Canadian Docs are bigger than ever at TIFF

Posted by admin|November 18, 2016

With nearly 50 documentaries playing at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), it’s clear that non-fiction film features have become far more interesting to audiences than ever before. A number of reasons have contributed to this amazing growth.

There’s a decline in belief in mainstream media news. There are more news channels than ever but all of them seem to be regurgitating the same stories about Trump and Hilary interspersed with tales of “reality” stars like the Kardashians.

Docs are offering the kind of in-depth reporting that the more responsible TV channels used to provide. And people still want to know the truth about what’s happening in the world.
New technologies have made it economically feasible to shoot footage anywhere in the world quite cheaply. Editing equipment is easily available as are cameras and sound recording devices. Post production can literally take place at home. Docs can now be made cheaply but still look and sound great.

Young filmmakers are increasingly following the examples of pioneers like Werner Herzog and Martin Scorsese: they’re making docs as well as dramas. Before you did one or the other; now a great film project is worth doing, whether in fiction or fact.

Canada, the country that started the documentary movement with Nanook of the North and created the first great organisation dedicated to making non-fiction film, the National Film Board, is benefitting from the world-wide interest in docs. TIFF is programming a number of very interesting docs.


The River of My Dreams
Brigitte Berman | Canada | World Premiere
Programme: TIFF Docs

Oscar winning documentarian (Artie Shaw: Time is all you’ve Got) Brigitte Berman has made a wonderfully insightful film about a Canadian icon, actor-writer-director Gordon Pinsent. Using digital technology as well as her typical film prowess, this doc auteur once again has made a biography film of authority and compassion.