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immigration

Oil Calling

Oil Calling is a documentary about a new immigrant’s dream to work in Canada’s oil and gas industry. The documentary follows new immigrants as they train to work in Canada’s oil and gas industry. The film follows five new immigrants from Nigeria, Eritrea, Northern Ireland, China, and Kyrgyzstan who have been chosen to participate in a highly competitive training program offered by the resettlement agency, the Calgary Catholic Immigration Society. For the last ten years the CCIS has been receiving up to four hundred applicants each year but can only select sixteen people to participate in the program. The film will show what happens to them on the course, why they want to work in the oil and gas industry and whether they are successful at getting jobs in the oil patch.

Desert to Ice

"Desert to Ice" is a documentary about a handful of Palestinians who have escaped the sands of Iraq for a new life in Iceland. Brandy Yanchyk reports on an extraordinary transformation as the desert-dwellers seek refuge on a distant island in the far north. This 22 minute documentary was made in 2008 for BBC World TV’s documentary program "Our World". This documentary was produced, written, directed and filmed by Brandy Yanchyk.

Brooks - The City of 100 Hellos

'Brooks - The City of 100 Hellos' is a documentary about how immigration changes and challenges a cowboy town. The film gives us a rare glimpse into the lives of many of the new immigrants, refugees and temporary foreign workers that have moved to Brooks, Alberta, Canada to work at the local meat packing plant. It also explores the challenges they face and looks at how long-time residents of Brooks feel about the new immigration in their community. The documentary was Produced, Directed and Written by Brandy Yanchyk in 2011 for OMNI Television. This documentary was made possible with 100% funding from the OMNI Television Independent Producers Initiative. It was also produced with the assistance of the Government of Alberta, Alberta Multimedia Development Fund.

The M-Word

CANADA'S MULTICULTURALISM: A Work In Progress. Canada is the first country in the world to have an official multiculturalism policy, which is now over three decades old. Most people think that multiculturalism is a well entrenched principle in this country. Yet, at the first sign of disquiet in any part of the world, Canada’s Multiculturalism policy is called into question. This hot-button issue is confronted head-on in this riveting documentary. The film records the history of various immigrant groups who are not officially recognized in history books. It also interviews a number of prominent Canadians to take the pulse of multiculturalism today, including Toronto Star Columnist Haroon Siddiqui, Strategic Counsel chair Allan Gregg, Aboriginal lawyer and stand-up comic Candy Palmater, Jack Jedwab, General Director, Association for Canadian Studies, and South Asian Legal Clinic Executive Director - Uzma Shakir. Their wide-ranging points of view explore the questions: Can the word ‘diversity’ replace ‘multiculturalism’? Is it just a word or a principle which determines how Canadians relate to one another?

The Third Element

Ben Viccari, media commentator, historian, and veteran journalist travels across the country examining the history and growth of Canada’s diverse ethnic media. From the earliest Icelandic newspaper in Winnipeg to a recently launched Burmese monthly, The Third Element provides an overview of how ethnic media shape the viewpoints of Canadians. Ben visits newspapers with vastly different environments. Most are family run and operate from home, while success stories include a newspaper in Vancouver whose publisher takes on multinational ethnic papers to reach staggering sales figures in 3 years! The growth of ethnic radio and television operations is portrayed with glimpses of programming by pioneering stations like CHIN Radio and OMNI TV. Set against the backdrop of history of immigrants in Canada, interviews with various editors and broadcasters reveal personal struggles and victories. A gala staged by The Canadian Ethnic Journalists’ and Writers’ Club shows how ethnic media celebrate successful writers and broadcasters with an awards ceremony. Join Ben on his journey to discover the expanse of Canada’s ethnic media landscape.

The Journey of Lesra Martin

Lesra Martin was poor, illiterate and struggling on the violent streets of Brooklyn when a chance encounter with a group of Canadians shattered the confines of his life. Pulled from the chaos of the inner city and given a fresh start in Canada, Lesra became a hero when he helped to bring justice to wrongfully imprisoned American boxer Rubin Hurricane Carter. Finding the courage to change his own life, today Lesra is a lawyer and motivational speaker on the world stage. Delving into the intensely personal story beneath the fame, this film brings together intimate interviews with Lesra, his family and friends. From his home in British Columbia to a poignant return to the streets of his childhood, Lesra reflects with humour and grace on the events that altered his life. He also grieves for family still consumed by the unforgiving ghetto, while inspiring viewers to find their own strength in adversity.

FOUND

Using biographical text, animation, old photos, home videos, and narrated poetry this visually rich film meditates on the theme of reconnecting to one's past and trying to decipher its impact on the present. In 1978, Toronto-poet Souvankham Thammavongsa’s parents lived in a Lao refugee camp in Thailand, where she was born. Her father kept a scrapbook filled with doodles, addresses, postage stamps, maps and measurements. He threw this scrapbook out one day and when he did, she took it and found this …

Come Home: The Jews of Glace Bay

This documentary film takes an historical look at the Jewsih community of Glace Bay, Nova Scotia from the turn of the 20th century to their 100th anniversary in 2001. Interviews are done with remaining members of the Jewish community as well as others who have lived in the town and grew up together with them. The film tells the stories of community, struggle and achievement. It played at the 2003 Vancouver Jewish Film Festival.

WETBACK - The Undocumented Documentary

Filmmaker Arturo Perez Torres follows in the footsteps of two friends traveling on an extraordinary and extremely dangerous journey from Central America to North America. On their journey they encounter gangs and vigilantes as well as border patrol. But these immigrants navigate real-life nightmares with uncanny calm, grace, and even humor in their perilous pursuit of a better life.

Cubanos, Life and Death of a Revolution

Cubanos, a completely independent production, liberates itself from television convention to draw an impressionist portrait of the Cuban community. Sincere interviews and sequence shots reveal an identity fragmented by 48 years of dictatorship. The main character, Catuey, a Cuban musician who has been living in Québec for a number of years, brings to his journey and his songs the image of an ideal Cuba hurt by the division in its people and the group-think that prevails in Miami. While Catuey and the interviewees try to define themselves both as individuals and as Cubans, one scene at a time, the camera paints a broader, more complex portrait of a people held prisoner by their history. By exploring the richness of cinematographic language, Cubanos goes beyond the documentary genre to become a road movie that takes us to the heart of Catuey's struggle.
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