produced as part of the Tremplin competition, in collaboration with ICI Radio-Canada Télé.
Several years ago, after taking part in the mass uprisings against Bashar al-Assad, Adnan al-Mhamied had to flee Syria with his wife, Basmah, and their four children. Now settled in Montreal, the family opens their door to filmmaker Pascal Sanchez. They’ve adjusted to life in a peaceful city, but Adnan and Basmah still fear for loved ones back in Syria whose status and whereabouts remain unknown. The war that’s thousands of kilometres away continues to haunt them, surging suddenly to the fore in a conversation, Skype call or Facebook feed. Far from Bashar chronicles an endearing family as they go about their lives, tormented by a distant and seemingly interminable conflict.