Community·DOC SERIES

2021 Absolutely Canadian series premieres July 10

Absolutely Canadian includes programs reflecting Quebec for all audiences. Available on demand on CBC Gem.

Locally produced series available on CBC Gem and CBC Television

"Sisters: Dream and Variations" is a hybrid documentary, animated and performance film. It airs July 10, 2021 as part of the Absolutely Canadian series. (CBC)

Absolutely Canadian is a national weekly series showcasing documentaries and performance programs that tell unique stories from communities across Canada. This year's edition premiers July 10 on CBC Television and showcases documentaries on Saturday evenings until Oct. 2. 

Exploring an array of topics from being Black in Canada, to exploring the power of music during a pandemic, to women who are reshaping the Bollywood industry and challenging its stereotypes, Absolutely Canadian includes programs reflecting Quebec for all audiences.

Here is the list of the 2021 features as well as their air dates. Episodes will be uploaded to CBC Gem the day before. You can see all previous seasons of the Absolutely Canadian series here.

July 10 at 7 p.m - Sisters: Dream and Variations

This award-winning animated documentary follows Tyr and Jasa, two Montreal artists of Icelandic descent to their ancestral home along a journey of creation and self-discovery. 

Watch it here on CBC Gem.

"Sisters: Dream and Variations" airs July 10, 2021. (CBC)

September 11 at 7 p.m. - Being Black in Canada: Montreal 

This is a series of 5 short films Created through the Fabienne Colas Foundation's Being Black in Canada Incubator Program. The films are:

  • Because of You:

We follow Boris as he does a lot of the daily things he loves doing, homework, helping his family, and most
importantly playing football. His family speaks about his journey to success.

  • Fight of the Century:

An exploration of a black boxer's life in a tumultuous year, as he reflects on his career to reveal how he feels about the current state of racial violence and how he intends to handle the challenge ahead.

  • Patri A:

Dee is a 2nd generation Haitian-Canadian living in Montreal. For the past four years, she's been able to connect with her
mother back home through the Haitian food and festivals sprinkled around the city. Her involvement with Montreal's Haitian community, however, has been superficial for the most part. In an effort to understand her place within the city and what's kept her from connecting with her community, she tries to find answers in the story of her mother's immigration to Quebec in the spring of 1983.

  • Sense of Space:

Theo Abellard and Modibo Keita are musicians from Montreal who have formed their own concert series and music venue. Their personal experiences in the music scene and within music institutions has led them to forming musical spaces for those of their community, taking the future of Montreal's music scene in their hands.

  • Wounded:

Wounded focuses on the subject of hyper-sexualization, which is under the umbrella of adultification bias. Where children of minority groups, such as black girls are treated as being more mature than they actually are by the social standard of development. The film explores the past and present stories of three young black women as they tackle the erasure of their childhoods.

September 18 at 7 p.m. - How We Are Now

Filmed aboard the Canadian icebreaker Amundsen, which has been converted into a floating clinic as part of the largest health survey ever conducted on Nunavik Inuit. We follow Lydia Audlaluk, a young Montreal resident from Ivujivik in Nunavik's Northwest cape, the main interviewer and intake specialist for the survey. As she greets her extended family and neighbouring communities, we feel the tension between the appeal of traditional life in the North and her return to Montreal where she is building a professional life. 

Although the health survey expedition is at the behest of Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services, encounters between the ship's 40 crew members and the 2000 Inuit participants are fraught. Health data collection in the region is key to improving programs and services, the dearth of which have resulted in an epidemic crisis, which Lydia comes to learn has tragically reached into her own family. 

September 25 at 7 p.m. - Just as I am

This film follows the Montreal Shira Choir, an inclusive group of singers with developmental disabilities dedicated to celebrating the power of music. We follow Cantor Benlolo, whose ultimate goal is to unite people of all ages and abilities, as he maneuvers ways to achieve this despite the pandemic.

Just as I am follows the Montreal Shira Choir, an inclusive group of singers with developmental disabilities dedicated to celebrating the power of music. (Noah Leon (Courtesy Ontic Media))

October 2 at 7 p.m. - Beyond Bollywood

Montreal-based Filmmaker Rahila Bootwala left India as a young woman, wanting to work in film but feeling disconnected from an industry dominated by men and beholden to their fantasies. In Beyond Bollywood, Rahila goes back to confront her past and to meet with the women who are reshaping the industry and challenging its stereotypes.

October (date TBC) - The Relay

Available on CBC GEM only.

Donovan Bailey, Bruny Surin, Glenroy Gilbert, Robert Esmie, Carlton Chambers made Canadian history by bringing home the Olympic gold in the 4x100 relay event in Atlanta 25 years ago. Now, Bruny Surin's daughter, filmmaker Kimberley Ann Surin, brings the athletes together for the first time since that historic race to uncover the tensions and barriers that almost prevented the race from ever happening. 

25 years after winning the gold medal for the men's 4x100m relay at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Bruny Surin's daughter Kimberly brings Surin, Glenroy Gilbert, Donovan Bailey and Robert Esmie together for the first time since that historic race to uncover the tensions and barriers that almost prevented the race from ever happening. (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press)