Many people, though some of them may not realize it, now carry a video camera around with them every day, embedded in their cell phone. Video cameras themselves have gotten smaller and easy to carry with you. A far cry from the first “portable” cameras, which required a shoulder bag to hold the actual recorder, in addition to the large camera resting on your shoulder.
That unprecedented access to the world of filmmaking, according to Pepita Ferrari, a Montreal-based documentary filmmaker is driving interest in documentary film to an all-time high — at the last Toronto’s Hot Docs, an annual international documentary festival, there were 199 films screened, with the estimated audience numbers topping 150,000 sittings.
For those who want to know more about documentary filmmaking and what goes on behind the scenes, Ferrari will be returning to Penticton and offering a series of workshops at the Shatford Centre from July 26 to Aug. 4, drawing on 20-plus years in the industry.
This isn’t Ferrari’s first visit to Penticton. Last year, she was the Shatford Centre’s first Artist-in-Residence, and the workshops she offered were well-received and this summer she is back with fresh material.
Ferrari’s workshops are aimed both at those who enjoy documentaries and want to know more about them, as well as people who are involved in making documentaries.
Being offered this year are the Art of the Interview (July 28 at 7 p.m.), A Cornucopia of Ideas (July 30 at 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.), Twenty Years in Documentary (Aug. 2 at 7 p.m.) and State of the Art of Documentary in 2011 (Aug. 4 at 7 p.m.).
Ferrari will also be giving a practical example of interviewing skills as she hosts the Meet Trevor Evans night on July 26 at 2 p.m. Evans is a producer, director and writer who now resides in Penticton. From his early years as a stagehand, and then a clown with his own television show, Evans eventually came to be a writer and director for the Carol Burnett Show and enjoyed a 20-year relationship with the Wayne & Shuster Show.
“It should be a lot of fun,” says Ferrari. “He has an incredible wealth of fascinating stories to tell.”
In addition to the workshops, the public is invited to the screening of one of Ferrari’s films on Aug. 2 at 2 p.m. Joseph Giunta: A Silent Triumph, follows a once-famous octogenarian Quebec artist as he balances his passion for painting with his struggles to care for his Alzheimer’s-afflicted wife at home.
“It is first and foremost a film about the power of love,” says Ferrari, “Secondly, it is about the fact that creativity is undeniable, as Giunta manages to create amazing paintings under conditions that are highly stressful.”
Some of Ferrari’s films have been made in collaboration with the National Film Board, and others are independent productions. Information about her films, By Woman’s Hand, The Petticoat Expeditions and Capturing Reality: The Art of Documentary is available at www.onf-nfb.gc.ca/eng/collection.
For more information about Ferrari’s workshops or to register, visit www.osarts.com/courses or call 250-770-7668.