14th DMZ Docs(2022)
I AM DOCU
Jack WEISMAN, Gabriela Osio VANDEN
Churchill, Manitoba, is famous as an international destination for photographing polar bears. We’ve seen the majestic images and classic wildlife series captured here - but what do these bears see of us? Through a shift in perspective Nuisance Bear reveals an obstacle course of tourist paparazzi and wildlife officers whom bears must navigate during their annual migration.
Churchill. A small town in Manitoba, Canada. With just over a thousand residents, this place is crowded with over 10,000 people in the fall to see polar bears that live in the area. Nuisance Bear depicts the landscape of Churchill village where polar bears casually roam the streets every day. This short film delightfully subverts the gaze of a nature documentary looking at wild animals. Tourists and film crew come to town and are busy filming polar bears lounging near the trash cans as if they were in the wild. Director Jack WEISMAN uses high-speed trekking shots to tie polar bears and humans into one landscape, making them both equally attractive. In addition, the soundscape created by precise recording and superimposing the footsteps and breathing sounds of polar bears, as well as various sounds of Churchill village, creates a very immersive feeling. The visual and auditory complexity captured in the short running time of Nuisance Bear exquisitely reflects the paradox of Churchill village, which relies on tourists to see polar bears, but at the same time considers the existence of polar bears as a threat and struggles to expel them.
Weisman is an award-winning director and cinematographer whose work has screened at major film festivals. He is a co-founder of the US Canadian production company Documist and an Executive Producer for The Territory(2022).
Gabriela Osio VANDEN
Gabriela is a Canadian/Venezuelan cinematographer based in Toronto, Canada. Most recently, Nuisance Bear (2021) directed and shot by Gabriela and Jack Weisman was selected to premiere at TIFF.