Docs on Bay, Bay Street Film Festival’s monthly screening series brings award-winning documentaries to Thunder Bay. We often bring in filmmakers, conduct workshops, feature performances and participate in post-screening Q&A’s. Screenings take place at 314 Bay Street above the Hoito Restaurant. Tickets are $8.00 or pay what you can. The hall is accessible via elevator access.
Docs on Bay is supported by the Ontario Trillium Foundation, Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, the City of Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario sponsors and partners.
Under The Gun
Thursday, March 16, 2017 | Trinity Hall, 310 Park Ave. (across from the Armoury) | 7:00 pm
Director: Stephanie Soechtig | 2016 | 110 min.| USA
UNDER THE GUN examines the events and people who have kept the gun debate fierce and the progress slow, even as gun deaths and mass shootings continue to increase.
Thursday, March 2, 2017 | Trinity Hall, 310 Park Ave. (across from the Armoury) | 7:00 pm
Director: Ron Harpelle | 2014| 40 min.| Canada
The story of Robert King, a man who spent 35 years in prison (29 of which were in solitary confinement) for a crime he did not commit.
Thursday, February 2, 2017 | 314 Bay Street | 7:00 pm
Director: Alethea Arnaquq-Baril | 2016 | 85 min.| Canada
Seal hunting, a critical part of Inuit life, has been controversial for a long time. Now a new generation of Inuit, armed with social media and their own sense of humour and justice, are challenging the anti-sealing groups and bringing their own voices into the conversation. Director Alethea Arnaquq-Baril joins her fellow Inuit activists as they challenge outdated perceptions of Inuit and present themselves to the world as a modern people in dire need of a sustainable economy.
A New Economy
Thursday, January 19th, 2016
Director: Trevor Meier | 2016 | 85 min.| Canada
What if working together for the good of all was the most common business model? Watch, as several organizations strive towards building a more cooperative future. By putting humanity before the bottom line, they are finding their place in an economy previously dominated by profits and big business.
Thursday, December 08, 2016 | 314 Bay Street | 7:00 pm
Director: Denis Villeneuve | 130 min | Canada | 2016
Nawal (Lubna Azabal), a dying Middle Eastern woman living in Montreal, leaves separate letters to her twin children to be read once she passes away. Jeanne (Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin) is to deliver hers to the father the twins never knew, and Simon (Maxim Gaudette) is to give his to the brother they never knew they had. The siblings travel to the Middle East separately, where they each experience acts of brutality, uncover a startling family history, and have revelations about themselves.
OFF THE RAILS
Thursday, December 01, 2016 | 314 Bay Street | 7:00 pm
Director: Adam Irving | 87min | Canada,USA | 2016
Off the rails tells the remarkable true story of Darius McCollum, a man with Asperger’s syndrome whose overwhelming love of transit has landed him in jail 32 times for impersonating New York City bus drivers and subway conductors and driving their routes. This is his story.
Green Rights: The Human Right to a Healthy World
Monday, October 24, 2016 | 314 Bay Street | 7:00 pm
Director: Silver Donald Cameron | 60 min | Canada | 2016
The Sierra Club Canada Foundation and thegreeninterview.comare pleased to announce the release of the documentary film Green Rights: The Human Right to a Healthy World, and the companion book Warrior Lawyers: From Manila to Manhattan, Attorneys for the Earth, by Silver Donald Cameron. Silver Donald travelled all over the world to collect stories about the remarkable impact of environmental rights on the lives of people in the countries where those rights are recognized. Which is most countries. But not Canada or the United States.
Silver Donald will be in attendance, and autographed copies of Warrior Lawyers will be available. While our screenings are usually on Thursday evenings, this tour made it necessary to screen the film on Monday, October 24th, 7 pm.
Wednesday, July 27, 2016 | 314 Bay Street | 7:00 pm
Director: Rob Viscardis | 60 min | Canada | 2016
Ryan and Sam Weber are extremely talented, hard-working, storied
musicians, who struggle to define success – a confusing and elusive
concept for any artist.The Weber Brothers don’t get tied up in the tediousness of striving for fame, fortune, or mainstream success. For the Weber Brothers, it is simply about making music. This is their story.
Following the film, the Weber Brothers will be performing at The Apollo!
Thursday, April 14, 2016 | 314 Bay Street | 8:00 pm
Director and Producer: Brian D. Johson | 92 min | Canada | 2015
What does it take to carve out a career as a poet? Why on earth would
anyone attempt it? Al Purdy Was Here is the portrait of an artist driven
to become a great Canadian poet at a time when the category barely
Thursday, March 17, 2016 | 314 Bay Street | 8:00 pm
Directors: Timothy Kane & Annika Itis | 90 min | Canada | 2015
A famous prison escape sparks the idea for a cult-like race that has seen only 10 finishers in its first 25 years. Every year, 40 international runners descend upon Tennessee with a compass and a prayer to test their limits against the Barkley Marathons.
This award-winning, oddly inspiring, and wildly funny documentary reveals the sports world’s most guarded secret.
Thursday, January 21, 2016 | 314 Bay Street | 8:00 pm
Directors: Robert Cohen| 90 min | Canada | 2015
Being Canadian, a comedic documentary, takes a look at what it means to be Canadian. Featuring a host of famous Canadians, as well as talking with everyday people, director Rob Cohen sets out on a road trip across Canada to find out what it means to be Canadian.
The film will be preceded by comedian Ron Kanutski who’ll share his experience of ‘being Canadian.’
Thursday, December 10, 2015 | 314 Bay Street | 7 pm
Directors: France Benoit | 48 min | Canada | 2015
The long term impact of arsenic contamination from the Giant Mine site in Yellowknife, NWT is examined through many perspectives including the indigenous Dene community.
7:50 pm – Q&A
Thursday, December 10, 2015 | 314 Bay Street | 8:15 pm
Directors: Cliff Caines | 78 min | Canada | 2014
From the discovery of gold in 1926 to one of the world’s richest gold mines in 1995; the community of Red Lake, Ontario talks about being a single resource town.
9:30 pm – Q&A
Thursday, November 5, 2015 | 314 Bay Street | 8 pm
Directors: Tony Girardin | 90 min | Canada | 2014
The film chronicles the life of Guiseppe Marinoni, award-winning cyclist, as he trains to take a shot at setting the new World’s Record for distance cycled in one hour – at age 75! Marinoni turned to cycle building when his racing career wound down, personally building some twenty thousand bike frames over the course of his career.
Following the film, there will be a Q&A with Kari Jämsä. Kari rode his bike from the Finnish Labour Temple 950 kilometers to Finn Grand Fest in Toronto this past June to raise funds to celebrate Finnish Canadian Heritage.
The Screening Sponsor for the film is Petrie’s Cycle and Sport.
9:30 pm – Q&A
Thursday, October 22, 2015 | 314 Bay Street | 8 pm
Directors: Noemi Weis | 90 min | Canada | 2015
A universal look at the politics and controversies surrounding birth and infant feeding, Milk celebrates bringing a new life into this world with a strong call to action
9:30 pm – Q&A
TASHI AND THE MONK
May 21, 2015 | 314 Bay Street | 8 pm
Directors: Johnny Burke, Andrew Hinton | 40 min | England
A former Buddhist monk seeks to transform the lives of orphaned and neglected children at Jhamtse Gatsal (The Garden of Love and Compassion) in the foothills of the Himalayas. Five-year-old Tashi is the newest arrival to the over capacity centre. Her mother passed away and her alcoholic father has abandoned her. Tashi struggles to find her place amongst 84 new siblings, and learns that love can help heal even the saddest memories.
In 2014, Tashi and the Monk won the Pare Lorentz IDA Documentary Award, the Norman Vaughan Indomitable Spirit Award and the Moving Mountains Prize at the Telluride Film Festival, the Best Mountain Culture Film at the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival, the Best Mountain Culture Film at the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival and the Best Short at the IDA Documentary Awards
9:00 pm – Q&A, Reception: Jeff Jenner and Adarsh Mehta, Directors of Jhamtse Canada, will discuss the film and the Jhamtse Gatsal Children’s Community.
Donations Welcome in Support Of Jhamtse Gatsal Children’s Community
Jhamtse Canada as a registered charity affiliated with Jhamtse Gatsal Children’s Community. Donations for general operations will be used where most needed. Tax deductible receipts will be provided.
THE YES MEN ARE REVOLTING
April 23, 2015 | 314 Bay Street | 8 pm
Director: Laura Nix | 90 min | USA
The third chapter in the Yes Men series personalizes the quest of culture-jamming, global warming activists, Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonann. After 15 years of shaking up the debate on climate change, Arctic oil and corporate greed, the pranksters question whether their work is making an impact. The answer? Yes, if every viewer of the film series gets involved.
“An entertaining mix of agitpop, pranksterism and autobiography.”
THE PUNK SINGER
March 19, 2015 | 314 Bay Street | 8 pm
Director: Sini Anderson | 82 min | USA
Follow the career of former Bikini Kill singer, Kathleen Hanna, leading light of the riot grrrl movement and a creative, musical and political force. Through archive footage and interviews, the doc covers Hanna’s battles against sexism, press misrepresentation, and Lyme disease, all of which she confronts head on as obstacles to be overcome in order to get her voice heard.
“Beautiful and rousing!”
Karen Valby, Entertainment Weekly
THE ACT OF KILLING
February 12, 2015 | 314 Bay Street | 8 pm
Director: Joshua Oppenheimer | 116 min | Denmark/Norway/UK
An inventive, unsettling documentary that examines a country where killers are celebrated as heroes and the filmmakers challenge unrepentant death squad leaders to reenact their real-life mass-killings in the style of the American movies they love.
“If we are to transform Indonesia into the democracy it claims to be, citizens must recognize the terror and repression on which our contemporary history has been built. No film, or any other work of art for that matter, has done this more effectively than The Act of Killing.”
National Human Rights Commission of Indonesia
Official Selection at the Telluride Film Festival 2012, Toronto International Film Festival 2012 and the Sydney International Film Festival 2013
January 8, 2015 | 314 Bay Street | 8 pm
Directors: John Maloof, Charlie Siskell | 83 min | USA
Over 100,000 street photographs hidden in storage lockers were discovered in 2007. The body of images was revealed as the work of an untrained photographjer and an intensely private nanny who is now considered among the 20th century’s greatest photographers.
“A faithful tribute. This fine documentary unveils the ‘mystery woman’.” The New Yorker
FREE WORKSHOP ON THE ART OF PHOTOGRAPHING PEOPLE WITH THUNDER BAY PHOTOGRAPHER, PAULA THIESSEN
January 10 2015 | 314 Bay Street | 2 pm | Everyone welcome
To register, email: email@example.com
December 11, 2014 | 314 Bay Street | 8 pm
Director: Ron Harpelle | 60 min | Thunder Bay, Canada
An examination of the intersection of globalization and community in Terrace Bay, Ontario, Kemijärvi, Finland and Fray Bentos, Uruguay. The film focuses on the challenges of communities with a dependence on a single industry as the economic mainstay and on the impact of the global markets on the lives of people at opposite ends of the earth.
Ron Harpelle, Director
Gino LeBlanc, Terrace Bay Town Councillor & Mill Employee for 33 Years
November 13, 2014 | 314 Bay Street | 8 pm
Director: John Walker | 89 min | Halifax, NS
Arctic Defenders tells the remarkable story that began in 1968 with a radical Inuit movement in Canada. It led to the largest land claim in western civilization, orchestrated by young visionary Inuit with a dream – the governance of their territory – the creation of Nunavut. The story reveals the dark side of Canada’s attempt at sovereignty in the north and finds hope and inspiration from determined Inuit who changed the rules of the game. The film’s writer and director, John Walker will join us for a post-screening Q+A.
MASTER CLASS WITH JOHN WALKER
November 14, 2014 | Confederation College Room 351, Lecture Theatre | 10am
Join us for a free, public Master Class with John Walker, one of Canada’s most prestigious documentary filmmakers
UNDER THE RED STAR
October 9, 2014 | 314 Bay Street | 8 pm
Director: Kelly Saxberg | 79 min | Thunder Bay, Canada
The Finnish Labour Temple at 314 Bay Street was the epicentre of community, culture and labour politics when it opened in 1910. This compelling docu-drama, in English and Finnish integrates archival footage, photos and fictionalized scenes shot on 16 mm film to bring to life the dramatic early years of Finnish immigration to Canada.
“A tremendous achievement! This beautifully crafted and utterly absorbing recreation of one of North America’s most extraordinary working-class movements is immaculately researched and elegantly presented”
– Ian Mc Kay, Department of History, Queen’s University
Post-Screening Q&A with Director and Writer, Kelly Saxberg
Plus, live Music with Damon Dowbak and Poetry with Rauli Pohjolainen as Aku Paivio.
April 10, 2014 | 314 Bay Street | 8 pm
Director: Alan Zweig | 90 min | Canada
What’s humour? What social function does it serve? Is the history of American humour over the last century tied to Jewish comedy? Independent Toronto writer, producer, director and actor Alan Zweig says that When Jews Were Funny isn’t about history but why sadness, anger and complaining are funny. What Mark Breslin calls “Jewish Jazz”.
“For me a good documentary story is anything that has a whiff of honesty or authenticity about it. Humanity will shine through the screen. I don’t think it’s hard to get that, but you have to decide you want to get it.” – Alan Zweig
The film was awarded Best Canadian Feature at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. Director Alan Zweig will be at the Q&A following the screening.
March 13, 2014 | 314 Bay Street | 7 pm
Director: Deborah Koons Garcia | 104 min | USA
Dense, graceful and passionate, Symphony of the Soil is a loving portrait of soil. Packed with information, the feature-length doc surveys four continents and connects with scientists, farmers, activists, policy makers, historians and entrepreneurs to show soil as a complex living organism.
Director, Deborah Koons Garcia has dedicated her filmmaking career to food security issues and will be in Thunder Bay for the screening and a Q&A. Her 2004 film, The Future of Food helped bring issues of GMO’s to mainstream media and inspired movements in organic agriculture in the USA. With over 70 people interviewed or involved with the making of Symphony of the Soil, Deborah is sure to motivate film lovers, filmmakers, growers and gardeners to take a little look at the ground beneath our feet.
February 6, 2014 | 314 Bay Street | 8 pm
Director: John Paskievich | 100 min | Canada
“Special Ed”, the latest film by award-winning Winnipeg filmmaker John Paskievich. The film follows artist Ed Ackerman as he embarks on a legacy project to complete a 25-year-old NFB animation project designed to help kids read and write by converting three derelict houses in a struggling neighbourhood into a film studio. Resistance to his maverick vision inspires Ed to take unorthodox measures to save his properties from demolition.
“In many ways, “Special Ed” is a classic story about the individual at odds with his surroundings. While it’s clear to see why the City of Winnipeg’s authorities would take issue with Ackerman’s slap-dash methodologies, many of us can identify with the trouble he has reconciling his ambitions with his abilities. At some point or other, we all see ourselves as the exception to the rule.” – Vanda Schmockel, Prairie Dog magazine.
Master Class with Jeff McKay
February 8, 2014 | 2-4 pm | Free and Open to the Public
The film’s editor, Jeff McKay was in Thunder Bay for the screening and conducted a workshop, “Editing and Directing Documentary Film” on Saturday, February 8th at the Bay Street Film Festival Office at 4A Court Street South – Room 19C from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00.
Jeff McKay has been making films since 1986, working mostly as an editor and director. He work has included “40 Years of One Night Stands – The Story of Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet” (2008), “Crapshoot: The Gamble WithOur Wastes” (2003), and the Genie nominated, Peabody award winning, “Fat Chance” (1995).
NFB VINTAGE HOLIDAY PROGRAM
December 12, 2013 | 314 Bay Street | 7 pm
Let it snow! On December 12th, Bay Street Film Festival’s Docs on Bay geared up for the holidays with delightful, loopy and provocative treasures from the National Film Board of Canada’s animated film collection. Kids and kids at heart enjoyed an evening of award-winning NFB classics, some surprise guests from the world of film and family entertainment, fun activities and delicious treats. Yup, was more exciting than getting up on Christmas morning at the crack of dawn!
Master Class with Shayne Ehman
Saturday, December 14 | 3-5pm | Free and Open to the Public
Artist and filmmaker, Shayne Ehman shared his knowledge and experience of art, animation and filmmaking at the old Bay Street Film Festival Office on Court Street . Artist and filmmaker Shayne Ehman made his directorial debut with Seth Scriver in “Asphalt Watches”. The animated feature film won Best Canadian First Feature Film at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. Using flash animation and synth soundscapes, “Asphalt Watches” elevates the cross-Canada road trip experience to the bizarre and hilarious.
AI WEI WEI: NEVER SORRY
November 21, 2013| 314 Bay Street | 8 pm
An examination of the complex intersection of artistic practice and social activism as seen through the life and art of China’s preeminent artist, Ai Weiwei – architect, photographer, conceptual artist, social critic, blogger, tweeter and provocateur. Klayman documents Ai Weiwei’s artistic process, his exchanges with family members and his increasingly public clashes with the Chinese government.
“Watching “Ai WeiWei: never Sorry” is like experiencing A thrilling unfinished Symphony: the Story is enthralling, but it’s not over, and there’s no telling Where it’s going. Which makes what we see on screen all the more involving.”
Kenneth Turan Los Angeles Times
View more about this film
THE BIG BLUE
Thursday, October 24, 2014 | 314 Bay Street | Doors 6:30 | Program 7 pm
First Screening of the new Season | Free
“The Big Blue”, a feature documentary (65 min) directed by Thunder Bay’s Kelly Saxberg documents how the boat crewed by 16 dreamers, stargazers and minstrels tried to break a Guinness World Record. Saxberg and Damien Gilbert documented the launch and arrival of Big Blue while Canadian, Dylan White, filmed the ocean footage. The film premiered at the Waterfront at the City of Thunder Bay’s Movie Nights in the Park in September 2013.
Wilkins’ 5,000 kilometre, 53-day row across the Atlantic Ocean in 2011 was on a 40-foot technologically advanced catamaran with no support vessel, no stored water, no sails or motor. The boat’s crew of 16 included several veterans of U.S. college rowing, a pair of triathletes, and a woman who had rowed both the Atlantic and Indian Oceans.
An “Extreme Videography Workshop” was held on Thursday, October 24, 2013 from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. at 314 Bay Street. Canadian rower and Big Blue crew member, Dylan White discussed the challenges of shooting in extreme conditions.
View more about this film
WE ARE WISCONSIN
April 18, 2013 | 314 Bay Street | 8 pm
WE ARE WISCONSIN is a feature documentary film that follows the day-to-day unfolding of public outcry against Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s controversial budget-repair bill, focusing on the human story behind a remarkable popular uprising forged on the floor of the Madison Capitol. The film asks the question “Why should we care about what’s going on in Wisconsin?” on multiple levels, through an in-depth profile of six leading individuals central to the story: a UW- Madison student leader, a state-employee social worker, a nurse, a high school teacher, a police officer and an unemployed electrician who come out to protest what they saw as a direct attack on their livelihood. They all meet inside the capitol over the course of what became an historic twenty-six days, February-March, 2011.
The film also amplifies why Wisconsin has become ground zero for so many disparate groups, awakening a sleeping giant of collective voices, alarmed and angry at the new Corporate-funded, hyper-conservative wave of local government sweeping the country. The Wisconsin spirit of peaceful resistance spread powerfully in waves from the Capitol Rotunda to the streets outside and beyond, winning hearts and minds and sparking what is now known as the Occupy Movement, led by the 99%.
View more about this film
March 14, 2013 | 314 Bay Street | 8 pm
American pundit, Stephen Colbert told Vikram Gandhi he would follow Kumaré anywhere. Gandhi documented “the spiritual placebo effect” of Kumaré, a fake guru who’s a manifestation of the New York director’s true self. The feature film is an elaborate hoax that’s entertaining and strangely enlightening. The film begins by poking fun at a few outrageous gurus and their followers then transforms into a complicated personal journey for Vikram Gandhi. He says, “As Kumaré, I rediscovered my country.
America is a lonely place. Technology both connects us and distances us. We outsource our teachers, our dreams, our identities. We need desperately to bond with others.” People had no problem bonding with the false prophet and searching for the blue light of his wisdom. Along the way Kumaré realizes that his followers are not silly at all. Gandhi’s journey at the heart of this social experiment gives gripping tension to what becomes a humerous conversation about faith, belief and truth.
View more information about this film
STORIES WE TELL
February 14, 2013 | 314 Bay Street | 8 pm
Keeping secrets can be a way of keeping a family together. Revealing secrets is a very unpredictable risk. In 2007, Canadian actor/writer/director Sarah Polley decided to find out her family’s story through a feature length confessional documentary.
“Stories We Tell” is produced by the National Film Board and recently won the Rogers Best Canadian Film from the Toronto Film Critics Association.
“What I wanted most was to examine the many versions of this story, how people held onto them, how they agreed and disagreed with each other, and how powerful and necessary creating narrative is for us to make sense of our bewildering lives.” she said.
Polley successfully depicts the intractable subjects of her family’s secrets and learns about herself in a way that celebrates storytelling with the real and imagined – just as we all ultimately recall and reveal our own memories.
A DRUMMERS DREAM
January 17, 2013 | 314 Bay Street | 8 pm
Seven of the greatest drummers in the world are filmed at a music camp in Westport, Ontario. Nasyr Abdul Al-Khabyyr, Dennis Chambers, Kenwood Dennard, Horacio El-Negro Hernadez, Giovanni Hidalgo, Mike Mangini and Raul Rekow are talented and passionate artists representing rich music styles and influences including rock, jazz, Latin fusion and soul. The film captures the musicians tuning up, jamming, and sharing their thought processes.
Walker, an award-winning documentary director and cinematographer has credits on over 60 films including, “A Winter Tan”, “The Fairy Faith”, “Passage” and “Men of the Deep”. His reputation has added cache. As a 16 year old drummer and avid photographer, his band refused fronting for Frank Zappa and Walker started a job in a film studio.
John Walker will be conducting a Master Class, free and open to the public on Thursday, January 17th from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. at 314 Bay Street. The theme of the Master Class will be Walker’s approach to being both a director and a cinematographer and how that’s linked to the retrospective of his work.
View more about this film
THE CARBON RUSH
December 6, 2012 | 314 Bay Street | 8 pm
What do these projects have in common? They’re all receiving carbon credits for offsetting pollution created somewhere else. What impact are these offsets having? Are they actually reducing emissions? And, what about the people and the communities where these projects have been set up?
“The Carbon Rush” takes us around the world to meet the people most impacted. The people who are the least heard in the cacophony surrounding the “green-gold” multi-billion dollar carbon industry – the Indigenous rain forest dwellers whose way of life is completely threatened, the dozens of Campesinos assassinated, the livelihood of waste pickers at landfills and more. This groundbreaking documentary brings us up close to projects working through the United Nations Kyoto Protocol’s designed Clean Development Mechanism and asks fundamental questions like, “What happens when we manipulate markets to solve the climate crisis?” and “Who stands to gain and who stands to suffer?”.
View more about this film
BIG BOYS GONE BANANAS!*
November 2012 | 314 Bay Street | 8 pm
BIG BOYS GONE BANANAS!* has been called a classic David vs Goliath story – but it is more about freedom of speech and what happens to a documentary filmmaker when he goes up against a large corporation such as Dole Foods. How far will Dole go to shift the focus off of them and onto the filmmaker even after their own CEO has admitted wrong doing in a court of law and was captured on film. Media spin, PR scare tactics, dirty tricks, lawsuits, and corporate bullying come into play to try and destroy the filmmaker. But, it is the people who ultimately prevail, thus creating a cautionary tale and a real life lesson learning experience.
Bart Simpson is a Canadian producer and director of documentary and fiction films. Simpson is best known for producing the feature documentary The Corporation with his former production company in Vancouver, Canada. He’ll be traveling to Thunder Bay for the first of DOCS on BAY screening series.
Award winning local director of BANANA SPLIT, Ron Harpelle, will be introducing Bart and will lead the Q&A about the true cost of Bananas and corporate bullying.