Doc festival to feature local and global films

By Jenn Watt

March 14 2017

From war zones to the offices of The New York Times to the early days of a little place called Dysart the documentaries at this year’s Doc(k) Day in Haliburton offer incredible breadth during the one-day event.

This year’s film fest organized by Those Other Movies is Saturday April 8 at the Northern Lights Performing Arts Pavilion in Haliburton Village and starts with local historian Kim Emmerson’s film Dysart 150: The Movie.

Emmerson travelled to England searching for information about the founding of Dysart et al which is celebrating its sesquicentennial this year. Filmed by Kim and Linda Emmerson the documentary introduces viewers to the region’s roots in a brief 25-minute piece that educates and entertains.

After looking at the local angle festival attendees will soon move to the global with Obit a 93-minute doc about the writers at The New York Times and how they go about summarizing the lives of the recently departed.

After lunch Cameraperson a selection from the 2016 Sundance Film Festival will be screened. The documentary is a collection of footage from a lifetime behind the camera for cinematographer Kirsten Johnson. “Whether she’s shooting undercover footage on the front lines of the War on Terror or chasing down French philosopher Jacques Derrida on the streets of Manhattan Johnson’s cinematic encounters are endlessly engrossing” the HotDocs website reads.

The Doc(k) Day wraps up with two films that include guests. At 4:15 p.m. What Lies Below will be shown followed by the Q and A with Lawrence Gunther who holds an master’s degree from York University in environmental studies. Gunther was featured in the film which explores our connection to the underwater world. It chronicles his travels across Canada speaking to people about their local fisheries. Gunther is blind and brings with him a different perspective on the the world beneath the waves for those who can’t see it.

The day wraps up with In Pursuit of Peace a doc on four Canadians pursuing peace mediation and negotiation in war zones around the world including South Sudan Democratic Republic of Congo Iraq and others. Director Garry Beitel will be attending the screening for a Q and A afterward.

Passes for the day are $30. Individual tickets where available are $10 each. Tickets are available at the door. To reserve a pass for the day contact Lisa Kerr: Sassy Digs in Minden is also selling passes.


10 a.m.: DYSART 150 – THE MOVIE

23 minutes: Haliburton Carnarvon Dysart and Stanhope: travel with Kim and Linda Emmerson to jolly olde England to find the roots of the local heritage. Who knew there was a connection between Dysart – Downton Abbey and King Tutankhamen?

10:30 a.m.: OBIT

93 minutes: Within the storied walls of The New York Times a team of writers is entrusted with reflecting upon the lives of luminaries icons and world leaders of our day. The writers’ stories are juxtaposed snuggly beside the details of their subjects to create an exceptionally tight often hilarious film.


102 minutes: Cameraperson draws our attention not just to what we’re seeing but to how we’re seeing it. It encourages us to wonder how a camera operator negotiates personal space in tense intimate emotionally fraught situations.

4:15 p.m.: WHAT LIES BELOW

80 minutes: “…we have to sort of re-examine our relationship to the water and with the aquatic world so we’re not impacting it so severely as we are now” Lawrence Gunther draws on his perspective to explore and share what others aren’t able to see taking place beneath the waves. A blind graduate from York University’s master’s program in environmental studies Gunther is a highly regarded speaker writer and radio host on the subject of fishing and Canada’s aquatic ecosystems. He will be present for a Q&A after the film.


87 minutes: Director Garry Beitel follows four Canadians on the front lines of international peace initiatives in South Sudan Turkey Congo and Iraq. We experience the challenges of their work exploring how their peace building strategies are put to the test in this new 21st century paradigm of conflict resolution. Beitel will be available for a Q&A after the film.