Panels and Workshops

Belleville Downtown DocFest’s annual filmmaker panel discussions and workshops bring the filmmakers to you.

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Watch the 2022 interviews that were screened as part of the 2022 Festival. We’re proud to have screened these films and grateful to the filmmakers for sharing their time to take us behind the scenes and to tell us more about their films.

  • Can You Hear My Voice was followed by award-winning filmmaker Bill Brummel discussing his inspiring film.
  • Kendra Mylnechuk, the subject of the eye-opening doc, Daughter of A Lost Bird was on hand to tell her story first-hand for the 2022 Festival DocFest.
  • Award-winning feature film Fanny: The Right to Rock included a must-see Q&A with the film’s director, Bobbi Jo Hart and producer Robbie Hart. 

Can You Hear My Voice Q&A

The film is a triumphant testimony illuminating a universal theme – the human capacity for resilience in the face of overwhelming adversity. Produced and directed by award-winning Bill Brummel, his first film since having his own voice box removed in 2016.

Daughter of A Lost Bird Q&A

A perfect example of cultural assimilation, the film’s subject is a thriving woman who grew up in a loving, upper middle-class white family, and feels no significant loss with the absence of Native American culture or family in her life. And yet, as a Blackfeet/Salish woman, director Brooke Swaney could not imagine that she could be content or complete without understanding her heritage. So, together they embark on a seven year journey.

Proudly supported by FNTI, First Nations Technical Institute

Fanny: The Right to Rock

This award-winning film tells the untold story of the iconic 1970’s all-woman rock band. David Bowie described Fanny as one of the most important bands of the era. Using documentary footage and photos, as well as interviews with notables like Bonnie Rait, Def Leppard’s Joe Elliott, The Go-Go’s Kathy Valentine, Todd Rundgren, The Runaways’ Cherie Currie, Lovin’ Spoonful’s John Sebastian, The B52’s Kate Pierson, Charles Neville and David Bowie guitarist and bassist Earl Slick and Gail Ann Dorsey, the film traces Fanny’s rise to fame.

Proudly supported by Brad Aulthouse and Andrew Bandler, Portfolio Managers at BMO Nesbitt Burns


For our first ever Virtual Festival in 2021, we’re thrilled to have produced and released these Filmmaker Question and Answer videos. Enjoy!

Sergeo Kirby, Director of The Forbidden Reel

Slater Jewell-Kemker, Director of Youth Unstoppable

Paul Saltzman, director of Meeting the Beatles in India



Our annual filmmakers panel features filmmakers providing an insider’s look into the art, craft, and process of documentary filmmaking. We are extremely grateful every year to be able to share the time of our speakers and to be able to present their insights and vision with our attendees. Make sure to mark your calendar for this event and make sure you’ve subscribed to our email newsletter to receive updates throughout the year!

Our 2020 panel included three award-winning guest speakers:

  • Maureen Judge is an award-winning Canadian filmmaker and television producer, Judge has directed and produced documentary films, television series, and dramatic shorts. Her films explore themes of love, betrayal, and acceptance in the modern family setting. Judge’s latest documentary 17 And Life Doesn’t Wait (2019) gives us a glimpse into what it means to be a girl today. It’s a remarkably candid view of life as seen through the eyes of three teenage girls in their final year of high school.
  • Daniel Roher is the director of Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band (2019), the first Canadian documentary to open the Toronto International Film Festival. His latest movie was produced by long-time Robertson collaborator and Oscar winner Martin Scorsese.
  • Alan Zweig is a director and writer, known for films such as Vinyl (2000), Hard Name (2009) which received the Genie Award for best documentary, and Hurt (2015) winner of the Platform Prize at Toronto International Film Festival and best feature documentary Canadian Screen Award. DocFest was honoured to present Zweig’s film There Is a House Here and to have him attend our Festival in 2018. Zweig’s most recent documentary Coppers, nominated for Best Canadian Feature Film in 2019, is a hard-hitting film about ex-cops that presents an honest, empathetic, and occasionally harrowing look at a uniquely difficult profession.
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Get an inside look into the art, craft and process of documentary filmmaking in this video recording of our 2019 Filmmakers Panel Discussion including three filmmakers with three very different perspectives.

The 2019 panel included;

  • Editor and filmmaker Howard Goldberg (Editor of Shiners: The Art of The Shine). Howard is a master craftsman with a Gemini and a Canadian Screen Award under his belt.
  • First time filmmaker Trista Suke who knocked it out of the park with her award winning film Foxy.
  • Sean Scally who shared his perspective as a local filmmaker who makes documentaries from Quinte region history.


Thank you to the filmmakers for participating in our 2018 panel discussion. Chanda Chevannes UNFRACTURED, Tess Girard AS THE CROW FLIES and Julia Barnes SEA OF LIFE

The 2018 panel included;

  • Chanda Chevannes, Unfractured
  • Tess Girard, As the Crow Flies
  • Julia Barnes, Sea of Life

News & Updates

2024 Festival Details Announced
You're invited! We're officially less than 6 months away from the 13th annual Belleville Downtown ... Read More
Film Submissions for the 2024 Festival Now Open
Calling all filmmakers! Belleville Downtown DocFest film selection committee is now accepting submissions for the ... Read More

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