ezra winton

Still Talking about Challenge for Change

Posted by in Academix, Doc Side

Challenge for Change/Société nouvelle was a program launched by the National Film Board of Canada in the late sixties that facilitated the production of around 200 social documentaries known for their inclusion of subjects in the production process and their uncompromising critiques of government programs. In 2010 I co-edited a book on CFC/SN with Tom Waugh and Michael Brendan Baker (check out more on this great collection here) and it seems those three years of hard work producing that door-stopper are still turning up new offers to talk about the…read more

A new class, a new city

Posted by in Academix, Cinema

This just in! NSCAD University has informed me that they will indeed offer my class, “Cinemas of Globalization” this summer. I’m thrilled to be heading to Halifax for May and June to teach this intense, around-the-world course on the cultural, social, historical and political context of non-mainstream and non-Western cinemas! Now, it’s time to curate the playlist and accompanying texts – sweet!

Halifax and Beyond

Posted by in Academix, Dispatches

Earlier this month I had the pleasure and privilege of participating in NSCAD’s Cineflux Symposium, an academic gathering that explores the “old new” forms, modes, practices and theories of cinema. My Postdoctoral supervisor, Dr. Darrell Varga, invited me to present a paper on the politics of presence and documentary activist screening spaces, which was indeed given to a receptive audience on the last Sunday morning of the symposium. There was a slight hiccup with my arrival for my panel, as my phone was still set to Montreal time and the…read more


Writing a PhD thesis is like sailing (if you’ve never done either)

Posted by in Academix, Personal Travails

On December 18th, 2013, I sat in a stodgy IT classroom in Carleton University (Ottawa), surrounded by five extremely intelligent people (one via Skype) who were there to challenge, provoke, rock and ultimately assess me. It was the end of six-and-a-half years of “doing” my PhD, and there I was, my doorstopper thesis in front of me looking like a turgid treatise destined for decades of editing or neglect (take your pick), and a clutch of eager professors ready to advance like well-meaning warriors who hadn’t eaten properly for days.


Representing addiction in documentary cinema

Posted by in Academix, Doc Side

In just under a month on May 11th, I’ll be speaking in Vancouver at a conference about the intersection of documentary, addiction, madness and social health. I’ll be speaking about NFB and activist docs and focusing on three new conceptual frames I’m developing in my documentary research: proximal empathy, hierarchies of harm and anti-gratification. I’m honoured that the organizers tracked me down and asked me to speak, and in between writing my dissertation I’ve been busy catching up on docs that depict addiction, madness and other perceived social problems. Documentary…read more


Winter writing must begin

Posted by in Academix

Wow, two months since I posted here. Swamped as usual. Suffering from a total writer’s block and unable to really dive into my dissertation-writing. I keep reading and reading and when I sit down to write I feel like I don’t have anything worthwhile to say. But some things were working against me – summer, a big move to a new apartment (with my own office finally!), the ongoing distraction known as Cinema Politica, and most recently, teaching a fourth year undergraduate course at Carleton University on alternative media. With…read more