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hot docs talks: Meet the Makers
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Hot Docs Talks
Transcripts from interviews conducted at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, April 25 - May 4, 2003

Theme 1: Meet the Makers
HorizonZero held 19 candid interviews with illuminati at Toronto's 2003 Hot Docs Festival. Listen in as these doc-makers introduce their latest projects.

Sara Diamond and Peter Wintonick
Sara: Hi my name is Sara Diamond.

Peter: And I'm Peter Wintonick.

Sara: My name is Peter Wintonick.

Peter: And I'm Sara Diamond.

Sara: And we're here to talk to you about how documentary makers are looking at new technologies, and also a little bit about how they're looking at their role versus the role of their audiences or communities.

Peter: I think we're really looking at the fusion and confusion of the digital ethic with the documentary ethic.

A few words about Hot Docs from Brett Hendrie, Operations Manager:
Brett Hendrie: My name is Brett Hendrie, I'm the Operations Manager for Hot Docs, the Canadian International Documentary Festival.

This being the 10th year of the festival, we're going to expand it into all sorts of new venues. And a lot of that has just been made possible by some of the new technology at our disposal. With more and more films being shot on DV, or in digital format, we've been able to equip our theatres - even older theatres that have antiquated equipment - with new technologies. And we'll be able to screen in different theatres everything from 35mm and 16mm right down to DV and DVD and so forth. Of course, this year at the festival we've got an interactive documentary festival, Cyberdocs, which are online documentaries. People can come to our industry centre and check out and log into the Web and use them. So we're branching more and more into interactive content. But also, using non-film, more digital and more video equipment at our theatres. That makes it more affordable for filmmakers who shot their projects on DV to be able to screen their stuff theatrically. Whereas, say six or seven years ago - before there was the opportunity to project video at high resolution, or to bring in high definition equipment to the theatres - to show it theatrically you needed to have a film print done. Now with video, you can do it quite affordably.

Aerlyn Weissman
My name is Aerlyn Weissman. I'm a Vancouver-based independent filmmaker, and my latest project is called Web Cam Girls.

Ana Serrano
My name is Ana Serrano, and I'm the director of Habitat, which is the new media division at the Canadian Film Centre.

Erica Pomerance
My name is Erica Pomerance, I'm a Montrealer and I make films. I make a lot of films...Well, I don't make a lot of films. It's not easy to make them, but I've been dealing mostly in the recent years with Native issues, and also a lot with African issues.

John Haslett Cuff
My name is John Hasslet Cuff. I have a film that had its world premiere at Hot Docs this year, 2003. It's called Crimes of the Heart. It's an investigation of adultery told through the story of one man and six women.

Marc Glassman
I'm Marc Glassman, and I'm the senior programmer for the international showcase for the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival. I also programmed the Taiwanese showcase that's happening called "Made in Taiwan". Then I co-programmed, with Shannon Abel, "Real Kids, Real Teens" - also at Hot Docs. I'm also the editor of two film magazines at the moment: POV, the documentary film magazine, and Montage, the Director's Guild of Canada's fiction film magazine. I'm a Gemini, I like to represent a variety of different voices - all at the same time. I'm also the proprietor of Pages bookstore, which is one of the last independent bookstores in this country, its sad to say, but it's a good bookstore. That's the good part. The sad part is how few of us are left. I program for various other festivals throughout the year, I write on film, I do a weekly radio show for Classical 96 FM. I guess that kind of covers it.

Monique Simard
My name is Monique Simard, I'm from Productions Virage. We're based in Montreal, and we're mostly known for our social political documentaries that we've been producing over the years - seventeen or eighteen years now.

Fee Plumley: I'm Fee Plumley, I'm from the-phone-book.ltd.uk - I'm the Production Director. I've been working in multimedia for the last four to six years, I'm not quite sure, I think it's six years now, and before that I used to work in stage management. So I've kind of come from a physical environment background, and I'm completely involved in the virtual world now.

Ben Jones: My name's Ben Jones, I'm the creative director of the-phone-book.ltd.uk. My background is more TV and animation based, and now I'm working in new media.

Rae Hall
My name is Rae Hall, and I work for CBC television. Most recently I've been working on a project called Zed with a ton of other people. It's late night television, cross platform, with a great media site zed.cbc.ca.

Tom Perlmutter
I'm Tom Perlmutter, Director General of the English program at the National Film Board. The English program produces a whole range of work including documentaries, animation, children's programming, and projects for the Internet.

Velcrow Ripper
My name's Velcrow Ripper, and I'm a filmmaker from the West coast of Canada, and right now I'm working on a documentary feature length, and a one hour documentary called Scared Sacred. It's basically based on journeys to the "ground zeros" of the world looking for stories of hope. Looking for people who have gone through the worst that can possibly happen and somehow found a pathway to transformation.

Loretta Todd
The film I just finished, it's called The People Go On, and it's a film I did down in Southern Alberta with the Kai-nau People, the Blood Indians. It starts from talking about repatriation, but it isn't just about repatriation. It's more about people's relationship to time and to memory, and it's about who owns cultural property. In the end it's really about relationships.

Yung Chang
My name is Yung Chang. I made a film with the National Film Board of Canada - it's called Earth to Mouth. It is about a Chinese immigrant - a mother of 72 years of age, farming and working and operating a farm in Newcastle, Ontario. They grow Chinese vegetables, and it's more of a portrait of her experiences. We shot a year on this farm, so [it's about] seasonality and the cycle of life, etc. etc. through her point of view, combined and intertwined with Mexican migrant workers. So both their voices kind of mingle together. It's kind of nice and subtle and lyrical.

Paul Jay
My name's Paul Jay, my last film's called Return to Khandahar. It's the story of a woman's pursuit for her lost friend in Afghanistan.

Peter Lynch
My name's Peter Lynch, I'm a filmmaker. I've been working on a number of types of films, from kind of hybrid documentary feature films like Cyberman, which is my last documentary feature, which is a study of a man who functions in the world as a cyborg. I also did a film called The Herd, which is about a reindeer trek. It involved actors and impressionistic drama. I've done short dramas, surreal films, and come from a sort of interdisciplinary background.

Vanessa Bertozzi
My name is Vanessa Bertozzi, and I work for a company called Picture Projects. It's a new media documentary company based out of New York City, and I've been working there for a year and half on a project called Sonicmemorial.org, which is a new media documentary about the World Trade Center. Not just 9/11, but the life and history of the World Trade Center, even going back to the neighbourhood before the World Trade Center. It's audio-based using Flash and streaming mp3s.

Jim Compton
My name is Jim Compton, I'm Program Director for the Aboriginal People's Television Network. My background is television. I've been in the business for about 20 years. Got my big break at CBC in 1983 as a researcher. I quickly became a reporter, writer, broadcaster, producer, and did that. Worked in the "privates" for six years. I used to have my own TV show called The Sharing Circle. Did 52 half-hour shows a year, so I know the industry in and out and backwards. Worked on the Aboriginal People's Television Network, which is my present project. I've been doing that for the last five years. Launched the network, licensed and acquired programming for the network for the last four years. Developed a vision, strategy, mission, and I'm still alive.

Alex Shuper
My name is Alex Shuper. I started off as an editor based largely on the film Visions of Light, which is a documentary about cinematography. It occurred to me that no one had ever done a documentary about editing. Partially, perhaps in a way to validate my own career choice, it occurred to me that I should do a documentary about editing. Because there was so much information that I collected and gathered with all of these interviews that I did, going around the world. There was just no place in a feature length film to include all the material, so it occurred to us - how else do we put this out there? Can we write a book? And other things like that. And the most viable option, of course, for presenting all the information that just can't make it into a film, was a Web site. So we decided to develop that idea and it just grew from there.

Arlene Ami
My name is Arlene Ami and the documentary that I have here at Hot Docs is called, Say I do. It's about the stories of Filipina women who have come to Canada as mail order brides.

Ève Lamont
Hello. My name is Ève Lamont. I'm an independent filmmaker. I'm also a camerawoman, that's my trade, and I studied sociology, communication, and electrical engineering. I've been making independent films and doing freelance cinematography for fifteen years now.

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