Documenting the future: 10 years of Cap U docs
April 22, 2016
Photo from documentary film series shot on location in Johnstone Strait, B.C. by alumnus Ken Matheson
On a dark and rainy January morning in 2006, I boarded a ferry, fresh teaching materials in hand, headed on a mysterious mission: I was to find a small classroom at the Sechelt Campus of Capilano University where I was to teach documentary filmmaking and history to several students.
The task sounded straightforward enough—I was in the middle of making a documentary about American conscientious objectors seeking refuge in Canada from the Iraq War. Surely teaching would be easier than getting Pentagon officials at the Fort Hood military base in Texas to talk about desertion rates.
I found the classroom, in which sat seven new students, ready to learn the art and industry of non-fiction cinema. Each was worthy of a documentary in and of themselves—all wonderful characters with interesting lives that had led them to this time and place: a strong Cree woman, a mother of six from Labrador, a champion of non-digital formats we called “Analog Girl,” a woman who had helped create the Canadian Television Fund guidelines (that were helping to fund my film), a sensitive man on a dark journey of the soul, a sunny 18-year-old South Asian woman, and a female adventurer whose final project would take her to Ellesmere Island with the Canadian Artic Rangers.
Ten years later, Cap U’s Documentary Program has grown into the leading documentary program in western Canada, in a state-of-the-art film center. This year, the program celebrates its extraordinary alumni, the stories they have told and the impact they are having on the world. More...
Read the complete blog post on Your Daily Cap.