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DOC Atlantic Breakthrough Program participants announced


The DOC Atlantic chapter of the Documentary Organization of Canada, in association with Lunenburg Doc Fest, is proud to announce the filmmakers selected for the first DOC Atlantic Breakthrough Program

"As this program begins its inaugural year, it is very exciting to see what real effect it will have in changing the landscape of documentary filmmaking on the East Coast through its contributions towards raising the voices and visions of BIPOC-identifying emerging filmmakers,” states Millefiore Clarkes, Secretary of DOC Atlantic.

The DOC Atlantic Breakthrough Program will help advance and support emerging BIPOC talent in Atlantic Canada for market success through professional development sessions led by industry experts plus introductions to key decision makers including distributors, broadcasters, producers, and other stakeholders.

The Program will train four media creators from the Atlantic provinces who identify as Black, Indigenous, or a person of colour (BIPOC) to hone, market and pitch their documentary project at Lunenburg Doc Fest, September 22-28, 2022, and at Montreal International Documentary Festival's Forum RIDM, November 19-23, 2022.

Led by Lunenburg Doc Fest, the Program begins with a six-week online workshop series commencing June 30, 2022; one-to-one pitch mentorship sessions with an internationally renowned pitch coach; and group mentorship from an acclaimed Canadian documentarian.

“We are proud to collaborate with DOC Atlantic and industry stakeholders to nurture new and underrepresented voices. The education, insights, and mentorship will aid participants in developing project pitch materials and presenting their concepts with confidence,” said Lunenburg Doc Fest’s Executive Director, Pamela Segger.

Each participant will also receive a free one-year membership to DOC Atlantic, an all-access Industry Pass to Lunenburg Doc Fest and The Dock Market conference, plus a Forum RIDM pass with travel support and stipend to participate on-site at the Forum during Montreal International Documentary Festival.

The four filmmakers participating in the 2022 DOC Atlantic Breakthrough Program are: Jessica Brown, James B. Elloso, Eliza Knockwood and Anna Quon.

Jessica Brown is an arts worker and emerging Inuk filmmaker. Hailing from Labrador, she has always felt a strong connection to the land and her culture. She currently lives in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador with her two children where she is working on a new Indigenous artist collective at First Light. Through her work, she wants to support the revitalization of traditional Indigenous arts practices, as well as the celebration of contemporary practices. She also sits on the Board of Directors at Riddle Fence, A Journal of Arts and Culture. Jessica recently shifted her practice to documentary filmmaking with a focus on stories that explore identity, language, belonging and roots. Jessica is the Assistant Director of Framed Spirit Song which is a short documentary premiering this fall at the St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival.

James B. Elloso is a writer and filmmaker from the Philippines, living in St. John’s, Ktaqmkuk, colonially known as Newfoundland, where he is writing his play titled Children of Tomorrow. He studied environmental science at Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland and recently received a diploma in stage and screen techniques from Memorial University. Through his work, he hopes to inspire wonder and mindfulness for nature, including the human condition, because that too is part of nature.

Eliza Knockwood is a Two Spirit Mi'kmaq filmmaker living and working out of Epekwitk, also known as Prince Edward Island. She become the production coordinator on a television series and held that role for three years. In 2006 Eliza began her journey with documentary film and has directed several self-produced shorts and community productions. In 2021 Eliza directed her first longer form project called The Ice Walk which was initially created in partnership will Bell Fibe TV1 and then repackaged into a feature film. She will be filming another short form series for Bell Fibe TV1 called Time of Learning in the summer of 2022 and is currently developing a feature film titled The Rite of Passage.

Poet and novelist Anna Quon likes to create paintings and short animated films of her original poetry. Anna is also a writing workshop facilitator and Zoom host of an arts and culture guest speaker series for a local mental health organization. Anna’s chapbook, Body Parts was published in 2021 by Gaspereau Press. She has released three novels with Invisible Publishing—Migration Songs (2009), Low (2013) and Where the Silver River Ends (2022). Anna lives in Kjipuktuk (Halifax) with her dad.

The DOC Atlantic Breakthrough Program is presented with support from DOC Institute, the Documentary Organization of Canada, Telefilm Canada, Canada Media Fund and Lunenburg Doc Fest. 

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