Meet the filmmakers behind the camera of some of the industry’s most compelling documentaries. Learn how documentaries can be used to entertain, educate, effect social change, and serve as a form of activism.
Featuring Alison Duke (Mr. Jane and Finch), Tiffany Hsiung (The Apology), and Tamara Segura (Becoming Labrador) and moderator Barbara Janes.
Alison Duke is an artistic activist, award-winning filmmaker and passionate producer committed to the Canadian visual art form. She established Goldelox Productions to produce social issue content. In 2016, she produced the Akua Benjamin Legacy Project, a digital web series which celebrates the legacies of Toronto-based black activists Inspired by Ava Duvernay, #metoo and the reality that opportunities for women behind the camera in Canada are long overdue, Alison hired five black female Canadian directors to helm the films. Recently, she co-wrote and co-produced the television documentary Mr. Jane and Finch (19) directed by Ngardy Conteh George (and edited by Sonia Godding Tobogo) for CBCDocs POV. She also directed Cool Black North (19), a two-hour television documentary special for CityTV/Rogers. Current activities see her producing Laurie Townshend's, feature documentary, Mothering in the Movement under Oya Media Group banner, kickstarting Year2 of Black Youth! Pathway2Industry, a 3- year initiative to support black youth access essential training, mentors, networks and film industry spaces. She's also finishing post-production on, Promise Me, a dramatic short inspired by her The Woman I Have Become (08).
Tiffany Hsiung is a Toronto based filmmaker. Her debut award-winning feature-length documentary The Apology (2016) produced by the National Film Board of Canada, has won over a dozen awards internationally. This includes the prestigious Peabody Award along with the Allan King Memorial award presented by the Documentary Organization of Canada. The Apology was one of the top 10 film at Hot Docs (2016), best documentary at Busan International Film Festival and Oslo International Film Festival to name a few. Nominated for an Allan King Award for Excellence in Documentary by the Director’s Guild of Canada. Hsiung co-created and co-directed interactive web documentary The Space We Hold (2017). After the world premiere at Sheffield Documentary Film Festival The Space We Hold is awarded a Peabody – Futures of Media Award (2018) and a Canadian Screen Award for Best Original Digital Production. Hsiung directed her first episodic show for Sinking Ship Entertainment, Dino Dana and was selected out of 350 applicants across Canada to be one of eight directors to participate in the Academy Women Director Mentorship Program. Hsiung is currently in post-production for her CBC short documentary Sing Me a Lullaby set in Taipei, Taiwan.
Hsiung’s approach to storytelling is driven by the human condition and the relationship that is built with the people she meets both in front and behind the lens. By shooting much of her own work, Hsiung obtains unobtrusive access to the stories she captures. Her passion both in filmmaking and education sparks a unique energy to change the status quo and bring critical stories to audiences around the world.
Tamara Segura graduated with honours in Film Direction from the Cuban Higher Arts Institute. Later she specialized in Screenwriting at the International Film School of San Antonio de los Baños, an acclaimed institution founded by Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez to help diversify the globe’s cinematic landscape.
Segura’s films have been awarded film prizes in Spain, Cuba, Canada, and Mexico. Her 2012 short drama Fireflies won the Martin Luther King Award to best short film of the year. In 2010, Tamara was chosen for a fellowship under the Leaders for the Americas Program to conduct research about female sexuality as social construction at Concordia University. Based in Newfoundland, since 2012, Tamara has been awarded with the 2013 RBC Michelle Jackson Award to Best Emerging Female Filmmaker. Her second Canadian short film, Song for Cuba has been produced by the National Film Board of Canada. Her first feature film project Migratory Birds was selected by the Atlantic Film Festival Script Development Program 2015, supported by Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council.
In 2016 Tamara was invited as a panelist to the TIFF Higher Learning Program as part of a discussion about diasporic Cuban cinema. Her interventions shed a light on issues such as gendered expressions in her work, as well as global imaginaries of nostalgia. Currently, Tamara is co-directing her second film produced by The National Film Board. Becoming Labrador is a feature-length documentary about the Filipino Community in Happy Valley-Goose Bay. Produced by Annette Clarke, written by Michael Crummey and co-directed by Justin Simms and Rohan Fernando, this film will be released in the spring of 2018.
Barbara Janes was born in St. John’s, NL, and holds degrees from Memorial University (BA, Modern Languages) and Université Laval (MA, French Literature). She enjoyed a 30-year career with the National Film Board of Canada in Montreal, Ottawa, Halifax and Vancouver and served in a variety of positions including Producer and Executive Producer before becoming the NFB’s senior operational executive, Director General of English Program, a position in which she oversaw the production of more than 500 films. Barbara returned to St. John’s in 2009 where she is involved in a variety of volunteer activities including the Board of Directors of the St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival.