Crossing Borders: whose story is it?

Friday August 18, 2017
01:30 – 03:00 p.m.
Cineplex Odeon Theatres (Southland Mall location)

Filmmakers from around the world share a basic desire to express themselves through their creative interpretation of the world around them, however amid the tensions underlying our societies filmmakers face an increasing ethical challenge in choosing stories to tell. At the heart of cinema and documentary is the filmmaker’s unique voice, one constructed in part by inter-actions with others who provide form and meaning for our own lives and shape our perspectives. Our increasingly multicultural societies provide fertile ground for storytellers in imagining complex stories that are derived in part from the interpretation of other cultures. However during a time of societal conversations about political correctness and debate about cultural appropriation are there limits to artistic expression and if so, why and who defines and regulates cultural authenticity?

On one end of the spectrum, liberal societies emphasize the primacy of individual rights to self-expression and imply the liberty of filmmakers to interpret aspects of various cultures in constructing narratives. On the other, best intentions to celebrate our shared humanity and disregard differences without ever being able to understand the others world and the unseen dimensions of reality leads to the perpetuation of stereotypes and the suppression of authentic voices.

How do storytellers think about what stories to tell and who they are for?

Join moderator Meralda Fiddler and filmmakers Roberta Staley, Janine Windolph, Nadia Zouaoui and Ken Dalgarno for an intimate and engaging discussion.


Roberta Staley

Roberta Staley is the Vancouver-based director/producer of Mightier Than the Sword, about Afghan female journalists and filmmakers and their impact on gender perceptions and gender equality in Afghanistan. Roberta undertook the documentary after reporting in Afghanistan in 2012. It was apparent then that women were involved in media as producers, reporters and anchors. Media, in fact, had become a battleground for women fighting to conquer a culture of silence and invisibility imposed by the Taliban.

Roberta brings to light stories of the human condition, whether they originate in her own
community or from remote places around the globe.

Mightier Than the Sword is a RIFFA 2017 nominee for Best Investigative Documentary

Nadia Zouaoui

Nadia Zouaoui was born in Algeria and currently lives in Quebec. Nadia has intimate knowledge of the struggles she documents in her work. She speaks English, French, Berber and Arabic and understands the cultures behind these languages. The primary focus of much of her work is to build bridges between cultures. Her film, The Trial 2.0 is centered the 'Charter of Quebecois values,' a bill that aimed to ban conspicuous religious symbols in the public services. The film attempts to ''unveil'' the challenges of living together during a public debate on secularism and the divisions of feminist movements in Quebec. It also explores the limits of freedom of expression and the danger of slander in social media. Debates where the fear of Muslims can sometimes take alarming dimension.

The Trial 2.0 is a RIFFA 2017 nominee for Best Investigative Documentary

Janine Windolph

Janine Windolph is an interdisciplinary artist working as a curator, educator, filmmaker, performer, storyteller and entrepreneur. Much of her work focuses on weaving together oral storytelling, memory, genealogy and family history. Her first feature film, The Land of Rock and Gold was recently released and is on the festival circuit internationally. The film has received multiple nominations and awards. Janine is also documentarian and is the Producer for From up North, a short 10-minute documentary for the NSI Aboriginal Documentary 2016 program (co-recipient of the Zoomer Media Award).

Ken Dalgarno

Ken Dalgarno is a self-taught visual artist, photographer and filmmaker from Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. Ken has exhibited his artwork in numerous solo and group exhibitions across Western Canada and the United States. His paintings are in private and public collections across Canada, Italy, South Africa, and the United States. His RIFFA nominated film, Josi Victoria: a complicated masquerade, is the transgender story about a former university football player and firefighter who fully transitioned to female at the age of 50.

Josi Victoria: a complicated masquerade is a RIFFA 2017 nominee for Best Canadian Feature


Merelda Fiddler-Potter

Meralda Fiddler-Potter is a journalist, mother, educator, as well as a communications and social media consultant. After graduating with a Journalism degree, Meralda started working with CBC Saskatchewan, while also teaching with Indian Communication Arts at the First Nations University of Canada. She also worked with the CBC in Alberta and launched an independent film company producing the company’s first documentary. Recently, Merelda left her full-time gig in the media to become one half of the social media image management company Strictly Social. Merelda also teaches at the First Nations University of Canada primarily with the Indian Communications Arts Program and Indigenous Studies, as well as the Journalism School at the University of Regina.