The Who, What, Why & How of the 2015/16 NFB/CFC Creative Doc Lab Participants: Part 4

By Emily Gagne ● April 27, 2016 16:00

This week, the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival begins its 2016 programme, with documentary filmmakers from all over the globe showcasing their latest works at various theatres throughout Toronto. In celebration of Hot Docs and the form of filmmaking it pays specific tribute to, we spent the last several weeks spotlighting the participants of the 2015/16 NFB/CFC Creative Doc Lab with a series of Q&As.

With each aforementioned Q&A, the documentary filmmakers explained in their own words, the Who, What and Why of their process as non-fiction creators. In this, the final in the series, Josephine Anderson, Pablo Alvarez-MesaNoam Gonick and Nisha Pahuja reveal their How answers.

To read the Who, What and Why segments, CLICK HERE, HERE and HERE.

Josephine Anderson: I think it's too easy for us to take our immediate surrounding reality for granted. Too often we develop rigid points of view and project our perspectives on the lives of others without really understanding them. But depending on the cards they've been dealt, people find themselves in drastically different circumstances and I think it's really, really important that we don't lose sight of the vastness of the human experience.

I see my work in documentary as a way to help keep our minds open and receptive to the experiences of others. Mainly, I want to give people an entry point into exploring the strange way that we are at incredibly different and yet, fundamentally similar to one another.

Pablo Alvarez-Mesa: With my films I hope to bridge seemingly distant ideas with their foreign landscapes and imperfect times.

Noam Gonick: My namesake, Noam Chomsky, popularized the phrase “Manufacturing Consent”. I’d hope my impact can be one of “Manufacturing Dissent”, [with me] making films that challenge the status quo and nourish the viewer’s inner rebel.

Nisha Pahuja: Without a doubt, I see that documentary films have the ability to change lives, laws and policies, and shift consciousness. The goal is definitely to further social justice, but it is equally important to get audiences to reflect on themselves.

More and more, I see that the deepest way to make change is to start from within. It's part of the reason I feel creating villains, or creating the "other", is both flawed and destructive.

For more information about the NFB/CFC Creative Doc Lab, CLICK HERE

To learn more about Hot Docs, including what’s playing this year, CLICK HERE

For more insights, check out this Wisdom Wednesday from Noam Gonick.