“To have him live on campus, presenting his latest film, is exactly what I had in mind when first rewarded with the position of journalist-in-residence,” she says. “Not only does everyone get to see a great film, but we also all get to discuss it with the man behind the film. A very timely one, at that, since Ghosts of Afghanistan, allows us to delve into what's happening in that country right now.”
“It’s so important to take some time to view and discuss Julian Sher’s documentary Ghosts of Afghanistan,” says David Secko, Chair of the department. “It is this type of active discussion that continues our reflections on how to provide better training opportunities in documentary journalism, and investigative journalism, learning from the best. The department wants to continue to help students make an impact in this area.”
The documentary premiered on TVO on September 8 and was screened at the Berlin Human Rights Festival. It will be screened at the United Nations Film Festival in San Francisco this month.
Pelletier says she is excited to host Sher, as she’s found that her virtual documentary workshops have been a success so far.
“There is a definite appetite for documentaries amongst students. People instinctively understand that this avenue combines personal creativity with journalistic know-how,” Pelletier says. “It’s the best of both worlds in many ways. It's work that is very gratifying and that can also have quite an impact and I'm thrilled to be able to make that more available to students.”
Sher says he hopes the documentary will inspire young aspiring journalists in the department.
“Documentaries are a different beast—they have to be reflective, emotional and take you on a journey. They have to be timely but timeless,” he says. “I hope young inspiring documentary filmmakers and journalists of any kind can learn and be inspired by what me and Graeme tried to do in telling the story.”
Find out more about Concordia’s Department of Journalism.