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POV Magazine

POV Magazine

Spring/Summer 2021 (Issue 114)

POV is Canada's destination for documentary culture. We cover the art and business of documentary, reporting on the best in non-fiction film, photography, new media, and podcasting.

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POV Magazine
2 Issues

in this issue

3 min

IT’S BEEN OVER A YEAR and the pandemic is still with us. While the statistics are appalling—we’ll be at 3 million deaths soon enough—COVID has become far more than a scourge attacking humanity. Our way of life has changed and there’s no turning back. We all know this and are constantly speculating about the “new normal.” The question is whether this plague will transform the world for better or for worse. It’s a great and terrifying time to be a documentarian or, quite frankly, to be any kind of thinking, caring human being. The majority is coping, but how long will it be before people start quoting Network on their Zoom calls and screaming “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore”? Joe Biden and other neoliberals are…

1 min
celebrating uvagut tv

WHILE CANADA HAS BEEN BROADCASTING television since 1952, it’s only now, in 2021, that the country has its first station airing 24/7 in an Indigenous language. Uvagut TV, “our” TV in Inuktut, is now available in over 600,000 homes in Canada (mainly through Shaw Satellite) and is owned by Nunavut Independent Television Network (NITV). Everyone can access it online at uvagut.tv. In this photo by Carol Kunnuk, we see Zacharias Kunuk, the vice chair of NITV, totally at home with crew and elders, during the Uvagut celebratory day of music, dance, and speeches. Not in the photo but a key presence in the launch was Lucy Tulugarjuk, executive director of NITV and Uvagut TV’s managing director, who said, “Countless Inuit have worked over generations to dream the first Inuit-language channel into…

7 min
observing the observers

SINCE 2017, I HAVE HAD THE DISTINCT PLEASURE of serving as the chair of a preliminary judging committee for the Peabody Awards in broadcasting and digital media. Along with two graduate students from the Feirstein School of Cinema at Brooklyn College, CUNY, where I teach, we judge a slate of about 35 films. Each time we get to see a slate of diverse films which represent the state of the field that year. As a documentary maker and theorist, I take strong positions on the genre as it has developed over the past 25 years. The Watermelon Woman (Cheryl Dunye, 1996), which I produced, is considered a hallmark in the fields of Black and queer cinema, as well as in fake documentary, the subject of my co-edited scholarly book in the…

3 min
ring the (inter)net

CANADIAN HERITAGE’S BILL C-10 sets forth amendments to the Broadcasting Act, following a recommendation by the Yale Report to tackle the dominance of tech giants in Canadian screen culture. The centrepiece is a radical departure from the past, with internet “over the top services” (OTTs) like Netflix being asked to contribute significantly to our production system. Yet the proposed amendments are complex and could usher in potentially unpleasant unintended consequences. The issues and risks are varied and complex, and far exceed what I can breeze through here. Here are just some top line thoughts. First, the 1991 Broadcasting Act can’t touch online undertakings like Amazon Studios or Netflix. This “hands off” approach was repeatedly reinforced by the Harper government’s slogan, “no Netflix tax.” At the moment, these streamers are exempt from…

6 min
mystic river

“I watch you closely, the landscape traversing you,” says a disembodied voice in Félix Dufour-Laperrière’s Archipelago. “I can see a river, its islands, but nothing of you. Tu n’existes pas.” The man repeats the latter phrase to a female counterpart. The animated woman considers his words, raises her hand, and traces her lifelines against the coastline of Saint Lawrence River, which appears in verité-style documentary footage. She shuts her eyes and counters, “Not true. If I don’t seem to be much, I exist in the details. Not knowing me, you underestimate me.” The images yield to a black canvas as Norman McLaren-ish animated sounds and dynamic text illuminate the frame. “We’ll speak of what can be. Let’s go!” The woman and the lively animation suggest a journey into uncharted waters. Archipelago traverses…

6 min
the gig economy

BEHIND your favourite app is an army of invisible workers. Drivers and delivery services ensure we get our food on time and that we’re never late for a meeting. In countries worldwide, gig workers, often working for pennies, ensure our search results are accurate, thumbnails are appropriate, and translations are smooth and conversational. These mostly unseen people, often called shadow or ghost workers, are the backbones of most tech companies. They are the essential human element filling in to close the gap between man and machine, stepping up to complete tasks that computers are unable to complete. With her latest documentary, The Gig Is Up, Shannon Walsh examines the people behind tech’s life and work, focusing on low-wage gig workers who ensure modern life runs smoothly. From America to Nigeria, she…