Belleville Downtown DOCFest 2020


Belleville puts on a Documentary Film Festival on the first weekend of March every year.  This is the 9th year it has happened.  Clint and I normally go to Algonquin Park the first weekend of March, we started doing it years ago and out of habit, kept on going, I don’t know why exactly.   But this year, we decided to mix things up and we bought Early Bird tickets to DocFest.

What a great experience, and also tiring !  They have several venues which include The Core (used to be the old library) with 2 screens; Belleville Public Library with 2 screens; Pinnacle Playhouse; Empire Theatre; and the Bridge Street United Church.

We started Friday at noon and watched 4 movies that day prior to the Gala.

Corporate Coup d’Etat investigating how capitalism has subverted our democracy, it was very good, we quite enjoyed it.  That was showing at the Core Centre and then we headed to Pinnacle Playhouse to see Push, a movie investigating the UN Right to Housing and why cities are being transformed by capital markets.


After that it was back to the Core Centre to watch Traversing the Canol Canada.  The Canol being the Canadian Oil highway in the North West Territories that 5 young women decided to bike.  It was really short and yet really enjoyable, I could have watched more of their adventures.  After that, we watched the Reluctant Radical.  This was about a man determined to shut down tar sands oil piplines.   It was actually quite moving watching him and his convictions.

The Core Centre
Inside the Core

Friday also included the Opening Gala at the Empire Theatre at 630ish.  They showed the movie Once were Brothers about Robbie Robertson and The Band.  Terrific movie that we enjoyed.  They followed with a live band called Lebarons, making it a long day.


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Saturday was another full day !  We headed to Pinnacle Playhouse to see For Sama.

This was a very emotional movie that a young Syrian woman made about wartime in Syria while she lived in Aleppo.  This was a hard look at war and the people involved.

The 2nd movie we wanted to see was Gordon Lightfoot, If you could Read my Mind documentary, which was also at the Pinnacle Playhouse. Great movie and if you don’t know who he is, click my link.  He is a Canadian music icon and you will most definitely recognize his songs, all of which he wrote.  He is a wonderful songwriter, storyteller, singer and musician.

We broke for a bite to eat after that, having a lunch at Gourmet Diem.  What a great place for a bite to eat and they made up Doc Boxes.  So neat, a turkey wrap, soup, hummus and fresh vegetables and a cookie!  A great idea.

Gourmet Diem



Belleville Library, another movie watching venue

Off to Bridge Street United Church to see Pipe Dreams.  This movie was about the Canadian International Organ Competition. Held in Montreal every 3 years, it showcases some of the participants and their lives.  Quite enjoyable.


Bridge Street United Church

Inside the Church


Saturday night is the movie There are No Fakes Canada. 

Sunday has two movies, Ask Dr Ruth and Honeyland Macedonia.

We were not able to go Sunday but we had seen the Ask Dr Ruth movie before anyways.

It was a great weekend and maybe we’ll go again next year!


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