Every year the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival recognizes a mid-career Canadian filmmaker with a retrospective program that showcases a prime selection of their films. In 2016 the honor goes to Edmonton-based writer/producer/director Rosie Dransfeld for a body of work that includes more than 300 short films and documentaries.
Dransfeld has staked her substantial career by seeking the “truth behind the curtain.” Through her company ID Productions she specializes in character-driven, cinema vérité style documentaries and series. Her films often portray the gritty side of life revealing disregarded people either down on their luck or expressing uncommon behavior that shocks or intimidates.
“Sometimes it takes an outsider to show us our blind spots as a society, and to give a voice to those too often ignored,” said Hot Docs director of programming Shane Smith. “Rosvita Dransfeld’s deeply humane films shine a light on the forgotten and the marginalized, her verité filmmaking sensitively revealing their resilience and resolve. We’re excited to be highlighting her rich body of work at Hot Docs this year,” said Smith.
The five films chosen for the Focus On Rosie Dransfeld retrospective are summarized in the following list.
The 2016 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival runs April 28 to May 8. Visit the website for film schedule and ticket availability.
Anti-Social Limited (2014)
A charismatic ex-drug dealer and self-declared psychopath attempts to change his ways for the better by starting a construction business while sorting through a history of abuse and abandonment that continues to haunt him.
An Edmonton man has a haunting obsession with Canada’s emblematic beaver. Through Roman wisdom, biological curiosities and a vision quest he attempts to rid himself of his preoccupation with the buck-toothed animal spirit.
Visit an intimidating pawnshop owner and his sociopathic assistant (also the subject of “Anti-Social Limited”) as they do business with poor, drug-addicted, marginalized citizens of Edmonton. Winner of the Donald Brittain Award presented annually by the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television for best social-political documentary.
The Dogwalker (2007)
Michael Borowski is known on Edmonton’s White Avenue as the dog walker, a sensitive and insightful man who quietly overcame a childhood brain injury and years of neglect.
Who Cares (2012)
Dransfeld uncovers the dangerous world of Edmonton’s sex workers where death is a common threat that inspires prostitutes to voluntarily provide police with DNA samples to aid future post-mortem identification.