DOC Institute celebrates Michelle Latimer, Alanis Obomsawin
Toronto-based filmmaker, curator and activist Michelle Latimer and legendary Abenaki documentarian Alanis Obomsawin were among those feted at Canada’s DOC Institute’s seventh annual DOC Institute Honours.
This year’s DOC Institute Honours celebration was virtually presented by multi-disciplinary media personality Garvia Bailey due to the COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday evening (Dec. 10).
The prestigious Vanguard Award is presented to a mid-career filmmaker whose artistic sensibility and visionary approach exemplifies the way Canadian documentary is upheld. This year, the award was presented to Métis and Algonquin filmmaker Latimer (pictured left).
Along with the award, Latimer will receive CA$40,000 (US$30,000) of in-kind services from Canadian production supplier SIM-International and a CA$1,000 cash prize from the Bank of Montreal.
Latimer’s most recent documentary film, Inconvenient Indian, took home the 2020 People’s Choice Documentary Award at the 45th annual Toronto International Film Festival. She also serves as director on the CBC drama series Trickster.
Previous winners of the award include Millefiore Clarkes, Amar Wala, Victoria Lean and Alethea Arnaquq-Baril.
The Luminary Award, meanwhile, was presented to Obomaswin (right), the Canadian documentary industry veteran. One of the most celebrated Indigenous directors, Obomsawin directed her first documentary, Christmas Moose Factory, in 1971. She has since created more than 50 films, including the landmark docs Incident at Restigouche and Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance.
In 2019, Obomsawin was named a Companion of the Order of Canada – its highest distinction.
ORF-Enterprise boards feature doc Water of Life
Austrian distributor ORF-Enterprise has partnered with Maramedia’s award-winning filmmakers Nigel Pope and Jackie Savery to produce the blue-chip documentary Water of Life.
Coproduced by ORF and ARTE, the film spotlights the landscape and the fauna that surround a Scottish whisky distillery, and the mountain rivers that feed it.
Water of Life mixes newly produced footage with archive materials, and marks the most recent collaboration between ORF-Enterprise and Maramedia.
“Water of Life grew from our summer lockdown,” said Pope, founder and creative director at Maramedia, in a statement. “We realized that although we were unable to travel very far, there was so much wonder in our local patch that we’d never filmed. Although the world struggled through the pandemic, it was one of the most wonderful breeding seasons in at least 20 years here in Scotland.”
ORF and ARTE commissioned the program. ORF-Enterprise holds the worldwide distribution rights.
Water of Life is scheduled for completion in April 2021.