In the span of eight years, KDocs has grown from a Miss Representation screening and town hall event to Metro Vancouver’s leading social justice film festival.
The upcoming 2020 film festival, which spans from Feb. 20 to Feb. 23, will be showing 13 documentaries in addition to hosting a slew of filmmakers, keynote speakers, panel discussions, Q&As, exhibitors, and an opening and closing night reception.
The theme of this year’s festival is “Truth in a Post-Truth World”. The 13 films screened at the festival — including the award-winning Because We Are Girls, previously screened at KPU on Oct. 24 — cover how various “truths” are constructed and exposed by society.
KDocs Founder and Director Janice Morris, who also teaches English literature and critical reading, writing, and thinking at KPU, says the idea for the theme was inspired by the subtitle for Bellingcat – one of the films being screened this year – at HotDocs 2019 in Toronto. She stated that the film, which follows a group of investigative reporters dedicated to exposing the truth of otherwise impenetrable news stories around the world, got her “thinking about the importance of truth in the era of Trump and ‘alternative facts.’”
Eventually, their final list of films was narrowed down to the titles being screened at KDocs. They deal with a wide variety of subjects including climate change, sexual abuse, HIV/AIDS, the housing crisis, and the effects of colonialism on Indigenous families and communities.
For this year’s festival, Morris is excited to host David Suzuki as a keynote speaker at the Opening Night Reception. He will present alongside artists and filmmakers who are also attending as special guests. Aside from the programming and list of guest speakers, however, Morris’s favourite aspect of her festival is the level of discussion and community engagement that takes place there. She believes this distinguishes the film festival from others in the city.
She also mentioned that KDocs “allows KPU students to engage beyond the walls of the university” and learn outside of a typical classroom, making it a prime opportunity for them to get involved in the KPU community.
Eight of the 13 films being showed at KDocs are rated for youth, and students are welcome to invite their family and friends. For more information on the films and any panels and events accompanying them, you can check out the online schedule at kdocsff.com.