DOC Ontario Nominations 2018-2019

Sherien Barsoum


Sherien Barsoum is a filmmaker and impact producer who is inspired by people and issues making the world a better place. Her first feature, COLOUR ME was a bold exploration of black identity narratives.  Most recently, Sherien directed and produced RIDE FOR PROMISE, winning the HotDocs Short Film Pitch and Best Canadian Documentary at NorthWest Fest, and PLAYER ZERO. She produced BABE, HATE TO GO, which played top festivals internationally and was nominated for a Canadian Screen Award. Sherien was the story consultant on the Oscar-shortlisted FRAME 394 and co-produced HOUSE  OF Z, the first feature film bought and distributed by Condé Nast, now on Netflix. Sherien is the former Director of Programming for the Reelworld Film Festival and has served as a mentor with the Documentary Organization of Canada.

Nomination Statement

DOC Ontario is more than just a collective of filmmakers. It’s about representation on the world stage -  which I experienced firsthand as a 2018 DOC delegate at the IDA’s Getting Real conference in LA. It’s about having honest conversations with decision makers - which I had the pleasure of hosting this fall during two Meet The Funders events. It’s about creating empowering opportunities for filmmakers from all backgrounds to flourish. I was honoured to serve as a mentor to eight emerging filmmakers during the  2017 New Visions program. DOC Ontario has been foundational to my career - it gave me a safe space to grow as a filmmaker and I would be thrilled to continue being part of the team that gives back as a  member of the board. I’m committed to building a DOC Ontario that reflects the diversity of our province,  one that offers relevant tools to flourish and one that keeps a sharp ear to the ground on emerging forms,  market trends, and global opportunities. 

Tamara Dawit


Tamara exists between two communities: arts and social justice, which she merges together through her projects. For ten years Tamara led the 411 Initiative For Change a non-profit arts organization, through which she produced touring multi-arts presentations, music projects, and video shorts for educational use. Through her production company Gobez Media she continues to produce communications, art and documentary projects which explore social justice, diversity and gender equity themes in both Canada and Eastern Africa.

Tamara produced the documentaries Forgotten Children (2007, EOne) and Girls of Latitude (2008, MTV/CTV) and she produced and directed Grandma Knows Best? (2014, BravoFactual). She is currently directing a feature-length documentary Finding Sally (CBC) and producing a book to documentary adaption.

Additionally, Tamara has worked as a manager in both the non-profit and corporate sectors focused on digital/film production, campaign management, arts management, partnership development, policy review, strategic planning, and corporate communications. Tamara also has a strong background in youth engagement, child protection, equity policy development, and social justice programming.

Tamara is a member of the Brown Girls Doc Mafia and Film Fatales, and volunteers through the Ethiopian Documentary Film Forum to run documentary training workshops in Ethiopia. Tamara has contributed to steering committees for The National Youth Anti-Racism Network, The UN Association in Canada and the Canadian Commission For UNESCO and The International Aids Conference.

Nomination Statement

I am keen to volunteer my program management and policy development skills to help Doc Ontario and Doc Institute grow and expand their current programming. I feel that my long background in non-profit arts programming, fundraising, board management, and strategic planning will make me an asset to the team. I am particularly interested in supporting the policy development and advocacy work of the organization, which I think is of pivotal importance to supporting the needs of members. As well I am keen to continue to support the outreach, development and implementation of access/capacity building programs to increase the participation of diverse documentary filmmakers with the organization. Doc Ontario and the Doc Institute have helped me greatly throughout my career through training, access and resources as such I am happy to give back and support the organization in 2019 and beyond.

Kalli Paakspuu


Kalli Paakspuu is an award-winning filmmaker, writer, educator and new media artist whose documentary and short films have been exhibited on five continents and premiered at Hot Docs Film Festival, IDFA, Chicago, Montreal New Media, Melbourne, Tokyo and Yorkton. She earned a doctorate from the University of Toronto with a dissertation on early Amerindian use of portraiture and photography in international relations. An alumna of Canadian Film Centre’s Interactive Art and Entertainment programme, Kalli was a creator of "World Without Water", an interactive new media installation curated into an international exhibition of interactive arts at Code LIVE, Cultural Olympiad, Vancouver, 2010. She is the Programme Director of EstDocs Film Festival and is a programmer of the Female Eye Film Festival. Currently, she is making a biography documentary about Maestro Roman Toi and his role in Estonia’s Singing Revolution for Estonian Public Television. “Awakening – as told by Roman Toi” earned the audience award at EstDocs Short Film Competition this year. 

 Dr. Paakspuu has published widely on film and media and was aco-founder of the feminist non-profit, Women film/Womenart Inc., where she produced, co-wrote and co-directed her Genie Award-winning collaboration with Daria Stermac, “I Need a Man Like You to Make My Dreams Come True” (Best Live Action Dramatic Short). She has served as President of the Scarborough Arts Council and on the boards of Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre, Womenfilm/Womenart and Toronto Filmmakers Co-op. She currently teaches in Sheridan’s Animation, Art and Design Programme.   

Nomination Statement

Passion is a driving force in independent film production and was what originally created DOC (founded as the Canadian Independent Film Caucus (CIFC) in the 1980s) as an organization to lobby on behalf of our documentary community for more stability and recognition for our commitment to documentary production. Remember this? A passion for documentary films makes Toronto the enviable home of a vibrant industry that has grown a festival, a theatre and DOC Institute - which together fulfill many needs of our documentary members to network, build their projects and innovate with new forms of production and distribution. Within this expanding community, it would be my wish to create a strong relationship between Netflix and DOC. We need to build stronger relationships with programmers and broadcasters within an independent vision. We need to continue to recognize our leaders and generate opportunities for our next generation in Canada and overseas through co-production and distribution. We need to recognize how the digital environment has transformed past standards to the benefit of our digital natives. We also need to continue to build an effective front to counteract the neo-liberal challenges to freedom of speech in this era of fake news. Hasn’t it always been with us? 

As a long time member of DOC I would like to represent a collective voice of independent documentary creators across Canada and continue the momentum of DOC’s advocacy. I can offer foresight and high-level research skills to the implementation of a strategic vision.  

Nicholas de Pencier 


Nicholas de Pencier is a documentary Director, Producer, and Director of Photography. Selected credits include Let It Come Down: The Life of Paul Bowles (International Emmy), The Holier It Gets, (Best Canadian Doc, Hot Docs), The True Meaning of Pictures (Gemini, Best Arts), Hockey Nomad (Gemini, Best Sports), Manufactured Landscapes, (TIFF best Canadian feature), and Act of God (Gala opening night, Hot Docs). He was also the Producer and Director of Photography of Watermark, (Special Presentation, TIFF & Berlin, Toronto Film Critics Award, Best Canadian Film, CSA Best Doc), and Black Code (TIFF) which he also directed. He co-directed and photographed Long Time Running (Gala   TIFF) about the Tragically Hip’s last tour. He was a Co-Director, Producer and Cinematographer of Anthropocene: The Human Epoch which was a Special Presentation at TIFF and was released widely in Canadian Theatres in 2018. With his partner Jennifer Baichwal, he runs the documentary production company Mercury Films, and is also a principal of Reframe Health Films which specializes in short films for the web.

Nomination Statement

I’m pleased to put my name forward for re-election to the DOC Ontario board. I believe that DOC has made great strides in the last few years in our governance, management, and structure, and is now wonderfully positioned to advance the cause of documentary practitioners. DOC Ontario’s programming is especially vibrant as we look to the future to build on our successes and keep the momentum going forward. We need to continue to engage a younger and more diverse membership, and help imagine what a “career” in documentary can look like in the internet paradigm. To do this we will need to be reactive to the trends and opportunities in the changing ways that people experience media, and also proactive in those spaces, creating new relationships and venues for our work.

If elected, I look forward to continuing to serve as one of the DOC Ontario representatives on the Hot Docs board and helping to be a voice for the filmmaker community there. We are stronger with the collective voice that DOC gives us. I have twenty-five years of experience with all sizes and budgets of documentaries and am a working cinematographer, producer, and director. The DOC board is a dynamic, hard-working group that I am proud to be a part of, and will gladly continue my contribution.


Ingrid Hamilton


A former newspaper columnist, Ingrid has been the owner of GAT Productions Inc. since 1992, representing influential people and products in entertainment. Her last 15 years has been dedicated to filmmakers and their films, with a real passion for documentaries.

In 1995, Ingrid was honoured with an inclusion in Who’s Who of Canadian Women, a prestigious biographical reference book of Canada’s women achievers.

In 1997, Ingrid temporarily shut-down GAT to take on a contract at the CTV network. There, she handled national publicity for all entertainment programming, specials and documentaries, for two years.

Ingrid’s “cred” in the city’s social and entertainment scenes was first established at the Toronto Sun, where she was a columnist from 1982-92. Her print platforms included: Celebrity Closet (a syndicated weekly celebrity interview column; People I.D. (a weekly profile of local and international luminaries); and Scene & Heard, a weekly roundup of local social flashpoints including launches, openings, parties, and gossip.

A veteran guest speaker on the subject of publicity and promotion, she is a former instructor at the Harris Institute for the Arts, where she taught a course titled Media + Music.

Ingrid is an active Board of Director with the Breakthroughs Film Festival, and Women’s Art Association of Canada.

And while she has elicited coverage for clients amounting to barrels of ink, the Toronto native was the subject of many articles herself, namely for her annual VIP parties – the stuff of local legend for two decades.

Nomination Statement

I have been working as a publicist for more than 25 years. It might actually be 30 now, but it makes me sound younger to say, “more than 25.”

In that time have represented hundreds of movies, a significant number of them being Canadian documentaries. In my role as a publicist, is to understand the many beyond-the-call-of-duty moments that I as a PR specialist include, such as a marketer, promoter, consultant, negotiator, team player and, yes, a therapist.

The journalism landscape is changing rapidly and it takes navigation and skill to keep up with its latest forms. But the expectations of clients remain the same. They demand results, and it takes a driven personality like myself to deliver in a media milieu that constantly offers new challenges.

I am an active board member with the Breakthroughs Film Festival, and the Women’s Art Association of Canada. My experience and initiative have helped steer those organizations in great new directions.

Documentaries have been making an impact at the box office. The means to be seen are growing beyond film and TV and into streaming services. We need to do more to balance our approaches.

I would love to cultivate more relationships within the DOC community, explore more sponsorship opportunities for DOC, build on emerging talent, expand DOC’s end of year awards to a much bigger event and reach.

I Feel confident with my background, I would make a great addition to your DOC Board.

Michael McNamara 


Michael McNamara is a writer and filmmaker based in Stratford and Toronto Ontario. In February 2002, he and his partner Judy Holm co-founded Markham Street Films to produce entertaining and provocative documentaries and feature films. Their films have shown in Canada on the CBC, TVO, Super Channel, History, Documentary Channel and have broadcast internationally in over 40 countries. The films have earned multiple Canadian and International nominations and awards, including Gemini and Canadian Screen Award wins for Best History Program, Best Science Program, Best Director and Best Editor. The films have screened at such festivals as Sundance, TIFF, Fantastic Fest and Hot Docs.

His feature documentaries include Radio Revolution - The Rise and Fall of The Big 8, 100 Films & A Funeral and Celtic Soul, a doc road-trip featuring Jay Baruchel. He co-produced the wrongful conviction documentary, David & Me, which premiered at Hot Docs in 2014 and played a role in the exoneration and prison release of the film’s main subject later that year.  

McNamara’s science films for the CBC’s The Nature of Things with David Suzuki include Lights Out!, The Cholesterol Question and ADHD: Not Just For Kids.

He wrote and co-directed (with Aaron Hancox) Catwalk: Tales from the Cat Show Circuit (2018) and Pugly: A Pugs Life (2019), for CBC POV. McNamara has been an active member of the documentary community. He was the first Chair of DOC National and has served on the executive boards of Hot Docs and of DOC Toronto (now DOC Ontario).

Nomination Statement

I’m pleased and proud to be standing for re-election to the Board of Directors of DOC Ontario. Our organization will benefit with a board that is diverse in all areas, comprised of a mix of talent, energy, and experience. I will bring the benefit of experience and perspective, as one of the founding members and first chair of DOC National. I was on the committee that helped build and launch DOC Institute, and I also helped to create and inaugurate the DOC Honours. I’m excited and proud to witness and play a small role in the evolution and success of both initiatives. I’m also pleased to have helped facilitate the new corporate sponsorships for both the Vanguard and Luminary Honours this year. It’s a testament to how far we have been able to elevate the profile and prestige of DOC Institute and the Honours, and of course, also a testament to the vision and hard work of Adam Shamoon and his staff. I look forward to helping to continue to play a part helping to move our organization forward and to strive to elevate and promote the growth of the art form and business of Canadian documentary.

Nadine Pequeneza 


Nadine Pequeneza is an award-winning Director, Writer, and Producer best known for her observational films offering unique access to character-driven stories about social justice. Over the past 20 years, she has garnered multiple nominations and awards, including; a Canadian Screen Award for Best Writing in a Documentary Program, seven CSA and Gemini nominations, a Gold Hugo from the Chicago International Film Festival, a Golden Sheaf from the Yorkton Film Festival, and a Silver Gavel Award honourable mention from the American Bar Association. Through her company HitPlay Productions, Nadine has produced and directed the following feature documentaries: Next of Kin, The Invisible Heart, Road to Mercy, 15 to Life: Kenneth’s Story, Up In Arms and Inside Disaster. Nadine is Chair of the Documentary Organization of Canada and a member of the Hot Docs and DOC Ontario board. She is also a Fledgling Fellow; a graduate of the foundation’s inaugural engagement lab 2014-15.

Nomination Statement

For the past two years, I have served on the Ontario Chapter Board as well as DOC’s National Board, representing our Ontario members. In May 2017 I assumed the role of Chair on DOC’s National Board. I am asking that you consider re-electing me so that I might see through some of the initiatives in DOC’s new strategic plan unveiled at our 2018 AGM.

DOC’s strategic plan highlights our desire to work more cohesively as a national organization; to both strengthen our advocacy and programming efforts. We now have a national programming committee chaired by DOC Institute director Adam Shamoon, an advocacy strategy geared to the upcoming federal election led by our new ED Mathieu Dagonas and a new website awaiting its second phase of construction that will include a sign-in portal for members. We have accomplishments to be proud of but there is still much more to be done.

If re-elected I would work with the Ontario Chapter and all the Chapters represented on our National Board to help realize the goals we have set for our organization.

Colette Vosberg


Colette Vosberg is a TV, Film and Digital professional that specializes in business affairs and producing with a creative flair. Colette has written, directed and produced two shorts, one drama entitled “Gotta Get Ahead” and the other a documentary, entitled “The Hootenanny”. Early in her career, she worked on CFC shorts and MOW’s for Showtime, such as “What Girls Learn” with Elizabeth Perkins and Scott Bakula.

Colette has a unique background of having worked in the fields of broadcasting, distribution, Independent production, and a funding agency, providing a rich and well-rounded expertise in the TV, Film and Digital industry. In this capacity, she provides to independent producers, business affairs, funding opportunities, finance plans, budgets, and tax credit expertise. Colette has also been instrumental in offering business strategies to broadcasters on how to manage and grow their CMF broadcaster envelopes and ideas of Canadian content spend.

Focusing on production, Colette has Produced a Co-Production digital documentary between Canada and New Zealand entitled “Spurred On”, Line Produced for a feature-length documentary “This is Not a Movie”, a Co-Production between Canada, NFB and Germany, and Associate Produced a TV dramedy series “Mangoes: A Slice of Life” and a feature docudrama “Shelter From the Storm”. Colette is also pitching her own TV series called “Work it and Wear it” that explores wearable technology that enables people with disabilities.

Nomination Statement

I would like to nominate myself and offer my dedicated service to the Doc Ontario Board of Directors. I have been a member for several years and through participation of its programs and attending meetings, I believe that I have a good understanding of its mandate and goals that the organization wishes to achieve. For the next two years, I’d like to be part of the team to help fulfil those goals and find ways to advocate documentary production on behalf of present and future doc filmmakers.

For over 17 years, I have been a professional in the television and digital industry and believe my expertise can contribute to DOC Ontario. I understand industry trends, the various facets of the industry in broadcast, independent production in television and digital, distribution and funding agencies.

Over the past years, I have served on various organizations including, Canadian Women in Communications, Cahoots Theatre, the Liberty Village BIA board, on the Interactive Web Content Creators of Canada. For the past two years, I have mentored for the WIFT-T Mentorship program. I enjoy being active in the media community.

With my experiences, I can contribute towards strategizing in membership growth, funding and industry leadership opportunities.


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