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Dr. Ezra Winton

Assistant Professor, Communication Studies

Dr. Ezra Winton
Office: L-CJ 4259 
Communication Studies and Journalism Building,
7141 Sherbrooke W.
Phone: (514) 848-2424 ext. 2538


As an Assistant Professor, I teach both undergraduate and graduate Film Studies courses at Mel Hop. I have a PhD in Communication Studies from Carleton University. My research and teaching is focused on documentary, Indigenous cinema and media, alternative media, social movements and media, film festivals, curatorial processes and practices and ethics. My dissertation research investigated the various cultural and political elements that converge at Toronto's Hot Docs Canadian International Film Festival, with a focus on the culture of documentary and the logic of capital, expressed through three interlocking forces: circulation, consumption and resistance.

I’m the co-founder (with Svetla Turnin) and Director of Programming of Cinema Politica, a non-profit media arts organization that screens independent documentary at nearly 100 locations—mostly on campuses—in Canada and throughout the world. I also co-founded Art Threat, a political art blog and write for POV Magazine, where I am also a Contributing Editor.

Teaching activities


FMST 214 - English Canadian Film

FMST 322 - Film History Since 1959

FMST 331 - Film Directors

FMST 665 - Festival Programming (Graduate Seminar, Fall 2016)

FMST 665 - Curatorial Practices and the Politics of Programming (Graduate Seminar, Winter 2016)
FMST 620 - Global Indigenous Cinema and Media (Graduate Seminar, Winter 2017)
FMST 418 - A Sense of Place: Culture and Geography in Canadian Cinema (English Canadian Film - Specialized Topics, Winter 2017)


Published Books

Screening Truth to Power: A Reader on Documentary Activism (Co-edited with Svetla Turnin; 2014) is is a reflection on ten years of activities of the documentary screening non-profit Cinema Politica. Marking a transformative and inspiring decade of connecting audiences, artists and activists through provocative political film and video, Cinema Politica brings together diverse voices in this collection of essays, interviews, impressions and specially curated ‘favourite docs’ lists.

Challenge for Change: Activist Documentary at the National Film Board of Canada (Co-edited with Thomas Waugh and Mike Baker; McGill-Queen's University Press, 2010) is an examination of the radical politics and cinema of the legendary documentary film program devoted to social change.

Forthcoming Books

Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance, Toronto: University of Toronto Press (2018)
The Cultural Politics of the Hot Docs Film Festival, Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press (2018)
Documentary Film Festivals: History, Politics, Industry, Co-edited with Aida Vallejo (2017)

Chapters, Interviews, Articles

[In press] “Dinner and a Movie, then the Revolution,” Co-authored with Svetla Turnin, In Film Festival Activism: Actors, Spectators, Social Change, Sonia Tascon and Tyson Wils (eds.), Amsterdam: Intellect.

“Interview with Ezra Winton, Director of Programming at Cinema Politica,” Special Dossier on Documentary Festivals, as part of Special Issue, Other Networks: Expanding Filim Festival Perspectives, Synoptique, Vol. 3, No. 2, Fall 2015.

“Challenges for Change: Innovations at the National Film Board of Canada,” Co-authored with Thomas Waugh, In The Documentary Film Book, Palgrave/British Film Institute, 2013

“Canadian Cultural Policy in the Age of Media Abundance: Old Challenges, New Technologies,” Co-authored with Ira Wagman, In Mediascapes: New Patterns in Canadian Communications, 3rd and 4th editions, Nelson Education, 2012; 2009.

“If a Revolution Is Screened and No One Is There to See It, Does It Make a Sound? Grassroots Distribution from Challenge for Change to Cinema Politica,” Co-authored with Jason Garrison, In Challenge for Change: Activist Documentary at the National Film Board of Canada, Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2010.

Dissertations (unpublished)

Good for the Heart and Soul, Good for Business: The Cultural Politics of Documentary at the Hot Docs Film Festival, PhD Dissertation, Carleton University (Communication Studies), 2013. My PhD dissertation takes a close look at the complex and influential documentary cultural institution known as Hot Docs – the world’s second largest international documentary film festival (after IDFA in Amsterdam). My thesis was successfully defended on December 18th, 2013 and the full PDF can be directly downloaded here.

The Spaces Between: Documentary Distribution and Exhibition as Counterpublics, MA Thesis, Concordia University (Media Studies), 2007. Download the 256 page PDF here.

Non-academic Writing

POV Magazine
Upping the Anti: Documentary, Capitalism and Liberal Consensus in an Age of Austerity, POV Magazine, Issue 92, Winter 2013

New Nordic Documentary Cinema: Making Identity Visible, POV Magazine, Issue 83, Fall 2011

“A Film Festival Grows Up: Hot Docs Forges a Community while Celebrating, Promoting and Supporting a Marginalized Cinematic Culture”, POV Magazine, Issue 82, Summer 2011

Beyond the Textbook: Documentaries as Tools for Teaching, POV Magazine, Issue 77, Spring 2010

“Multiculturalism, Radical Outcasts and Superheroes: The Education/Documentary Space of Discover, POV Magazine, Issue 80, Winter 2010

“A Documentary Decade” (PDF), POV Magazine, Issue 66, Winter 2007

“CinemaNet Europe: A Digital Doc Armada”, POV Magazine, Issue 64, Winter 2006

Art Threat
Curating the North: Documentary Screening Ethics and Inuit Representation in (Festival) Cinema – An Interview with Altethea Arnaquq-Baril, December 17, 2015

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