The British Columbia, Yukon, and Northwest Territories Chapter of the Documentary Organization of Canada, with support from Creative BC, is proud to announce the filmmakers of its first Breakthrough Program.

The Breakthrough Program was created with a mandate to provide more access and inclusion for individuals self-identifying as Black, Indigenous, a person of colour, and/or LGBTQ2S+ and to increase participation for emerging film creators from underrepresented communities. This is the first year that the program will be offered outside of Ontario.

Announcing the DOC BC + YT + NWT 2021 Breakthrough Participants:


These six emerging and high-potential producers will get exclusive access to intensive weekend workshops, weekly sessions with acclaimed documentary filmmakers and project-specific feedback from funders, broadcasters, distributors, and peers. They will also receive an All-Access Pass to the 2021 Hot Docs Film Festival and Forum or another Market-Driven Festival of their choice, a free one-year DOC membership and access to the Breakthrough Alumni Network.

“There is so much talent in our communities. We are struck by the capacity of our creators to continue making art during this time. This was the reason Breakthrough was born in Ontario and is now coming to the West Coast and Northern Canada. We want to address gaps in the industry through education, networking, and opportunity.”

-Nicolas, Professional Development at DOC BC + YT + NWT


Meet our Facilitator

Brishkay Ahmed 

Brishkay Ahmed is an Afghan-Canadian documentary director and producer. Through her documentary career, she has collaborated, on projects, with the CBC, NFB, Super channel,  Cinema Politica, Aljazeera and RTA.
Her 2016 feature documentary, Unveiled: Kohistan Video Scandal won a Best Feature award at the American Filmatic Arts Awards. Her 2012 documentary, Story of Burqa was the Super Channel Feature Documentary Award winner.
She’s also the writer and director of Afghan drama series, Between You and Me ( 2011- 2013 Tolo TV). A DGC director, Brishkay is currently in development on the feature documentary, PMMD: A Half Life, with Elizabeth Sanchez.

Meet our 2021 Participants

Ana Maria Carrizales

Ana Carrizales is a Peruvian-Canadian writer, filmmaker and producer based in Vancouver, BC. She has directed and produced a number of films and short docs. Most recently, she produced the short sci-fi drama The Shipment (Tribeca 2019, Palms Springs 2019, Hollyshorts 2019), short doc The Day Don Died (Hot Docs 2019, Palm Springs 2019), and wrote & directed Media Luna (WIFTV 2019, VLAFF 2019). Her latest project, A Pregnant Woman (writer / director) is the recipient of the 2019 Harold Greenberg Fund and 2020 BC Arts Council grant, and is in post-production. Currently, she is developing a new documentary, Shaman’s Shadow, that was awarded with the Rogers + Creative BC Development fund and selected to participate in the Whistler Film Festival Documentary Lab.

She sat on the Board of The Documentary Organization of Canada – BC Chapter (2017-2019) and the board of The Vancouver Latin-American Film Festival. In 2018, she served as juror for Best Canadian Documentary in DOXA film festival and Best Canadian Feature at the Vancouver International Women in Film and Television Film Festival. She is a producing instructor at Vancouver Film School.

David Lavallee

David Lavallee is an award winning filmmaker based in Squamish, B.C. HIs journey into the world of documentary film began in 2010 with the feature film “White Water, Black Gold” (director/producer), a three year investigation into the world’s thirstiest oil industry- the Tarsands of Northern Alberta. The film, narrated by Peter Coyote, won numerous awards (including Best Canadian Film at the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival) had 20+ festival selections and went on to be broadcast by five networks. His second feature, “To the Ends of the Earth” (2017) (director/producer) chronicles the rise of extreme energy (aka ‘unconventional’ oil and gas) and the ramifications of this trend for the global economy. Narrated by two-time academy award winner Emma Thompson, the film had numerous festival selections and was broadcast by 3 networks (

Joella Cabalu

Joella Cabalu is a Filipino-Canadian documentary filmmaker based in Vancouver. It Runs in the Family (2015) was her first mid-length documentary, receiving Audience Choice Awards at the Seattle Asian Film Festival and Vancouver Queer Film Festival. Since then, she has worked as a collaborative producer supporting emerging women directors in creating critically acclaimed short documentaries, including On Falling (Tribeca 2020), Biker Bob’s Posthumous Adventure (Lunenburg 2019), Do I Have Boobs Now? (Slamdance 2017), and FIXED! (DOXA 2017). Currently, she is producing her first feature documentary Back Home with director Nisha Platzer, supported by the Telefilm Talent to Watch fund. As part of the DOC BC – YK – NWT Breakthrough Program, she marks her return to her true passion – directing, by developing Nakabingwit: First Comes Love, a feature documentary that follows four Filipino-Canadians and their Caucasian partners as they navigate race and romance against the backdrop of Canadian multiculturalism. (photo credit: Krista MacMillan)

Siku Allooloo

Siku Allooloo is an Inuk/Haitian/Taíno writer, artist and community builder from Denendeh (Northwest Territories) and Mittimatalik, Nunavut, currently based in Whitehorse, Yukon. She has been an avid leader in Indigenous resurgence initiatives across the north (as well as BC) since 2012 through cultural land-based education, decolonial advocacy, and the arts.

She specializes in multimedia, poetry, and creative non-fiction, and is currently developing her practice in documentary, experimental film, and sound installation. (Photo credit: Pierre Emmanuel Chaillon)

Theresa Warbus

Theresa is Stó:lō with roots in the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Sema: th, Sq’éwlets and Sts’ailes First Nations. She has worked in the unceded territories of the Coast Salish as an artist and activist for the past 16 years. She is currently focussed on writing, directing and completing her master’s degree in film production at the University of British Columbia.

Theresa’s last narrative short fiction, The Roundhouse made its way to a number of festivals in Canada and the US including the Vancouver International Women in Film Festival, American Indian Film Festival and Asinabka Film & Media Arts Festival.
Theresa’s short documentaries explore themes of Indigenous culture, Indigenous matriarchs, and the effects of colonization on her family and community. Her stories are a mix of the modern and traditional coloured by her experience growing up in both worlds simultaneously.

Theresa is humbled by the continued support of her community, her parents, her husband and 3 children aged 10 yrs, 8yrs, and 10 months old. Throughout her travels on Turtle Island hip hop music and Pow Wow dancing allowed her to experience many
diverse Indigenous communities. For too long Indigenous people have been silenced and invisible while their stories are told by outsiders. This inspired Theresa in her work to focus on stories that the world needs to see and hear.

Theresa believes art embodies endless possibilities to empower people, their history, and their condition to create more bridges of understanding across all Nations.

Tristan Oliver

Tristan Oliver is a graduate of the Documentary Certificate Program at Capilano University and an alumnus of the Adventure Filmmakers Workshop at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity as well as the Whistler Film Festival Doc Lab. He is passionate about sharing personal journey stories of healing and reconnecting to nature. His debut documentary Thru-Hike is a personal journey essay film about his inner journey thruhiking the Pacific Crest Trail 2,650 miles from Mexico to Canada. He is currently working on 5040 Peak: A Hut Story, about the first modern backcountry climbing hut built on Vancouver Island by the local chapter of the Alpine Club of Canada.