What’s up, doc? Made-in-Edmonton documentaries to watch

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You can really get a feel for a city and its residents by the movies they make.

Through the eyes of Edmonton’s documentary film directors, you’ll find a city passionate about burgers, sports and superheroes. You’ll also find a city filled with ambitious, big-hearted and resilient individuals, whether they’re cancer patients, garbage sorters or adoptive parents.

Here’s a list of some local docs to watch:

Snow Warrior

Edmonton’s bicycle couriers are no flakes when it comes to winters. Follow Mariah Hoy as she traverses the snowy streets downtown in this short doc, directed by Frederick Kroetsch and Kurt Spenrath. (Youtube - 8 mins

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SpiderMable - a real life superhero story

Six-year-old Mable Tooke to the rescue! In 2015, the young cancer patient captured the hearts of Edmonton with her superhero exploits, set up by The Children’s Wish Foundation and filmed by director Kelly Wolfert. SpiderMable the Film site

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Family Ever After  

Local filmmaker Guy Lavallee and his wife Tammy thought they were adopting two siblings. Their mother and grandmother thought the children were going only into temporary care. How an unexpected mix-up led to a loving, untraditional family. (CBC Gem - 44 mins)

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The Last Baron

The tantalizing tale of Burger Baron, an informal yet iconic chain of restaurants across Western Canada, including Edmonton. Local writer/director Omar Mouallem, the son of a former Baron owner, is currently working on a longer version of this documentary. (CBC Gem - 44 mins)

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The Little Deputy

When Trevor Anderson was a child, he had one of those “old west” portraits taken with his dad at West Edmonton Mall. Decades later, Anderson recreates the photo session. (Trevor Anderson Films - 9 mins)

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Vital Bonds

An emotional look at organ donors and recipients at the University of Alberta Hospital. Directed by Niobe Thompson and produced by Rosvita Dransfeld for CBC’s The Nature of Things, this documentary was repackaged as Transplanting Hope for the U.S. and nominated for an Emmy. (CBC Gem - 44 mins)

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Making Coco: The Grant Fuhr Story

He backstopped the Edmonton Oilers to five Stanley Cups in the 1980s. He was also the first Black player inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. An in-depth portrait of the life and career of Grant Fuhr, directed by Don Metz and produced by Adam Scorgie. 

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The Line

We usually don’t think twice about what we toss in the trash. It’s all disposable, right? In Anthony Goertz’s documentary, we meet the people who sort our garbage at the Edmonton Waste Management Centre. (Youtube - 48 mins)

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I Got Rhythm: The Science of Song

Scientists and musicians examine some of the secrets of music in this TV documentary for CBC’s The Nature of Things, shot partly in Edmonton by director Connie Edwards. (CBC - 44 mins)

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Learn more about Edmonton's film and television community. The Edmonton Screen Industries Office also supports local video game developers. Learn more on the 75+ studios in Edmonton.  

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