TVO Doc Studio’s 2014 Contest

TVO has announced the five finalists in its 3rd annual short documentary competition, the TVO Doc Studio Contest. Under the theme “Docs That Matter,” entrants from across Ontario were challenged to submit films that explore issues they are passionate about, in five minutes or less. Led by Emmy Award-winning director Peter Raymont (Shake Hands With the Devil: The Journey of Roméo Dallaire), a jury of esteemed Ontario documentary filmmakers determined the shortlist of five films.

You can now view the five films and vote on your favourite until April 16 on the TVO Doc Studio voting page. The winning film will be announced on the Doc Studio site on Thursday, April 17. The winner will see his or her documentary aired on TVO, receive a pass to the Hot Docs Film Festival, and a day-long mentorship session with Peter Raymont.

For more information and full contest details, please visit

The five finalists are:

Beauty with No Pigment
Directed by Ruzanna Shortstuffyan
A personal contemplation on identity and self-acceptance, this experimental film profiles albino singer/model Jane Maboreke, who shares a glimpse of her life growing up and her struggles to deal with the perceptions and opinions of others about the way she looks. The film explores the idea of beauty in a non-conventional way.

The Middle Way
Directed by Luca Tarantini
The Middle Way follows a young man’s struggle to find the balance between his two passions: religion and rock ‘n’ roll. By day, Jasper Bendici is a theology student at a Greek Orthodox seminary. By night, he’s a singer/lead-guitarist for a local rock band, The Shallow Seas. His pursuits seem to conflict on the surface, but Jasper finds the qualities that unite them both.

My Father’s Daughter
Directed by Cainan Querido
Cainan Querido captures the poignant story of his aunt Arlene Doyle, as Arlene comes to terms with the loss of her father. Querido follows his aunt on an adventure at 15,000 ft through the Andean mountains in Peru, where Arlene retraces her father’s last few days before his sudden death and attempts to close an emotional circle.

Ontario Bread – A Tribute
Directed by Jim Bachalo
Until its closure in June 2013, Ontario Bread on Toronto’s Ossington Avenue was the oldest Polish bakery in Canada. This film pays tribute both to the bakery and to its many dedicated workers over the past 80 years, and contrasts the preservation of traditional cultural roots with the trend towards greater efficiency, homogeneity and gentrification in the marketplace.

Directed by Carol Nguyen
An emotional story on the strength of human willpower, Uprooted provides a filmmaker’s intimate journey into her family history, retelling the story of her father’s escape from his native Vietnam and how he rebuilt his life in Canada.