Meet the Exhibitors
The next generation of media makers showcasing twenty-two evocative works telling stories through film, photography, site-specific installation, gallery exhibition, photo book and new media work.
Kyra Church (she/her) is a filmmaker who is passionate about documentary storytelling in all of its forms. She currently works as a researcher at Mercury Films, where she previously contributed as a Marketing and Materials Coordinator on The Anthropocene Project. Kyra has a BFA in film studies from Concordia University in Montreal. Universal, Amen is Kyra’s first film and she is incredibly excited for its public debut at this year’s Doc Now festival.
Marzieh M. Miri
Marzieh M Miri is a Toronto-based Iranian documentary photographer currently completing Documentary Media MFA at Ryerson University. Her research and creative practice explore the notions of place, land and environment through photographic mediums. She is especially interested in practice-based and sensorial approaches that explore humans and their environment as a united existence. Her work has been exhibited in Iran, France, Austria and Canada. She has also worked as an architect (MArch & BArch) , lecturer, writer and critic and has published in ‘European Journal of Media, Art and Photography’, ‘Akkasee Website’ and ‘Tandis Magazine’ and presented in conferences in Canada and Iran.
Zhiying (Irene) Zhen (she/her) is a Chinese filmmaker based in Toronto. Her work explores the fusion of Eastern and Western film aesthetics and focuses on dynamics and mutual constructions of society and individuals. She is currently completing a Master’s of Fine Arts degree in the Documentary Media Program at Ryerson University. Pulse is her latest observational documentary about the Two-Child Policy in China with a keen gaze in contemporary society.
Lara Harb (she/her) is a digital marketing strategist, instructor, creative and all-around arts lover. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Ryerson University in the Business Technology Management program and is currently working on her MFA in Documentary Media. Lara enjoys working with new media formats to explore the intersection of technology and society. The Shadow Pandemic is her most recent film exploring the universal feeling of loneliness during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Peter Totten (they/she) is an Emmy Award-Winning filmmaker and video artist currently based in Toronto, Ontario. Their work has been screened in galleries and festivals in Asia, Europe, and North America. Peter’s work is exploratory in nature, seeking to highlight the beauty in lived experience; utilizing the essay film form and visual anthropology to represent communities in ways grounded in care and mutual respect.
Taras Hemon (he/him) is a film and image maker based in Hamilton, Ontario. He is currently completing a Master’s of Fine Arts degree in Documentary Media Studies, working on a short documentary film “Thanks for Nothing.” The film follows the experiences of a tenant facing eviction threats and displacement due to gentrification. Hemon has previously worked with short form fiction, and his film “Grozota” has screened at festivals internationally. Hemon continues a promising career of documentary filmmaking, creating films that push for systemic change.
Ralph Silva is a Toronto based artist working with imaging arts to create documentary and factual stories. Fine art photography and interactive installations are his primary tools, encouraging people to question perspectives and find individual meaning in detail. As individuals, we have unique experiences that govern how we interpret our world. Ralph’s goal is to provide the foundation for individual perspectives through a roadmap based on visual details in order to encourage a private journey. Success for Ralph is measured by an emotional interpretation of his work framed within a personal context.
Carly Williams (she/her) is a well-rounded, independent filmmaker from Toronto, Canada, who has a passion for storytelling. Her films span across several genres, including documentary, experimental, and drama, addressing melancholy, grief, and bereavement themes. She believes that film theory is just as critical as the technical film practice and loves sharing her knowledge with both her peers and the next generation of filmmakers. She has presented at the Society of Cinema and Media Studies undergraduate conference in April 2018 and presented at the International Conference on Film Studies at the University of London in February 2019. She currently holds an Honours Bachelor’s Degree in Film & Television from Sheridan College and is currently working on her MFA at Ryerson.
Marnie Salsky (she/her) is a Toronto based award winning photographer with an interest in storytelling centered around community. Her fine art photography and site-specific commissions have been exhibited in galleries and can be found in private and corporate collections. With a focus on inferring connections, she is inspired by the fleetingness of moments – those which occur naturally as well as creatively directed. Marnie received training at the Toronto School of Art and has a Master of Health Science from the University of Toronto. With her background in science and healthcare Marnie brings a unique perspective to her art.
Skye Sommerhalder (He/Him) is a queer and neuro-diverse documentarian currently enrolled in his Master’s of Documentary Media at Ryerson University who believes strongly in the adage that power is personal. He strives to play an active role in sharing personal stories using more experimental methods both to create memorable work and also reflect the multi-faceted and intersectional nature of human experience.
Bonnie Whitehall (she/her) is a filmmaker and artist whose interest is cross-disciplinary. Her current focus in Documentary Media (MFA) merges her art practice and interest in disrupting conventional narratives to be more inclusive. Whitehall’s films examine current environmental and political issues, and imagine future realities that combine hybrid documentary, art house, and sci-fi to explore new media. Her former work in post-production sound for film and television and experience teaching in alternative education have led her to documentary filmmaking.
Lisa East (she/her) is a settler of Northern and Western European ancestry who is an artist, researcher and an emerging documentary filmmaker. Her work attends to themes of feminist spirituality, empowerment, and the archive. Located in Tkaronto, her academic background in Gender, Equity and Disability Studies informs her current studies in Documentary Media (MFA) where she is gathering stories from the Witch/Wiccan/Pagan community. She envisions the film being used as a community locus and resource activated through panel discussions and community screenings.
Liam Maloney is an award-winning documentary photographer, artist and filmmaker based in Toronto. His work has been commissioned and published in TIME, The Guardian, Foreign Policy, Mother Jones, Le Monde, The Globe and Mail and many others. Known for his innovative approach to storytelling, his installations and photographs have been widely exhibited, from the Nobel Peace Centre to the MoMA. His work examines the intersection of technology and intimacy in contemporary conflict zones, where the experience of living through war is heavily mediated by smartphones, social media, propaganda and entertainment, algorithms and neural networks. As part of his Documentary Media MFA project, Maloney explores the modulations between vernacular image-making in the digital age and the age-old iconography that informs the
burdensome tropes of modern photojournalism. Born in Montreal, Liam currently lives in Toronto, where he is raising a son, riding bikes and
playing music for kicks.
Neal Rockwell is a photographer, writer and filmmaker currently living in Toronto. His multidisciplinary work explores the relationship of journalism to art, specifically focusing on the ways that artistic practices can be used to experiment with new journalistic forms. His work has exhibited across Canada and in Germany. His diverse published writing includes academic articles, short stories, investigative journalism and criticism. His video and cinematographic work has appeared on outlets such as Vice, Al Jazeera Plus, the Independent Film Channel and others. When not working he enjoys reading, cooking and the outdoors.
Tenzin Dorjé is a photographer of Tibetan descent currently based in Toronto. His works primarily focus on the relationship between people and their built environments. Prominent themes in his works revolve around notions of faith, place and memory.
His latest project as part of the Documentary Media MFA program explores death, grief and the memorialization of fallen cyclists in Toronto. Using the twin capacities of the camera to subjectivize and objectify reality, Dorjé attempts to give light and form to tragedies that are often overlooked or considered inevitable, given the lack of space for cyclists in the city.
Ubaid-ur-Rehman is a Toronto based, Pakistani Born documentary photographer currently
completing an MFA in Documentary Media at X University. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts
(photography) from the Beaconhouse National University Lahore, Pakistan. His photographic
work has focused on various subjects from covering social justice issues, human trafficking,
border issues, subcultures and the consequences of war. Currently Rehman is working on issues
surrounding human trafficking and smuggling between South Asia and North America.
Katherine Imelda Green
Katherine is a Canadian multidisciplinary documentarian and researcher from Prince Edward Island. Her love for storytelling led to a journalism degree and over six years reporting and photographing music, the arts and social justice movements. She has worked on short and feature length films in various roles from researching, to writing and directing. Through her experience in the MFA program she is experimenting with new forms of documentary storytelling, incorporating sound, image and textile.
Her work is fixated on the concept of nostalgia, family and the home and is heavily influenced by her attraction to texture and the textile traditions of her home in the maritimes.
Roya Biazar is a Toronto-based multimedia artist of Iranian and Indo-Guyanese heritage. Holding a BSc from University of Toronto in Psychology and Cinema Studies, their work uses photography, video, painting and drawing to explore the intersection of artistic practices and cross-cultural psychology. Their current work investigates the multifaceted nature of migrant viewpoints from an autoethnographic perspective; exploring the malleability of identity, culture and spirituality by reflecting on personal family histories.
Michelle Melles (she/her) is a seasoned director, writer and producer with a background in documentary media, broadcast television, and magazine journalism. Her films have screened at festivals internationally and nationally and she has worked for some of the top television broadcasters and shows in Canada. In 2018, she co-founded the boutique production company Parallel Vision Productions with her husband Pedro Orrego seeking to tell multidimensional and engaging stories that challenge preconceived ideas and offer unique ways of perceiving the world. In October, 2021, she will hold her Master of Fine Arts in Documentary Media (summa cum laude) from Ryerson University and is a recent recipient of the SSHRC grant for her work in transformative mental health care. Drunk on Too Much Life is her first feature length documentary film.
Nicholas Hiscock (he/him) is a filmmaker and musician currently living in St. John’s, Newfoundland. His work focuses on the intersection of image making and music composition. Currently completing an MFA in Documentary media, Nicholas draws on a background in music performance in a practice of research creation. No Found Land is Nicholas’ first film highlighting life after resettlement in the community of Little Bay Islands.