Belleville Downtown DocFest: Local Filmmakers Aaron and Angela Bell
The highly anticipated annual Belleville Downtown DocFest showcases dozens of documentary films from around the world, touching on a wide array of social, cultural, economic and environmental issues. Our region is also home to incredibly talented local filmmakers like Aaron and Angela Bell who have the chance to have their work shown on the big screen among the outstanding lineup.
Interview with Aaron and Angela Bell of Lot48 Film Co.
Read time: 3 min
Tell us about how you got started creating films.
We started out by creating a film about the reconstruction of Belleville City Hall when we both still worked there in 2014. Celebrating City Hall was accepted into DocFest and that ignited our passion for creating locally-focused documentary films.
Have you had films in DocFest, or attended the festival before? What was your favourite part?
We have been fortunate to have had several films featured in DocFest over the past decade. It is always a big thrill to have something that we dreamed up and created showcased, especially here in our community. We love the opportunity to see our films screened in front of an audience and to get the chance to meet and connect with other documentary filmmakers. We also won a DocFest award for our short film Downforce: The Kolby Parks Story in 2018. That was a huge thrill and a great honour.
This year you have two short films in the festival: Strings of Inspiration and Brushes of Hope. Can you tell us a bit about each one?
Both of these films were in our minds to create over the past couple of years. Strings of Inspiration features our friend Kris Tischbein, who is a wonderful musician and an even better person. He creates beautiful solo music with his electric bass guitar. He is an inspiration to many musicians because of his incredible talent, and also to us because of his approach to his craft and creating the music that he wants to create as opposed to chasing commercial success. We have been fortunate to use his music in other documentary film projects – it is perfectly suited for that purpose.
Brushes of Hope shares the story of Jean, who is Aaron’s Mom, and her watercolour painting classes. She shared with us that she has had students in the past who were facing serious illnesses – in some cases, terminal diagnoses. When we connected with her and one of her current students, Susan Brannigan-Rampp, we were amazed to see the connection they shared and how the practice of watercolour painting provided some therapeutic relief for both of them.
What does it mean to you, as local filmmakers, to have your work shown in this festival?
We are incredibly honoured to have our films shown at DocFest. With these two, we will have had 10 films shown at DocFest over the past 10 years. It’s fair to say that we wouldn’t have created these films if not for the opportunity to screen them at DocFest. We are already making plans for future films because we love being part of this film festival so much!
Why should someone consider attending DocFest?
We are certainly biased, but we believe that DocFest is an incredible event that we are very fortunate to have in our community each year. The curators select so many impactful films from across the country, around the world, and right here in our region. The entertainment value and facilities make this a world-class event that we are excited about every winter.