Festival Launch: May 26th

Join us for the 2015 Festival Launch at The Gladstone Hotel Ballroom with drinks, a preview of the works in the festival and a keynote address by world-renowned, investigative documentary filmmaker Ric Esther Bienstock.

What does it mean to be making documentaries in 2015? Financially, there can be little payoff for filmmakers and photographers in the industry, and yet, a growing number of people are picking up cameras to document social injustices, cultural transformations and personal histories.

Documentaries help define and shape our chaotic and fragmented world. With a multitude of platforms now being created to share stories, there are new opportunities emerging for today’s documentary makers. Our keynote speaker, Ric Esther Bienstock, will share her experience and insights into the documentary form, and explore why, even in the face of financial hardship, it is an exciting time for documentarians.

Keynote Speaker: Ric Esther Bienstock

Ric Esther Bienstock - head shot

Ric Esther Bienstock is an Emmy Award-winning filmmaker best known for her groundbreaking investigative documentaries. Her films, including Tales From the Organ Trade, Sex Slaves, Ebola: Inside an Outbreak (aka Plague Fighters), Boxing: In and Out of the Ring, Penn & Teller’s Magic and Mystery Tour and Ms. Conceptions, have screened at over eighty international festivals and aired in over fifty countries. Bienstock was honoured at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival with the Birks Diamond Tribute to the Year’s Women in Film as one of Canada’s leading women filmmakers. In February 2015, she was awarded the Gordon Sinclair Award for Broadcast Journalism from the Canadian Academy of Cinema and Television for her body of work. She has garnered dozens of prestigious awards, including an Emmy Award for Outstanding Investigative Journalism, two Edward R. Murrow Awards, a duPont-Columbia Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism (considered the broadcast equivalent to the Pulitzer Prize), a British Broadcast Award, a Distinguished Achievement award from the IDA in Los Angeles, a Royal Television Society Award and two Amnesty International Awards.



The Gladstone Hotel
1214 Queen Street West

Doors: 6:30 pm
Welcome & Keynote: 7:00–8:00 pm
Reception: 8:00–10:00 pm