Ever since it was launched in 1993, Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival has shown countless critically acclaimed, award-winning documentaries from around the world. In 2002, the festival introduced a new feature – Focus On – which showcases the films of a mid-career Canadian filmmaker who has made significant contributions to the field. This year, Focus On examines the work of Gemini Award-winning producer and director Rosvita Dransfeld, who crafts documentaries and runs her company, ID Productions, in Edmonton. “It is really a great honour. It’s an honour, in a way, from the documentary community,” says Dransfeld. The festival will screen five of Dransfeld’s films – Anti-Social Limited, Who Cares?, The Dogwalker, Broke., and Dransfeld’s very first feature documentary, Beaverman.
When discussing Dransfeld’s film Who Cares?, Hot Docs programmer Lynne Fernie referred to the filmmaker as a “master of vrit cinema.” While the statement may seem like an accolade, Dransfeld confesses that it also made her step back and rethink things. “I thought, it’s a great honour, but now I’m stuck with it. I’m labelled. Will there be anything else I will be able to do? It actually caused a crisis!” says Dransfeld with a laugh. “I went on this journey to realize, are there other things I’m good at, are there other things that excite me as much as the films I’ve done so far?”