Overhead view of a sailing boat in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

Source: Len Wagg


Experimenting with the Bluenose: Unconventional Approaches to a legendary icon

Combining online and in-person sessions, workshop participants brainstormed and created a series of short innovative documentaries relating to the Bluenose. Students explored creative and personal audio-visual approaches to the famed schooner on the occasion of its 100th anniversary.

Workshop facilitator Ariella Pahlke is an award-winning documentary filmmaker with over 25 years’ of experience creating short and long documentaries, media art, and collaborative projects. Ariella has taught in many contexts including at schools, NSCAD, and in conjunction with a variety of community groups.

Lunenburg Doc Fest acknowledges the support of Bluenose 100.

A seniors workshop in progress


The 7th LDF Seniors Workshop is an exciting opportunity for adults 55+ to meet safely online and onsite, get comfortable behind the camera, and shine a light on an important issue affecting our community and beyond!

Participants will learn filmmaking techniques from a professional mentor through discussions, research, hands-on experience with production equipment, and interviews with stakeholders and experts.

This year’s Seniors Program tackles an important issue for a growing number of Canadian seniors as well the Canadian population as a whole. Up to twelve participants will explore the challenges of maintaining mental health through ageing.

The group will undertake the production of a mid-length documentary that they create together. Workshop participants will meet each week to learn about video production including story structure, interview techniques, lighting, sound, video recording, editing, and more! The group will then embark on the filmmaking process by engaging with subjects and experts connected to mental health. The finished film will premiere at the 9th Lunenburg Doc Fest in September 2022.

This is a free program for adults 55+. Limited spots available: Preference will be given to applicants who have not participated in Lunenburg Doc Fest’s Seniors Program to date.

Watch our Seniors’ Workshop films below!

Taking Down The Fences poster


Mentor: Tim Reeves-Horton, Picnic Studios Filmmaker
Participants: Jewel Countway, Mary-Joy McLaughlan, Kathleen Moriarty, Janice Rofihe, and Suzanne Spare

Have you ever seen people who seem to be really enjoying life? Are you one of those people or do you wish you were? What is their secret and how do they make it last? The LDF Seniors Documentary Workshop proudly presents Taking Down The Fences, a work celebrating changes that determine health and wellness during life’s journey. It’s about passion, continuous learning, being one with nature, serving the community, and always being in the NOW while facing the challenge of ageing well and enjoying life to the fullest as we grow. Taking Down The Fences is a rare look at seniors who skid sideways through life shouting, “Holy mackerel, now that was a ride!”

Click below to watch TAKING DOWN THE FENCES:

This project was funded by the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Program.

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Deserted poster

2021 Seniors Workshop, DESERTED

DESERTED investigates the issue of food deserts in Nova Scotia and how food deserts impact food insecurity in both urban and rural areas of the province. Taking a cross-cultural view, the film follows several Nova Scotians who live in food deserts and looks at the challenges and solutions.

Click below to watch DESERTED now:

This project was funded by the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Program.

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The Art of Change poster

2020 Seniors’ Workshop, The Art Of Change

The Art of Change explores the only constant in life – change. Through interviews we hear from Nova Scotians who have initiated change, learned to accept changes forced upon them and even those who have refused to change. This documentary offers viewers a chance to reflect on how they might have reacted to those changes.

Watch The Art of Change below:

Thank you to the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors program and the Lunenburg Foundation for the Arts for supporting the 2020 LDF Seniors Workshop.


2019 Seniors’ Workshop, Faces of Lyme: Ambivalence & Controversy

Faces of Lyme: Ambivalence & Controversy gives a voice to those who struggle getting a diagnosis and treatment for Lyme disease. By sharing their own, often difficult Lyme stories, the men, women and children interviewed for the film hope their experiences will help others suffering from Lyme disease. As a spin off, the filmmakers hope the documentary raises awareness of how the medical system and the community at large are struggling with this disease.

Watch Faces of Lyme created by the 2019 Seniors Workshop below:

Thank you to the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors program and the Lunenburg Foundation for the Arts for supporting the 2019 LDF Seniors Workshop.