Doc Summit: Dare to be Studio D


CBC Docs Industry Centre, 2nd Floor Mon, Apr 29, 2019 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Industry Schedule
Event Type:Panels & Sessions
Access:Conference Pass
Conference & Networking Pass
All-Access Pass


Forty-five years after the National Film Board of Canada opened Studio D, the first publicly funded feminist film-production unit in the world, we revisit the studio’s monumental impact on feminist film culture and look to the future of inclusive, diverse docs that implement social change in Canada.

Supported by K.M. Hunter Charitable Foundation. Co-presented with Film Fatales and cléo.


Lisa Jackson, Filmmaker
Lisa Jackson is a cross-genre filmmaker whose works have screened at Hot Docs, Tribeca, SXSW, Berlinale, Tampere and London BFI, and aired on many networks in Canada. Her work has garnered many awards including a Genie and Canadian Screen Award and Playback Magazine named her one of Ten to Watch. She is Anishinaabe, lives in Toronto, and her recent projects include the VR Biidaaban: First Light and the short IMAX 3D film Lichen. Along with an immersive installation called Transmissions, she is also working on more traditional film and TV projects.


Ann Marie Fleming, Director, AMF Productions Inc.
Ann Marie Fleming is a Canadian Independent filmmaker, writer and artist who works in animation, live action and documentary hybrid forms, often exploring themes of family, history and memory. Her award-winning projects include the features Window Horses (2016), The French Guy (2005), The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam (2003) and the short films include TIFF Best Canadian Short Winners Blue Skies (2002) and New Shoes: An Interview in Exactly 5 Minutes (1990).

Alexandra Lazarowich, Filmmaker
Alexandra Lazarowich is a an award-winning Cree producer, director and screenwriter whose work has premiered at film festivals around the world. She is passionate about telling Indigenous stories. Her most recent documentary FAST HORSE recently premiered and won the Special Jury Award for Directing at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.

Rina Fraticelli, Director, The Socrates Project
Rina Fraticelli has a diversified background in cultural creation, research, programming, advocacy and policy making. As an independent filmmaker, Fraticelli has written and produced a number of important documentaries, including Celesta Found, The Lynching of Louie Sam and the Genie award-winning Jane Rule: Fiction and Other Truths. She headed the legendary NFB Studio D in Montreal during one of the studio’s most productive periods and served as executive producer of Pacific and Yukon Studio from 2002-2007. Her tenure in each of these positions was marked by the creation of programs aimed at incorporating under-represented communities. In 2010, Fraticelli co-founded the not-for-profit research and advocacy group, Women in View, and served as its executive director until 2018. She produced the five annual Women in View on Screen reports tracking the representation of women in key creative roles in publicly-funded Canadian film and TV. She is currently director of The Socrates Project at McMaster University.

Glace Lawrence, Content Producer
Glace Lawrence is a Producer who has merged her award-winning TV production experience with her passion for creating great content, encompassing documentary, drama, lifestyle, and reality. Glace's independent documentary and drama projects Coming To Voice, Hotel Babylon: Heroes & Hustlers, and D-E-S-I-R-E have been broadcast on Bravo, Vision TV, and the W Network. As a Line Producer, her TV projects include two seasons of the multiple award-winning series The Stagers for HGTV US & Canada; two seasons of Consumed for HGTV Canada; and live-to-tape specials for The Bachelor Canada Season 1 for Rogers. Glace's passion for storytelling and new modalities has led her to obtain an Interactive Media Management Certificate with Honours from the Story Arts Centre at Centennial College. Currently, Glace and her producing partners at Possible Futures Studio Inc. are completing development of Ghosts of Remembrance, a prototype for a VR project on the untold stories of Black slavery in Canada.

Gail Singer, Filmmaker
Gail is a filmmaker, essayist, reviewer, visual artist, cook and tennis player. Her filmmaking credits include Time of the Cree, Riverain, Gift of Passage, We Don’t Live Here Anymore, Loved, Honoured and Bruised. She produced and directed, with Studio D, her film Abortion Stories North and South, which received an award of special merit from the Academy Awards Committee. Also with Studio D, she directed the inimitable film Wisecracks, on stand-up female comedians—the top grossing documentary in its day—and later the award-winning You Can’t Beat a Woman. Gail also collaborated on the first IMAX film shot in Winnipeg and soon after was invited to work with the IMAX Space Film team. After directing food-themed television, she took a break and went to art school for two years. One of the very first films Singer worked on was at Grassy Narrows, nearly 50 years ago. Today she has returned to Grassy Narrows , well known for the tragedy of mercury poisoning, affecting all members of that community, less well known for its talented young people; writers, artists, musicians and cooks, who are the subjects of the film.

Michelle van Beusekom, Executive Director, English Program, National Film Board of Canada
Michelle van Beusekom is the executive director of English Language Production at the National Film Board, Canada’s public producer of creative documentaries, auteur animation, interactive and immersive stories that reflect Canadian lives, perspectives and experiences. She leads the creative direction for five production studios from across Canada. Michelle has previously worked as a production executive at CBC and the Women’s Television Network and she is a former programmer at the Planet in Focus Environmental Film Festival.