Thursday, January 28 – Sunday, January 31, 2016 – details at

Documentary film is alive and well and hoping to find a warm Peterborough welcome on a cold winter weekend.

Despite cutbacks in funding, Canadian filmmakers are producing top-notch, cutting-edge work that travels the world and is well worth celebrating. And that’s what ReFrame organizers, sponsors and audiences do—they applaud not only the artistic talent but also the social commitment of our filmmakers. Their work moves our communities to act and encourages our politicians to listen carefully. ReFrame is proud to present 27 provocative Canadian films, two of which are on the 2015 Oscar nomination shortlist.

We welcome all of the filmmakers at the festival whose insights will shed more light on the stories they tell.

Hollywood and mainstream movies bring us romantic love and all too often predictable plot lines. The documentaries that ReFrame brings to Peterborough are also driven by love and passion— but clearly it’s a different kind of love. Dare we be so audacious as to call it a deep, transformative love for humanity, a desire for a profound relationship and empathy with the people and ideas we meet at the movies. This year, ReFrame celebrates love—not only the compassion, or sometimes fury, of filmmakers for their subjects, but also the constant concern of people for each other, for nature and for life despite the odds. And we celebrate our growing commitment as viewers to the causes we come together to witness.


This year three filmmakers turn their cameras on their own very different families, and they each carry us into intimate places that an outsider rarely gets to see. In Mimi and Dona, a granddaughter introduces us to her 92-year-old grandma, Mimi, who faces the complex inevitability of placing Dona, her 64-year-old daughter with disabilities, into a home. In From This Day Forward, a daughter explores with empathy and wisdom the indefinable love in her family, and especially between her transgender dad and straight mom. A mom-turned-filmmaker indeed appears to have All the Time in the World as she miraculously finds power sources to shoot her young family’s year-long adventure in the Yukon bush

The wealth and power of the national and international films in the ReFrame program challenge the inequitable distribution of wealth and power in our world. These filmmakers show fierce love in the face of foreboding foes.


You will see towns erupt and marketers sway farmers to leave their homes in The Land of Many Palaces. You will hear the shocking stories of the harvesting of human organs for profit in the appropriately named movie Hard to Believe. Saving Mes Aynak uncovers stunning Afghan archaeological treasures that will soon be slated for destruction by a Chinese-owned copper mine. All of these filmmakers are in personal solidarity with people and cultures over profit and greed


You will be awe-struck by the strength, action and compassion of Guatemala’s new female Attorney General in Burden of Peace. You will be inspired and infuriated to watch Honduran farmers stand up for land in Resistencia: The Fight for the Aguan Valley. You will be filled with much joy and a little sorrow to hear the Paraguayan youth symphony in Landfill Harmonic. Our hearts cannot help but be moved by the people’s love for their place


This year, we get up close and personal with remarkable and sometimes vulnerable men around the world who divulge so much about themselves in a public relationship with the audience

● Claude Lanzmann, the famous French film maker of Shoah, reveals his trauma and despair in the making of that seminal Holocaust film.
● John Fox, an Anishinaabe man, reveals his past in order to heal from the life-long wounds of sexual abuse in Survivors Rowe.
● Donald Trump is indeed trumped by filmmaker Anthony Baxter’s ruthless revelations of the eco-impact of golf courses on caring communities in A Dangerous Game.
● Prison inmates who protect and care for abused dogs discover more than puppy love in Dogs on the Inside.

Finally, we hope you will give a warm ReFrame welcome to our interim executive director Ziysah von Bieberstein. We all wish Krista English a well-deserved leave. And all of us on the ReFrame organizing team wish you…