As an artist, activist, and educator Amy Siegel’s practice is explicitly interdisciplinary and feminist. Her work spans social practice, installation, performance, cinema, and sculpture. Her current interests are in feminist organizing, collective creation, and the potential of art as a means for social action. Amy holds an MA in Community Development and a BA in Communication Studies.
Andrew Bateman is a digital media artist and documentary filmmaker whose work is focused on the interplay between government and its constituencies. Andrew holds a BA in Contemporary Studies and Social Anthropology from University of King’s College and has had his work shown in Canada, Berlin, Belgium, Turkey, and Norway.
Annalise Nielsen is a multi-media artist whose work focuses on human experiences and social rights issues. She received her BA (Honours) from Queen’s University in 2015 with a major in Film and a minor in Psychology. Annalise uses the skills and knowledge she received from this combined degree to explore untold stories and encourage audiences to analyze issues from a new perspective.
Camilo Gomez-Duran has a passion for creating confined worlds that convey his love and admiration for life, enhanced by his foundation in Communications, Photography, Anthropology, and Documentary Media. At the heart of these realms he explores nature, filmic profiles, taboo subjects, and self-expression. Camilo has undertaken photographic and filmic experiments which have been exhibited in New York, Montreal, Calgary, Cartagena, and Bogota.
DocNow 2017 is one of Canada’s most exciting interdisciplinary documentary festivals created by the next generation of artists and activists.
Now in its ninth year, it features innovative work from the 21 graduates of Ryerson University’s Master of Fine Arts in Documentary Media. This multi-arts, multi-media festival showcases a diverse group of international storytellers through film, photography, and installation.
Born and raised in Brazil, Eduardo Nunes-Jansen came to Canada in the late 80’s as Brazil was emerging from its military dictatorship regime. Eduardo settled in Montréal and received his BEd from the Université du Québec à Montréal. Eduardo also studied theatre and voice with different professionals, including veteran actor and dancer Julien Bessette. Eduardo’s films are usually narratives told in the first person which explore existential questions and issues relevant to minority groups.
Eliot Wright is a photographer whose work focuses on the complexities of the constructed landscape. Frequently, his work explores the implicit duality of the environments humanity has created. His photographs have been exhibited throughout Canada and have been presented in notable publications such as the Magenta Foundation’s Flash Forward, Canadian Art, and the Chronicle Herald. Born in Newfoundland, Eliot received his BFA from NSCAD University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He currently lives in Toronto.
Gabriel Waddington is a filmmaker and film historian. He is currently finishing his documentary on former Hieroglyphics member and ‘Golden Age’ rapper Extra Prolific (Snupe). Gabriel’s research interests include 5th Generation Chinese filmmakers, sound theory in cinema, post-war Italian cinema, the films of Seijun Suzuki, and hip-hop culture. Gabriel has directed and shot several short films, one of which was screened at the 2016 Ryerson Faculty Conference.
Jeannette Breward is a multi-media artist who uses her work to bring light to social issues from an environmentalist and feminist viewpoint. Her work often explores humanity’s relationship with the environment, and her still photography frequently draws from the traditions of surrealism. Jeannette received her BFA in Photography (Honours) from Ryerson University in 2015. She was awarded the Best in Show award for her photograph “Dreams of Flight” at the 2015 Toronto Time Raiser exhibit.
Jorge Ayala is an artist whose practice focuses on temporality, ephemerality, and immersive experiences, with a current focus on themes of memory, identity, nationality, and migration in Latin American cinema. His thesis research involves Cuban documentary newsreels and its restoration/digitization process. Jorge obtained his BFA in New Media at Ryerson University, works at the Ryerson Image Centre as an interactive media programmer, and is a freelance web developer and digital media specialist.
A filmmaker and photographer, Ken Robinson lived in Korea from 2008 to 2015. His photographs have been published in magazines internationally in addition to being used for independent DIY albums and artwork. He has also filmed and directed music videos for online and TV broadcast. Ken’s work is focused on the documentation of sub-cultures and the use of film and photography to celebrate alternative ways of living.
Growing up in Canada, Lauren Bridle developed an interest in Canadian history and geography. Her work aims to display Canada’s natural beauty but also to investigate the history of the land. Lauren specializes in environmental and landscape work, looking at how humans have shaped their surroundings. Lauren holds a bachelor of journalism with a specialization in Broadcast Production from Carleton University and currently resides in Toronto.
Leala Hewak is a Toronto-based photographer who studied music, creative writing, and painting at the University of Toronto, and then went on to law school. During her career as a criminal lawyer serving marginalized communities, Leala ran a commercial art gallery in her hometown of Winnipeg. Leala has pursued a career as an artist since leaving the practise of law in 2010.
Lindsay Fitzgerald is a Toronto-based filmmaker and journalist who is dedicated to finding untold stories and bringing them to the forefront of public dialogue. Her short documentary examining the devastating rates of unemployment for blind Canadians won the TVO Short Doc competition in 2016. Lindsay has previously worked for the Hamilton Spectator, CBC’s The Fifth Estate, and has been published in numerous local publications. What Appears to be the Problem? will be Lindsay’s third documentary film.
Masoud Eskandari is an Iranian-Canadian visual artist who holds a BFA and MFA in Photography and an MFA in Documentary Media. His works have been exhibited in Iran and Canada. After decades of experience in street photography and large format photography, Masoud has moved to conceptual art and video installations using photographs, text, sound, and music. Philosophical and meditative approaches to visual language and communication are integral themes in his work.
Mehrdad Ahmadpour is a filmmaker who has produced four short films and one feature documentary. Mehrdad holds a BA in Electronic Engineering from Guilan University in Iran and an MS in Quality Management from the University of Boras in Sweden. His work has been shown in film festivals in Iran, Netherlands, France, Taiwan, and Greece. His feature documentary, Barre’s Silence (co-directed with Morvarid Peyda), had its world premiere in competition at IDFA 2013.
Peter Conrad is a Toronto-based filmmaker. His latest film, On the Road to Virtue, explores the power of documentation to promote positive human development and compassionate responses to refugee crises. Previous credits include Guarding a Musical Treasure, a journey into Baroque culture in Bolivia, and the science documentaries The Challenge of Quantum Reality and The Mystery of Dark Matter. His 1993 documentary English for Yu screened at the inaugural Hot Docs festival in 1994.
Sadaf Pourghorbani is an Iranian born photo-based artist, who is currently residing in Toronto. She holds a BFA in Photography from NSCAD University. Sadaf’s works revolve around humans and their relation to their environment.
Sardar Farrokhi is a Toronto-based photographer born in Tehran, Iran. Sardar’s passion for photography comes from a love of capturing life at its extraordinary moments and observing its endless conflicts. For years, Sardar has been interested in social issues and transitional cultures around the world and wants to help people through the use of a camera.
Sean Stiller is a Canadian-Secwepemc filmmaker based in Toronto. As a Canadian of mixed heritage, Sean practices documentary as both insider and outsider—an insider through work with Secwepemc and other First Nations communities and as an outsider motivated by a keen curiosity and empathy. His work spans commercial projects, commissioned documentaries, and experimental short films. Sean’s work largely centers on Indigenous and social justice issues in Canada, as well as experimental and transmedia documentary practice.
Stephanie Vizi is a documentary producer, filmmaker and journalist. Stephanie has traveled to remote villages in Southern Africa and Northern Indigenous communities in Canada to create portraits of the resilience of the human spirit. Stephanie is screening her third documentary short, Mistissini Healing, at DocNow. Mistissini Healing examines the trauma experienced by the intergenerational survivors of Canada’s residential school system.
Susan Enberg is a first-time documentary filmmaker. She believes that in order to produce powerful documentaries, one must first build trusting and close relationships with all involved in the filmmaking process. Susan is an acutely socially engaged documentarian whose research excavates important historical truths so that they do not remain hidden. Her first film, In Jesus’s Name, is a collaborative project between herself, Edmund Metatawabin, and the Survivors of St. Anne’s Residential School.
Vince Ha is a writer-director whose work questions our moving-image heritage on issues of class, gender, race, and representation. He is currently working on Invisible Footprints, a project to collect and archive the verbal histories, printed materials, and artwork of the queer Asian communities in Toronto.
The DOC NOW Festival celebrates the work of established and
emerging documentary practitioners from Ryerson University's
Master of Fine Arts program in Documentary Media. Established in 2007,
Ryerson's Documentary Media program is the only MFA degree program
in Canada dedicated to developing tomorrow's documentary filmmakers
and visual artists. The program contributes to Canada's world-renowned
reputation for excellence in documentary by nurturing new talent and
fostering innovative critical approaches.