DOC Names Michelle van Beusekom as Executive Director

Michelle van Beusekom is DOC’s new ED
Photo courtesy of DOC

By Pat Mullen

Michelle van Beusekom joins the Documentary Organization of Canada (DOC) as its new Executive Director. Van Beusekom replaces former ED Mathieu Dagonas, who recently left the organization for work in the private sector.

Van Beusekom brings to DOC extensive experience from the film sector. She worked at the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) from 2006 to 2019, and served as Executive Director of the NFB’s English Program for several years. In that position, van Beusekom led the editorial and creative direction, operations, and finances for five production studios across Canada. She was also instrumental in shepherding many of the advances for filmmaker representation and equitable practice that have become the Board’s hallmark.

“Documentary has never been more popular and it has never been so underfunded,” said DOC Chair Nadine Pequeneza in a statement from the organization. “There is no one better than Michelle to advocate for a genre that has brought international recognition to Canadian filmmakers while forging a uniquely Canadian art form.”

Van Beusekom brings a mix of experience in advocacy and artistic work to the role. In addition to her leadership position at the NFB, van Beusekom produced the acclaimed feature Capturing Reality: The Art of Documentary and its interactive companion. The film was directed by the late Pepita Ferrari, who previously served as DOC’s Executive Director. Van Beusekom also produced the documentary Making Movie History: A Portrait in 61 Parts, a unique interactive experience that guided users through NFB’s role during the course Canadian cinema.

“For over three decades, DOC Canada has played a vital role in supporting and lobbying for Canada’s vibrant independent documentary community and the expansion and transmission of documentary culture,” added van Beusekom. “I’m excited and honoured to be stepping into this role and the opportunity to put my skills, energy, and relationships in the service of Canada’s documentary community at this critical time. In our current context of market disruption and upcoming shifts in Canada’s regulatory environment, ensuring a strong vision and voice for Canada’s documentary community has never been more important.”

DOC is Canada’s leading advocacy group for independent documentary filmmakers. It founded POV Magazine and Hot Docs while under the banner the Canadian Independent Film & Video Caucus.