July 1–3, 2023

Canadian Short Films

Film Screenings


Drop-in to a series of poignant short films from CBC’s POV documentaries and Hot Docs Citizen Minutes series.

Canadian short films

Disruptor Conductor, Still provided by the artist


Escape the heat and enjoy free film screenings in our Studio Theatre all weekend long!   

Don’t miss Disruptor Conductor, a CBC point-of-view documentary and 5 short films selected from Hot Docs Citizen Minutes Series 2


CBC’s point of view documentary series gets to the heart of current affairs and social issues that matter to Canadians. With unique and often unexpected access, these stories will ignite discussions. Disruptor Conductor features the TSO conductor Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser as an unlikely hero on a mission to create live orchestral shows that are for everyone.   


These short doc collections, commissioned by Hot Docs, highlight ordinary Canadians doing extraordinary things to make their communities better places. Meet bold and unlikely changemakers who inspire us to jump in and get involved in civic issues close to our homes and hearts. 

Disruptor Conductor

Writer, Director: Sharon Lewis 
Producer: Byron Kent Wong, Sharon Lewis 

Length: 45 min  

Presented in English

As far as Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser knows, there aren’t many black LGBTQ conductors like him in Canada. The child of a working-class Caribbean mother, he was raised in Calgary and, for many years, struggled with his sexuality. “I have often felt ‘other’ in my life,” he says. 

Growing up, Bartholomew-Poyser was drawn to classical music and often turned to it for solace. As an adult, he finally found his voice as a conductor. He believes that the beauty of music can heal and unite all of us beyond differences in race, sexuality, socioeconomic status and gender identity. 

Bartholomew-Poyser wants to use his musical power for good. In Disruptor Conductor we see him on a mission to break down institutional walls and bring live orchestral music to young people, the LGBTQ community, people on the autism spectrum and prison populations — anyone who might not have had access to it or who may have felt unwelcome in traditional spaces. 

“We’re trying to bring music to everybody. Oftentimes, when you heard these instruments, sometimes you had to go to a concert hall to hear it. We’re trying to bring it out of the concert hall and just take it to wherever people are,” says Bartholomew-Poyser. 

Along with RuPaul’s Drag Race star Thorgy Thor, Bartholomew-Poyser creates the first orchestral drag queen show in Canada. It’s a way to express two parts of himself at once, bringing Old World orchestra and his recently discovered LGBTQ community together in a harmonic union. 

Ancestral Threads

Director, Producer, Writer: Sean Stiller

Length: 12 mins

Presented in English

Follow Joleen Mitton on her mission to use fashion as medicine for Vancouver’s Indigenous community. A former fashion model, Joleen is now a community leader and founder of Vancouver Indigenous Fashion Week.

Mind Check, 1-2, 1-2

Director: Ian Keteku 

Producers: Lisa Rideout, John Choi 

Length: 10 mins

Presented in English

With nearly three million followers and several celebrity endorsements, rapper Akintoye is an internet sensation. Through his vulnerable art, he inspires young people to use their voices to bring awareness to mental health struggles.

Rising from the Ashes

Director: Sara Ben-Saud 

Writer: Sara Ben-Saud 

Editor: Nicolas Paquette 

Length: 11 mins

Presented in English

The Dépanneur Sylvestre in Gatineau, Quebec, was founded 20 years ago to address the growing number of people experiencing social isolation. Destroyed by a fire three years ago, it has now reopened using new models of sustainability to stay relevant for another 20 years and beyond.

Janelle Niles: Inconvenient

Directors: Kelly Zemnickis, Cass Gardiner 

Producers: John Choi, Lisa Rideout 

Writers: Kelly Zemnickis, Cass Gardiner 

Length: 9 mins

Presented in English

Janelle Niles is a Black, Mi’kmaw, two-spirited woman from Sipekne’katik First Nation in Nova Scotia and a stand-up comedian. Despite a tumultuous upbringing, Janelle embraces her biracial experience and queer identity, using stand-up to usher in a new era of inclusive, Canadian comedy.

Sisterhood Softball

Director: Farhiya Ahmed 

Producers: Lisa Rideout, John Choi 

Writer: Farhiya Ahmed 

Length: 8 mins

Presented in English

Following the first all-female Muslim softball league in North America, Sisterhood Softball depicts a league that empowers women through sports in a community where women traditionally don’t participate and are seen as disempowered by those outside of their communities.

Dates & Times

July 1
1pm – 3pm
4:30pm – 6:30pm

July 2
1pm – 3pm
4:30pm – 6:30pm

July 3
1pm – 3pm
4:30pm – 6:30pm


Studio Theatre

235 Queens Quay West
Toronto, ON

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Keywords All AgesFilmFree Event