InFocus Film School Blog

 

 

Whistler and Pemberton are renowned for their majestic mountains and scenic beauty. As tourist destinations that draw over a million people every year, any damage to their reputation can cost residents their businesses and livelihoods.

A high profile incident of a dog sled owner accused of killing over 50 of his animals in April 2010 has Dominic Ball looking for answers. Does dog sledding, by its very nature, subject animals to undue risk? Or is it possible to run an ethical business that treats dogs humanely?

As Dominic notes, “This was a huge international case and gaining access to people to tell the story was not easy. They might say in an email or on the phone that they would speak to me but when I would show up with a camera they would change their mind. I also tried to have some Whistler local businesses or media talk to me and they flat out refused or would not get back to me after my continuous attempts to contact them.”

One person who didn’t turn him away was Jamie Hargreaves, who once worked with Bob Fawcett, the man who is charged in the case. In the film, Hargreaves offers her insight on both Fawcett, and the dog sledding business.

In April 2012 Fawcett was formally charged with causing unnecessary pain and suffering to a number of sled dogs under the criminal code of Canada. Due to appear in a Pemberton court on May 24, 2012 Fawcett’s lawyer requested the trial be moved to North Vancouver, citing security concerns and recent threats to Fawcett’s safety.

Municipal elections tend to have the lowest voter turn out, and Vancouver is no different.

As one campaigner in The Doorknockers notes, voter turnout in the city’s 2008 municipal election was a paltry 28%. Braving the cold, hostile dogs, and sometimes even hostile homeowners, this documentary follows doorknockers Aaron, Angela, Annie, and Tim in their efforts to fight voter apathy.

Representing the COPE team, these valiant doorknockers burn the midnight oil by knocking (or buzzing) on as many doors as possible, in the hope of garnering voter support for COPE on election night. They race to the finish line with only 25 minutes until the polls close, but they’ll have to wait and see if their efforts paid off.

Was it worth it?

Katherine Krampol’s charming mini-doc, made at In Focus Film School, examines modern beauty and old world ideals. “Show Me Your Teeth” looks at her Romanian lineage and some modern-day insecurities through a focus on her “snaggle tooth,” otherwise known as a misaligned bicuspid molar.

Her story delves into contemporary standards of beauty. She films herself obsessing over perfect smiles on the pages of glossy beauty magazines. She’s so inundated with images of perfect teeth that she can’t help but clip out the pearly white smiles of strangers, and hold them over her own mouth. Her honesty about her insecurity makes her easily relatable, but what makes the film even more fascinating is the link between dental beauty and her Romanian homeland.

She traces her tooth obsession back to her father and the poor dental care he received there. The story is not just about beauty, it is about love too. In spite of her father’s dental challenges, her mother’s enduring love for him sets the tone for Katherine’s personal quest.

“Old world teeth don’t have a place in modern smiles,” says Katherine.

In order to gain a deeper understanding of the “old world,” Katherine has recently left for Romania to pursue her story there. Katherine is eager to learn about her cultural legacy. The young filmmaker is hoping to interview her grandmother and create a longer film that connects her modern world with her Romanian ancestry.

Interested in attending In Focus Film School? Email info@ to learn more.