It’s been ten years since the Wakefield Documentary Film Festival debuted upstairs at Café Molo, in a small room which barely fit three dozen people. This anniversary edition of Doc Fest is as good a reason you’ll get to make the drive up in February. The festival runs for four weekends this month at Le Centre Wakefield La Pêche.
There are new talents and eight extraordinary films on offer this year, including Canadian Premieres, a tremendous amount of director Q&As, panel discussions and parties. Five of the films are first feature-length films for their directors, and all eight have been recognized with awards at Canadian and international film festivals. As always, there’s a selection of current Québecois, Canadian and international documentary films.
Filmed in Lithuania, The Ancient Woods is the first of two Canadian Premieres; screening on opening weekend (4pm both Saturday, Feb. 2 and Sunday, Feb. 3). The 2018 film premiered internationally at the IDFA (Amsterdam) and won awards for best documentary, best sound and cinematography. A talkback with the filmmaker (via Skype) will follow the screening on February 2nd.
Among Wolves, an exceptional doc about a multi-ethnic motorcycle club in Bosnia and Herzegovina is the Canadian Premiere for next weekend (7:30pm on Saturday, Feb. 9 and 1pm on Sunday, Feb. 10). Since the brutal civil war, this gang of veterans has done increasingly impressive and inspiring work “to help themselves and those around them heal”—including caring for and guarding a threatened herd of wild horses with which they identify. Again, a talkback will follow the screening. This 2017 film won awards at international film festivals in Chicago, Los Angeles and many others.
The whole thing kicks of with a screening of a 2018 Canadian film, METAMORPHOSIS, on Saturday, February 2nd at 7:30pm. That’s followed by a panel discussion and the Wakefield Doc Fest Opening Gala party.
- METAMORPHOSIS dir. Velcrow Ripper & Nova Ami (Canada, 2018), 85 min, English
- The Ancient Woods dir. Mindaugas Survila (Lithuania/Estonia/Germany, 2018), 87 min, Lithuanian w/ English subtitles
- Among Wolves dir. Shawn Convey (USA/Germany/Bosnia & Herzegovina, 2017), 94 min, Croatian w/ English subtitles
- Island of the Hungry Ghosts dir. Gabrielle Brady (Australia/Germany/UK, 2018), 94 min, English, Farsi, French, Mandarin, Hokkien, Cantonese w/ English subtitles
- Yellow is Forbidden dir. Pietra Brettkelly (New Zealand, 2018), 97 min, English, French, Mandarin w/ English subtitles
- Becoming Who I Was dir. Moon Chang-Yong & Jin Jeon (South Korea, 2018), 94 min, Ladhaki, Tibetan, Hindi w/ English subtitles
- Sea of Life dir. Julia Barnes (Canada, 2018), 88 min, English
- A Delicate Balance dir. Christine Chevarie-Lessard (Québec, 2018), 76 min, French w/ English subtitles
The 10th Wakefield Doc Fest runs over four weekends from February 2–24, 2019. Tickets cost $15 online, Weekend Passes cost $25, and a Festival Pass costs $100. Screenings take place at the Centre Wakefield La Pêche (38 chemin de la vallée de Wakefield). Visit wakefielddocfest.ca for the complete schedule of screenings and events.