Perspectives Series Podcast: Episode 2 – Finding Your Format

3 mins read

Perspectives is a series of talks that takes you behind the scenes of Canadian documentary filmmaking. This series is presented by the DOC Institute with generous support from presenting sponsor Vistek as well as the Toronto Arts Council and Ontario Creates.

In each week of this three-part series, three filmmakers join host Aisha Jamal to unpack an element of documentary filmmaking and explain the role it plays in their work. This series was recorded as a live event via Zoom. The Perspectives panel featured a live conversation with the filmmakers, followed by questions from the audience.

Following episode one’s conversation “Tackling Theme,” filmmakers Lisa Jackson (Biidaaban: First Light), Joannie Lafrenière (Snowbirds), and Aïcha Diop (Nancy’s Workshop) join Jamal to discuss the challenges and rewards of navigating different formats for storytelling. After choosing a story and narrowing down the themes, how does a filmmaker decide whether to approach a subject through a feature film, short doc, series, virtual reality project, interactive work, or something entirely new?

Perspectives is sponsored by Vistek, Canada’s leading supplier of our industry’s most trusted digital production equipment. Whether you’re shopping in-store or online at, you’ll find a complete range of audio/video solutions and expert advice to help you select the right tools for your next project. And don’t forget: DOC Members enjoy 20% off rentals and VIP pricing on purchases, so be sure to visit Vistek before your next shoot.


Perspectives is available on

For further viewing (select filmography)

The films of Lisa Jackson:
The Embargo Project (“Intemperance” segment)
Highway of Tears VR
The Crimes of Shelley Chartier
Biidaaban: First Light
Lichen (trailer)
Transmissions (trailer)

The films of Joannie Lafrenière:
The Woman who Saw the Bear
King Lajoie
NFB Pause: Marc St.-Pierre
Bibelot et Bingo
Gabor (teaser trailer)

The films of Aïcha Diop:
Nancy’s Workshop
Engraved on a Nation
Riot Girls

Next week’s episode: Genre!

Have a topic you would like considered in a future episode? Contact us at

Hosted by Aisha Jamal
Audio editing by Madeline Lines
Clapper image by Anuwat Meereewee
Intro theme: “First Met” by Vikas Singh Chhonker

Pat Mullen is the publisher of POV Magazine. He holds a Master’s in Film Studies from Carleton University where his research focused on adaptation and Canadian cinema. Pat has also contributed to outlets including The Canadian Encyclopedia, Paste, That Shelf, Sharp, Xtra, and Complex. He is the vice president of the Toronto Film Critics Association and an international voter for the Golden Globe Awards.

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