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History

In the Shadow of the Chief

On a rain-soaked morning in May 1961, amidst the snow-capped mountains and verdant forests of Squamish, British Columbia, two young climbers; Jim Baldwin and Ed Cooper started up the Stawamus Chief. Within two weeks news of their attempt had spread and soon 12,000 cars crowded the base of the Chief with onlookers convinced they were about to witness a deadly fall. Braving relentless heat, mosquitoes and a barrage of reporters, it seemed at times doubtful that Ed and Jim would finish the climb. Using never-before-seen archival footage, In the Shadow of the Chief is a unique look at a part of climbing history and the spirit of the community that rallied behind them. It is directed by Ivan Hughes and produced by Angela Heck.

Forgiveness: Stories For Our Time

Award winning "Forgiveness: Stories For Our Time" presents an intimate portrait of four individuals whose lives have been torn apart by murder and their journey to absorb, cope with and move beyond brutal events in their lives. The Globe & Mail called it "...deeply moving.." The Hollywood Reporter called it "..a ground-breaking documentary." In a world wracked by increasing violence and horror, this documentary brings hope that there are other possibilities beyond blind revenge.

An American in Muskoka

Americans often appear to Canadians as relentless in the promotion of their materialistic lifestyle and culture; but a group of wealthy American families defy that stereotype. For over a century, they have traveled north to a lake area in Canada called Muskoka. Current generations still enjoy Adirondack-style houses established by their great-grandparents. Their love of the history and preservation of traditions contributes to the quintessential meaning of Muskoka. But Muskoka is rapidly changing. A New York Times article;The Malibu of the North;Hello, Goldie! Hollywood Has Discovered Muskoka; compared it to the astronomical development on Lake Tahoe. Its wealthy Canadians who build monster houses and McCottages. It's Canadian kids who roar around the lakes in massive cigarette-style boats; buzz around in jet-skis; and throw off damaging wakes with their wakeboard boats as music blasts from their speakers. It is a surprising role reversal—not one most Canadians are used to. Can Americans be preserving history, tradition and environment in Canada while Canadians are contributing to its demise? An American in Muskoka sets these changes against the daily summer life of an American family dynasty on Cliff Island. The island with its holdings is one of the most valuable properties in Muskoka. But with the recent death of the patriarch, the future of the island has been thrown into doubt.

Come Home: The Jews of Glace Bay

This documentary film takes an historical look at the Jewsih community of Glace Bay, Nova Scotia from the turn of the 20th century to their 100th anniversary in 2001. Interviews are done with remaining members of the Jewish community as well as others who have lived in the town and grew up together with them. The film tells the stories of community, struggle and achievement. It played at the 2003 Vancouver Jewish Film Festival.

NICE HAT! 5 Enigmas in the Life of Cambodia

Nice Hat! is a wildly original, intimate lens on Cambodian culture ( ancient and modern) seen entirely through hats. Yes HATS! It attempts to counteract the many portrayals of Cambodia as either 'seat of disaster' or 'tourist confection' by getting to the more human reality of Khmer culture -- where breathtaking creativity and excruciating tragedy co-exist. The way in is an astounding lineage of caps, crowns, scarves, and head pieces of every description which thread together the last ten centuries with the last ten minutes and tie Cambodia to every corner of the globe. Guiding us into this vision are Cambodians ranging from a renown film director (Rithy Panh,) to a princess, to a young guide nicknamed James Bond -- joined by Cambodians of every stripe who make, sell and wear hats. NICE HAT! is all about unfolding complexity -- by the simplest of means.

Hitler's Canadians

Hitler's Canadians tells the little known story of German POWs behind Canadian barbed wire during World War Two. It features dramatic re-enactments of daring and hilarious escapes, the biggest prison rebellion in Canadian history and surprising interviews with former prisoners whose words reflect the contradictory and complicated nature of the time.

Aftermath: The Remnants of War

Aftermath: The Remnants of War is a feature length documentary that takes us to France, Russia, Vietnam and Bosnia to reveal a dark past that still haunts us. With a mix of never before seen footage, stock images, narration and original score, Aftermath is a reminder that we will continue to pay for the last century's legacy of war for years to come. Aftermath is based on the Lionel Gelber Prize winning book by American author Donovan Webster.

The Secret of the Snake Goddess

The Minoan civilization is regarded as the very cradle of European culture. Every year thousands of tourists travel to Crete to gaze at the imposing Palace of Knossos. Apart from the pyramids of Gizeh, the centre of Minoan culture is one of the most famous archaeological excavations. The few existing Minoan relics are eagerly protected in great museums. But could it be possible that the Minoan culture - as we know - is actually a fake? Did the Minoan culture ever exist in the way which we assume? A spectacular discovery made by Canadian archaeologist Alexander McGillivray challenges everything.

DEADLY ARTS

DEADLY ARTS -- The series -- Follow Black Belt Josette D. Normandeau through six spectacular episodes as she travels the planet to seek out and train with the world’s greatest martial arts masters. Josette sets out to uncover the history and culture that shaped these six martial arts: Aikido in Japan, la Savate in France, Capoeira in Brazil, Karate in Okinawa, Muay Thai in Thailand and Kalaripayattu in India.

Cubanos, Life and Death of a Revolution

Cubanos, a completely independent production, liberates itself from television convention to draw an impressionist portrait of the Cuban community. Sincere interviews and sequence shots reveal an identity fragmented by 48 years of dictatorship. The main character, Catuey, a Cuban musician who has been living in Québec for a number of years, brings to his journey and his songs the image of an ideal Cuba hurt by the division in its people and the group-think that prevails in Miami. While Catuey and the interviewees try to define themselves both as individuals and as Cubans, one scene at a time, the camera paints a broader, more complex portrait of a people held prisoner by their history. By exploring the richness of cinematographic language, Cubanos goes beyond the documentary genre to become a road movie that takes us to the heart of Catuey's struggle.
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