Amit Breuer is an Israeli-Canadian award-winning documentary filmmaker. Her award winning films include: The Specialist, Purity, Junction, Sentenced to Marriage, Checkpoint, Between Two Notes/Le blues de L’Orient and The Guantanamo Trap.
In 2002, Breuer received the prestigious Israeli Arts Council Award for cinema art recognizing her body of work’s significant contribution to domestic documentary cinema as well as her founding role in the Noga Communications Documentary Art Channel between 1997-2001. She is a three-time winner of the Israeli Academy Award (1993, 1995, 1999) a recipient of the Doc-Aviv Best Film Award (2001), the prestigious Golden Fipa Award (2003), the Joris Ivens Award (2003) as well as the International Festival of Film and Art FIFA Award for best reportage in 2007, and more.
In 2004, Amit emigrated from Israel to Canada and since then resides and works in Toronto. She is a speaker, presenter and mentor, and is regularly invited to industry conference panels in venues such as SXSW Interactive, Berlinale, Hot Docs and Dok Leipzig. She has been a jury member for the CPH DOX Copenhagen Amnesty Award, Doc Aviv, Hot Docs and IDFA, among others.
Rebecca Garrett is a Toronto based artist whose use of media is situation specific. Since graduating from the Ontario College of Art in 1981, Garrett has been exhibiting single channel experimental videos; mixed media and performative interventions; site specific installations; photo-based wall pieces; and film and video installations, in numerous venues in Canada and abroad.
Garrett’s work has for many years embodied two parallel approaches to artistic practice. Her works explore experimental formal concerns and are committed to the evolution of an alternative and innovative image language. These concerns are located within, and challenged by the indexical nature of the sign and the documentary traditions and responsibilities of various social and political contexts. In one way or another all of her works can be seen as investigations of the effects of structures of containment or control — such as architecture, colonialism or global media — on perception, psychic and cultural survival, and knowledge production.
In 1989 Garrett moved to Africa and was Visiting Artist in Residence at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe for three years. During this period she continued to exhibit her work in galleries and at the same time developed a community based practice that involved working collectively and collaboratively with community groups. She also continued producing single channel experimental works for screenings and broadcast. (Foodland, returning takes time, Continental Drift)
In 2000 Garrett completed a MFA at York University and subsequently taught at York University, the University of Toronto, and the Ontario College of Art and Design. From 2006 – 2009 Garrett initiated and directed a community-based video production and training project with the Dehcho First Nations in the Northwest Territories, setting up a production facility and producing with trainees a broadcast quality video that documents the history of the Dehcho Dene and their struggle for control over their land.
(Dehcho Ndehe Gha Nadaotsethe – Fighting for Our Land)
Garrett has been involved in numerous artist, activist and solidarity communities. She was on the board of directors of YYZ for five years in the early 80’s and was President of the Board of Directors of Charles Street Video from 1998 – 2005, and continues to work with a number of groups and individuals in Toronto, including the Hard Pressed Collective (The Olive Project), the Wildflower Collective (Earth Wide Circles) and The Money Project.
Garrett is currently working on search, an ongoing research and web based video project that has generated a number of works such as: search>echolocation>open sky, an interactive video and sound installation (2009); search>geography>erasure>affect (2010) a recently completed single channel video; and a work in progress entitled search>earth>any body.
Riaz Mehmood is a multidisciplinary artist originally from Pakistan. After obtaining a degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Engineering and Technology in Peshawar, Riaz went on to complete the Integrated Media program at Ontario College of Art and Design (2005) and an MFA from the University of Windsor (2012). His artistic oeuvre encompasses a range of practices including performance, video, photography and new media. These works have explored a number of issues related to identity, history and media. Riaz has also been involved with a number of artist-run centres and served on the boards of SAVAC and articule. His works have been shown internationally, including the US, Canada, Egypt, Pakistan and Indonesia.
Currently Riaz is the technical co-ordinator for the Bay Street Film Festival, he teaches multi-media at Confederation College and continues to create and show work locally and internationally.
Ron Harpelle has been a documentary film producer and director in Thunder Bay for fifteen years. He has worked on over 30 films as a producer, director and sound recordist. Among his directing credits are “Pulp Friction,” (2014) a film about globalization and the pulp industry in Finland, Uruguay and Canada, “Hard Time,” (2012) a film about Angola 3 member Robert King, “In Security,” (2010) a film about barbed wire, people and spaces, and of “Banana Split,” (2002) an award winning documentary film about Canada’s favourite fruit. As a producer his credits include all of the films he has directed and, “Guardians of Eternity” (2015) a film about the Yellowknife Dene First Nation and the Giant Mine, “The Big Blue,” (2012) “Under the Red Star,” (2011) “Dorothea Mitchell: A Reel Pioneer.” (2006) “The Fatal Flower,” (2000). He recently completed “Engaging the World” an inter-active website and non-linear documentary film using the Korsakow system and he co-produced www.lakeheadfinns.ca, a comprehensive website about Finnish immigration and settlement in Canada. Harpelle also publishes books and articles to accompany some of his films.
Ron Harpelle has won several awards, most notably, the Best Documentary Latin American Environmental Media Festival 2005, the Deborah Fletcher Award of Excellence in International Development Filmmaking (CIDA) and the Canadian Federation of Film Studies Burrit/Thompson Award 2003. In addition, “Banana Split” was included in the 2003 Ökomedia International Environmental Film Festival tour of Germany and selected for the Travelling World Community Film Festival. His films have also been broadcast on television and selected by numerous film festivals in Canada and abroad. He has received funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Ontario Arts Council, CIDA, the International Development Research Centre, the Canadian Independent Film and Video Fund and other agencies.
Ron Harpelle has also mentored and provided opportunities for artists, artisans, and filmmakers in and around Thunder Bay. Productions like Under the Red Star, involved 35 crew members, 20 actors and 200 extras. Other productions have been more modest, but local musicians, actors, technicians and support people have been worked on his films in the past. He has also worked with artists abroad. Harpelle is the co-founder and current Chair of the Bay Street Film Festival, an annual event that has provided filmmakers from Northwestern Ontario with opportunities to screen their work in a competitive setting, attend workshops, and mingle with directors from around the world. He is also a member of the program board for the Ethnografilm Festival in Paris and editorial board of the Journal of Video Ethnography. He has also made numerous presentations and participated in workshops on film and filmmaking. He is particularly interested in the production of documentary films for pedagogical purposes.
Curtis Jensen is an award winning Thunder Bay-based freelance filmmaker who has been actively writing and producing films and other video content since 2007. A graduate of Confederation College’s Film Production program, Curtis’ creative work has been broadcasted on noteworthy television stations such as Much Music and Bravo Channel.
Curtis’ film work has also appeared in various film festivals worldwide and won awards at some of those festivals. As owner and operator of Apple Wagon Films, Curtis has had the opportunity to collaborate with a variety of local businesses, artists, musicians and individuals within Thunder Bay.