KPU partners with VIFF to launch KDocs documentary film festival

Wed, Sep 3, 2014

Vancouver, B.C. – Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) is queuing up a reel of documentaries, stimulating discussions and director Q&As – all coming soon to downtown Vancouver’s Vancity Theatre.

KDocs – the university’s premier documentary film festival – will launch this October with the screening of The Price We Pay. Created in partnership with the Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF), the inaugural event on Oct. 5 will include a Q&A with the film’s award-winning director, Harold Crooks. It’s the first of what founder and organizer Janice Morris hopes will become an annual arena for a public dialogue on art, film, culture and current issues.

“This is more than just screening a series of phenomenal, thought-provoking films,” said Morris, an English instructor at KPU. “KDocs is also about taking the ideas directors have introduced, reflecting on their impact on reality and discussing as an audience what that means. It’s interactive.”

KDocs grew out of a KPU-based documentary series, developed by Morris and former colleague Helen Mendes. After screening the critically acclaimed Miss Representation in Surrey, the pair formed the Miss Representation Action Group to continue the university- and community-wide dialogue sparked by the film.

“What came out of the screenings and townhall sessions we ran was a critical examination of our communities, our world and ourselves,” said Morris. “We had students, faculty and members of the public discussing with filmmakers each film’s themes, how they relate to us, and how the issues raised in the docs could collectively be addressed.”

“Out of one evening came a series that has fostered engagement on a deep and authentic level, and now we’re growing it as we launch KPU’s own documentary festival. With KDocs and with VIFF, we are taking it to the next level while continuing to provoke dialogue, engagement and social action. We are allowing KPU community members to lend their voices, experiences and perspectives, and it’s this kind of dialogue – within and across KPU's many communities – that makes KPU exactly the kind of institution where critical debate flourishes and global citizenship takes flight.”

Over the course of the 2014-2015 season, KDocs will feature films with themes of social justice and community action. While the full line-up has yet to be announced, Morris added that highlighting KPU faculty and student work is a definite possibility.

“We're delighted that KPU is taking this initiative,” said Alan Franey, director of programming for VIFF. “The Price We Pay provides profound insight into a very important subject that every citizen should be concerned with. Cinema is such a valuable educational tool, and yet it sometimes requires real imagination and initiative on behalf of parents and educators to steer young audiences towards the good stuff.”

The Price We Pay blows the lid off the world of corporate malfeasance. Best known for previous works The Corporation and Surviving Progress, Crooks sheds light on the dark history and darker present of big-business tax evasion: a global scandal that sees multinational corporations stashing trillions of would-be government tax dollars in offshore tax havens.

WHERE: Vancity Theatre, 1181 Seymour Street, Vancouver

WHEN:  4:00 p.m. – Welcome reception

             4:30 p.m. – Opening remarks and film screening

             6:15 p.m. – Q&A with director Harold Crooks

             7:00 p.m. – Stand-up dinner reception with director Harold Crooks

TICKETS: Registration is free and open to the public. Guests must pre-register as seating is limited. Register at:

For more information, visit the KDocs Facebook page. Watch the film trailer here.

Kwantlen Polytechnic University has been serving the Metro Vancouver region since 1981, and has opened doors to success for more than 250,000 people. Four campuses—Richmond, Surrey, Cloverdale and Langley—offer a comprehensive range of sought-after programs, including business, liberal arts, science, design, health, trades and technology, horticulture, and academic and career advancement. Over 19,000 students annually have a choice from over 124 programs, including bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, diplomas, certificates citations and apprenticeships. Learn more at


Media contact:
Hayley Woodin
Media Specialist, KPU
t: 604.599.2883
c: 604.364.1288

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