July 28–August 1, 2022

Janis Cole & Holly Dale: Empathy in Action

The duo’s progressive politics combined with their compassionate approach remain a cornerstone of the documentary practice … Cole and Dale still inspire filmmakers today to lead with patience and empathy.”

Hot Docs

The empathetic, fiercely independent film practice of partners Janis Cole and Holly Dale, iconic figures in the pantheon of Canadian documentary, is celebrated in this program of newly restored feminist landmarks by the Genie Award-winning duo. Featuring P4W: Prison for Women (1981), their groundbreaking portrait of sisterhood and survival in Canada’s only maximum-security prison for women; Calling the Shots (1988), their lucid, entertaining look at the film industry as told by women working within it; and Hookers on Davie (1984), their legendary chronicle of sex work in what was once the red-light capital of Canada, Vancouver’s West End.

The next generation of documentary filmmakers can learn from the directors’ respectful empathy and messages of resistance in order to carry on the necessary work that they began.” Sara Wylie, cléo journal

They demonstrate a unique talent for submerging themselves in a subculture that is usually off limits to outsiders.” Brian D. Johnson, Maclean’s

Please note: The filmmakers have requested that no speaking engagements or community-group involvement occur in the context of this series. The Cinematheque is honouring those wishes.

List of Programmed Films

Date Film Title Director(s) Year Country
2022-Jul Hookers on Davie Janis Cole . . . 1984 Canada
2022-Jul P4W: Prison for Women Janis Cole . . . 1981 Canada
2022-Jul Calling the Shots Janis Cole . . . 1988 Canada