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Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University inspires!

Discovering the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University in North Carolina has propelled my project into its next phase!  From July 9-22, 2017 I spent two weeks collaborating with documentarians and basking in the creative mentorship of John Biewen–award-winning audio producer and Audrey Quinn–independent producer, journalist, and instructor at NYU’s School of Journalism.

These intense and creative interactions have honed the next phase of my project.  Over the next 18 months, I’ll be tracking down interviews, sifting through transcriptions and crafting a long-form audio documentary.

Short film finds its way into diverse audiences

From a university fall retreat, to a Friday night youth event in Morden, Manitoba, to a high school in Kitchener, Ontario, the short film is finding its way into diverse screening audiences.  As producer and director of the film, observing which elements of the film provoke and prod different audience segments is always a fascinating and privileged encounter.  What do international students from China living in Kitchener find compelling about the storyline?  What resonates with young adults attending university?  And why does the interview with a bride and groom just hours before their ceremony always prompt a knowing laugh?

Thanks to CMU Fall Retreat (Arnes, MB), Westside Community Church youth (Morden, MB) and Rockway Mennonite Collegiate (Kitchener, ON) for inviting these screenings.

Rockway Mennonite Collegiate (Kitchener, ON)

Rockway Mennonite Collegiate (Kitchener, ON)


Short film screens at McLuhan Conference

It was a true delight to screen the short film in a room full of McLuhan experts.  Among the audience were Marshall McLuhan’s son and grandson, Eric and Andrew McLuhan, the keynote speakers at the conference.  Probing the themes of the film with this remarkable group proved to be invigorating.

L to R: Jonas Cornelsen, Andrew McLuhan, Eric McLuhan, David Balzer

L to R: Jonas Cornelsen, Andrew McLuhan, Eric McLuhan, David Balzer

Short doc accepted into McLuhan Conference

On October 18-19, 2015, the short doc will be presented at the McLuhan’s Faith and Works Conference, St. Paul’s College, University of Manitoba.  This is a joint conference of the International Institute for the Study of Technology and Christianity (IISTC) and The Marshall McLuhan Initiative.  The conference will explore the importance of Marshall McLuhan’s faith on his work.

The conference invited multimedia submissions in light of McLuhan’s interest and commitment to making sense of the impact of many kinds of media.  I will be presenting the film and making the case that if we harness some of McLuhan’s unique perspectives on faith, we discover a means of gaining particular spiritual insight into the use of the “oh my God” phrase in everyday talk.  McLuhan’s perspectives make a far more robust understanding possible.

Bring the short film to your venue!

I am in the process of booking screening events for the short doc for September 2015-May 2016.  Contact me for details.  I’d be happy to have a conversation with you about options.
David Balzer
204-990-2597 cell/text

Short doc wins 1st place at film festival

WR2R 2015 Winner

When Was The Last Time You Said, “Oh my God”? won 1st place in the Short Doc category at the Winnipeg Real to Reel Film Festival. 

It was a real pleasure to interact with the audience in two screenings and to meet filmmakers like Catharine Parke, Very Good Dirt.  Thank you very much to Paul Boge and the festival team for creating this opportunity to share films!