As you navigate this singular portal’s many pathways and ramifications, you will discover Québec’s female documentary filmmakers, from the pioneers almost 50 years ago, when Anne-Claire Poirier made the first Québec feature-length documentary directed by a woman (De mère en fille, 1967), to those who explore the boundaries of the genre today through web docs and video games. Along with all the information on women documentary filmmakers, you’ll soon be able to see and hear them via several video capsules, and above all, view their films.
FEMALE DIRECTORS A-Z
For starters, you’ll find a directory of Québec’s Female documentary filmmakers A-Z. Each entry consists of a personal file that includes a photo or video portrait, a bio-filmography and links to online viewing sites of their work.
When compiling our list of women documentary filmmakers, we consulted several organizations, publications and individuals in the documentary community. Since the word “documentary” describes a wide range of productions, we decided to be inclusive.
Inspired by the ARRQ’s selection criteria, ours include first, to be female and a resident of Québec, or to have exercised one’s career mainly in Québec. Then, it seemed important that the women had directed at least one feature-length documentary, or 2 medium-length documentaries, or 3 shorts or episodes in a documentary series, or 10 documentary capsules. These works must also have been made in a professional context, that is, broadcast on television, in a theatre, on the web or at festivals. Corporate and student films were excluded.
The Female Directors A-Z directory will be completed over the next few months and updated regularly. Our apologies to those who were omitted in the first edition. If you meet the above criteria but aren’t yet part of the directory, contact us.
You’ll find 19 video portraits of independent women directors who have left their mark on Québec documentary filmmaking history. Each 3-or-4 minute capsule presents a female director and an important film from her catalogue. We wanted these portraits to represent the diversity of cinematic approaches and content, and showcase these women’s creativity and daring. We also wanted to represent the wider social currents that have intersected with the genre since the early 1970s. We hope to make more of these portraits in the future. There’s certainly plenty of choice and talent!
CONFESSIONS OF A FEMALE DIRECTOR: 3 TRUE STORIES
In addition to these video portraits, you’ll find the confessions of several female documentary filmmakers: 3 true stories told by women filmmakers invited to our film club. About 25 minutes long, they come to you unedited so you can enjoy the unvarnished experience. Several of these true stories are already online and others will be added over the coming months.
LES DAMES DU DOC is also a film club. Once a month at the ARRQ’s screening room, we present an outstanding Québec documentary accompanied by its female director. Carefully chosen by a programming committee of four women directors, the films represent diverse themes and directorial approaches. Several of these events have already taken place, with a well-stocked bar, grilled cheese sandwiches made with an iron, a full house and festive atmosphere. Join us the second Thursday of each month!
To submit a film to the programming committee, write to us. Don’t forget to include your film’s viewing link and password in your message.
Selection of the Month
Every month, our online cinema will feature a documentary made by one of the women filmmakers in our directory. You can also choose from our already impressive collection of documentaries, which will grow over time. The DAMES DU DOC online cinema is unequalled, because it brings you all the viewing links of Québec’s female documentary filmmakers on one site, whether they come from the iTune Store, the NFB, Les Films du 3 mars, Excentris, Viméo, YouTube, Vithèque or Vidéo Femmes-Spira. So, it’s an important rendez-vous for cinephiles.
To close LES DAMES DU DOC on a high note, Doc-Swap is an advice and service exchange forum for female documentary filmmakers designed to foster sharing and intergenerational exchanges, in order to assist each other and support our practices. Why not swap programming a blog for help with a grant application? Why not swap the use of your underwater HD camera for a wind-up Bolex?