I know you were all looking forward to attending our 2020 ReaRView DocFest, but we are all doing our part to keep each other safe and staying home. The other day one of our team members saw a beautiful quote written in chalk on their neighborhood sidewalk - "Apart, yet together". We all loved it, and decided to offer you a free virtual ReaRView Docfest experience based on this theme. Each of our programming committee members have put together some of their favorite short doc films with links. We hope you enjoy these humorous, poignant and tender films that emphasize our greatest strength against adversity: togetherness.

Please feel free to forward this newsletter to other documentary fans and please send me your comments on virtual ReaRView at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Keep well,
Chris Worsnop, Chair, ReaRView Vintage Doc Fest Committee

boogie doodleAdriana's pick - Boogie Doodle, Norman McLaren | 4 min
The 'boogie' is played by Albert Ammons and the "doodle" is drawn by Norman McLaren on transparent film, without the use of a camera. With a marker and a transparent paper you can make a similar film at home with your children and roll it in a very archaic way with some music as background. Cheers. Have fun.
Watch here: http://www.nfb.ca/film/boogie-doodle

Chris' picks - The Rink, Gilles Carle, 1962 | 10 min
high steelA visual poem of skaters at an outdoor rink: being in their own world, competing, collaborating, and literally supporting each other.
Watch here: http://www.nfb.ca/film/rink

High Steel, Don Owen, 1965 | 13 min
Mohawk Indians of Kahnawake work in Manhattan piecing together the massive steel skeleton of a skyscraper. The men all have incredible individual skill and confidence, their lives casually trusted to each other.
Watch here: http://www.nfb.ca/film/high_steel

Cathie's pick - The Challenge of True Solitude, Brian Bolster, 2017| 14 minutes
"You have to be at peace with the fact that something might happen, and you might not make it through," says Alexandra de Steiguer, the caretaker for the Oceanic Hotel, in Brian Bolster's short documentary, "Winter's Watch." De Steiguer has spent the past 19 winters tending to the 43-acre grounds of the hotel, on Star Island, which sits 10 miles off the coast of New England. In the long, wintry off-season, she is the island's sole inhabitant.
Watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3oHhw_9bQk0

hardwoodMicol's pick - Harwood Hubert Davis, 2004 | 29 min
Canadian filmmaker Hubert Davis was nominated for an Academy Award for this beautiful autobiographical film about growing up as the son of former Harlem Globetrotter Mel Davis. I love this film because it's about redemption, relationships and the healing power of family.
Watch here: http://www.nfb.ca/film/hardwood

Ross' picks - Twice Upon a Time, Giles Walker, 1979 | 10 min
Twice upon a timeTwice Upon a Time is a satirical film about 'Stereoville', a fictitious town where pairs of individuals must double up to speak both official languages.
Watch here: http://www.nfb.ca/film/twice_upon_a_time

Tragic Story With a Happy Ending, Regina Pessoa, 2005 | 7 min
A little girls finds acceptance in her community by embracing her own differences. Watch here: http://www.nfb.ca/film/tragic_story_with_happy_ending

Hannah's Story, Juanita Peters, 2007, 29 min
At the age of 5, Hannah Taylor spotted her first homeless person in the back alleys of Winnipeg and was determined to do something about it. The result is The LadyBug Foundation,hannahs story a charity that Hannah helped establish and has raised millions of dollars. Watch here: http://www.nfb.ca/film/hannahs_story

Propaganda Message, Barrie Nelson, 1974 | 13 min
A very funny film about Canadian differences and how we nonetheless band together to become into a united nation.
Watch here: http://www.nfb.ca/film/propaganda_message

Sherri's pick - Glimpses, Jean-Francois Pouliot, 2010 | 8 min
Glimpses is a contemplative view of life in an imagined city. Made in 2010, it could be today. As I walk alone, keeping my distance from those I pass, I see often 'older' people out in their cars, driving slowly, perhaps trying to stay connected but safely apart in the vehicles. There are scenes in this film that reflect today.
Watch here: http://www.nfb.ca/film/glimpses_impressions


The health and safety of our patrons and volunteers is of paramount importance to Marie Dressler Foundation.

In light of the current COVID-19 situation, we have considered the risks inherent for the community in moving ahead with RearView DocFest as planned.

Regrettably, we see no choice but to announce the cancellation of RearView DocFest.

Not only is this a disappointment for you, our patrons, but particularly disappointing for the many dedicated volunteers who have worked tirelessly over the past few months to prepare an engaging event.

Anyone who has already purchased tickets will be contacted within the next few days.

We will be monitoring the COVID-19 situation closely going forward, and assessing the possibility of rescheduling the event for later this year.

Please continue to check this website for news in the coming months.

Rick Miller
President and Chair
Marie Dressler Foundation


There is now a trailer for this year's DocFest:

Video by Jeff Halligan - Program details here.

ReaRView Vintage Documentary Festival Announces Festival Dates
April 17-19, 2020

Director Martin Scorsese’s award-winning film
George Harrison: Living in the Material World opens the Festival
Michael Bridge named CBC’s “Top 30 Classical Musicians under 30” plays live to Nanook of the North

The ReaRView Vintage Documentary Festival (ReaRView) announced today that its fourth annual festival will run from Friday, April 17 to Sunday April 19, 2020 in Cobourg, Ontario at The Loft Cinema (201 Division St. Cobourg, ON).  The Festival highlights two themes this year – “Chasing Green: Ecology and the Economy” and “Mind’s Eye: Art and Artistry”.  ReaRView is unique among film festivals for exploring today’s issues using yesterday’s timeless documentaries, some dating as far back as 1922.

“2020 is an exciting year for us,” commented Chris Worsnop, ReaRView Committee Chair.   “Our audiences are growing and we have a stellar line-up of award-winning documentary films. This year, we’re enhancing the audience’s experience by offering an opportunity to meet some of the filmmakers as well as showing the 1922 classic doc “Nanook of the North” with live musical accompaniment by acclaimed accordionist Michael Bridge. We are also continuing our education initiatives by presenting a special curated program for area schools that includes participating filmmakers, conservationists and special guests.”