There’ll be lots to talk about in late January as the 2015 edition of the ReFrame Documentary Film Festival runs from Friday January 23 until Sunday January 25.

This year’s festival has been divided into a plethora of themes including:

“Food, Glorious Food (Or Not?)”. Each of these films focuses on taking a thoughtful and critical look at food as we produce, consume and relate to it.

“Philms On Photography: Fotography On Film” features films on three distinct photographers in Finding Vivian Maier, Monk With A Camera and Regarding Susan Sontag.

ReFrame will also take a look at South Africa’s troubled recent history with its “South Africa Revisted” theme. Soft Vengeance tells the story of white South African lawyer and anti-apartheid activist Albe Sachs while Shield And Spear highlights the current generation of South African artists tackling current political and social issues through a variety of artistic disciplines and media.

The festival also features many films from outside of those themes including Marinoni: The Fire In The Frame (an advance release, directed by Tony Girardin who will be in attendance when it screens on opening night at Showplace) about legendary bicycle frame craftsman, Montreal-based Giuseppe Marinoni, in the 75 year-old’s quest to set the world record in his age group for distanced cycled in one hour.

The festival also offers a wide array of short films. For example, Leaks (dir. Cara Mumford) about a young Anishinaabekwe girl and her mother and their confronation with racism. Only three minutes long and combining spoken word (by Leanne Simpson), music (by Tara Williamson), and visuals of Leanne and her daughter, this film has amongst its sponsors Trent Aboriginal Culture Knowledge Sciences Youth Program and the Trent University Department of Indigenous Studies.

It’s this diverse array of offerings that has executive director Krista English expecting more around 9,000 people or more, with around 17% of those people coming from outside of 100km of Peterborough.

In addition to the films themselves, and in the spirit of using this festival as a source of conversation, the festival will feature several different panels with many of the filmmakers with themes such as ‘Filmmakers As Activists’,  and ‘Food Activism And The Taste For Justice’


Market Hall will be a venue again this year. Photo by Jenny Fisher.

Local fimmakers will also be represented with Nadine Changfoot, an autobiographical short film by Trent Professor Nadine Changfoot about the affects of becoming racialized through another’s gaze. I am Satellite (Dir. Michael Hayes) is a visual interpretation of a poem by local poet Rick Webster, around the earth ‘with a satellite’s eye view of a voyage of decay’.

Tonight Is For The Trees (Dir. Matthew Hayes and Sasha Patterson), is a short film based on the spoken-word of local poet Sasha Patterson as part of Artspace’s 2014 Cinepoetry production program.

The Search For Dark Matter (Dir. Michael Hayes) features words from local poet Jon Hedderwick and choreography and dancing by Wes Ryan.

The Trent Film Society will also be sponsoring two films at the festival selected by Trent Film Society co-directors Natasha Hsu and Nathan Prendergast.

Hsu selected Finding Vivian Maeir (dir. John Maloof and Charlie Siskel) about photographer Vivian Maeir, who took more than a 100,000 photographs, kept secret during her life, who, fifty years later, had her work discovered and has since gained a reputation as one of the 20th century’s greatest photographers.

Pendergast selected The Secret Trial 5 (dir. Amar Wala), a film about the Canadian government’s use of ‘Security Certificates’ to detain five Muslim men for a total of 30 years combined without charge, and based on evidence that was never disclosed to their lawyers or face deportation to countries where they run serious risk of being jailed, tortured, or murdered.

When asked what other films they would recommend, they selected the following:


The Case Against 8 (Dir. Ben Cotner and Ryan White) about the battle over Proposition 8, the infamous California proposition banning same-sex marriage by popular vote in 2008 and the subsequent fight in the first federal marriage-equality lawsuit to the U.S. Supreme Court.

My Stolen Revolution (dir. By Nahid Persson Sarvestani) in which fimmaker Sarvestani, a student activist in Iran’s 1979 revolution who was forced to flee to Sweden when Islamists started persecuting the left, left behind, among others, her brother who was imprisoned and later executed by the Ayatollah’s regime. The film follows her as she returns to Iran in the emergence of the 2009 student rebellion.

Monk With A Camera (dir. By Guido Santi and Tina Mascara) about Nicky Vreeland, who became a successful photographer only to leave it behind to move to India to join a monastery and become a buddhist monk, later taking up  his camera again to help the monks rebuild their monastery.


To Be Takei (dir. Jennifer M. Kroot), follows the life of pop-culture icon George Takei from his internment as a Japanese-American during World War 2, to his turn as Mr. Sulu in Star Trek, to his life as an LGBTQ activist.

The Sower (dir. Julie Perron) follows Quebec’s Patrice Fortier and seed company “La Societe des plantes” as he preserves rare cultivars for the future.

Says English, “it’s a little a festival that’s a lot like a big festival in many ways, and growing quickly with a lot of bigger name documentary films and filmmakers participating every year”.

Tickets are $35 and $20 for students and underemployed. For passes, locations, screening times, additional events art exhibits visit:

Passes are available on campus at the TCSA office at Champlain College, Suite S110 and the Kawartha World Issues Centre in the Environmental Sciences Building Room B101, and downtown at The Green Up Store, and Hi Ho Silver.