DOCTalks Connects Across Canada 2022

On October 26, 2022, in partnership with DOCTalks, Research Impact Canada (RIC) hosted a “DOCTalks Connects Canada” panel that invited speakers to discuss the use of filmmaking as a medium for knowledge mobilization. David Phipps, our Network Director of RIC, provided wonderful opening remarks. The event was co-facilitated by our Bilingual Knowledge Mobilization Specialist, Imane Khozam, and our Bilingual Evaluation and Research Analyst, Kim Knight. 

Our wonderful panelists and their featured documentaries were:

Key Takeaway Messages

  • Arts-based methods not only communicates the reserach being done, but also creates an emotional connection between the research and broader society.
  • In the social science field, researchers often build strong relationships with participants (or co-researchers) in the filmmaking process while navigating boundaries and struggling to create a space to be both a researcher and a social worker. Some challenges to overcome include ensuring co-researchers’ stories are shared equitably, pushback from the Ethics committee, navigating power dynamics, and democratizing the process.
  • In the archeology field, a multidisplinary approach is often used because the field requires many different expertises. Archeology can make significant contributions to Indigenous history. The field often feels an ethical obligation to share their findings because the ground belongs to the people. They often mobilize knowlege through museums, exhibits, films, speaking engagements, and other public events.
  • One approach to the filmmaking process is “pure documentation” – going in and documenting what you see and hear without a goal or narrative while respecting the ethics of the research project. However, in the process of creating an archival project that can be used as a resource, cultural learnings and narratives may emerge to create the core of a film.
  • Impact lies in making the invisible visible and “passing the mike” to make people be included.

*About the Organizers*

Research Impact Canada (RIC) is committed to helping universities and other organizations across Canada maximize the impact of research for communities. From sharing best practices, co-developing resources, to delivering training in knowledge mobilization skills, we are an open and collaborative network of 20+ universities (and growing!) across Canada. Learn more at:

DOCTalks seeks to promote cross-sector collaborations between creators – documentary producers, academic researchers, charities, governments, foundations, and broadcasters – to produce knowledge-based documentary media projects. This includes showcasing projects that involve knowledge mobilization and the dissemination of applied research using various documentary media content. Learn more at: