DDA Documentary Showcase at VIFF

DDA’s communications team has been hard at work over the past several months putting together an hour-long video called ‘Doing the Impossible – The Story of the Developmental Disabilities Association.’ When it was finished, we held a private screening at the Vancouver International Film Festival Society on Seymour Street in Vancouver. The screening coincided beautifully with DDA’s 70th Anniversary having been started by Leola Purdy in 1952. The evening event was attended by over 100 DDA staff, clients, family, and friends. The screening was followed by a Q and A where our writer-director, David Ozier talked to the audience about his experience researching, filming, and getting to know the people involved. Doing the Impossible will be available soon on our website, www.develop.bc.ca.


By Ratnam Mathur, DDA group home manager

I am passionate to work with DDA and was recently reinvigorated after watching the powerfully made documentary film “Doing the Impossible,” directed by the DDA’s award-winning filmmaker David Ozier.

In captivating details, the film traced back how this journey started in 1952 with merely a dozen parents, who came together to provide education and a better future for their children who might otherwise have been institutionalized for life, akin to complete abandonment.

In her opening remarks before the screening of the film, Alanna noted that it is essentially a love story. No one in the audience could have watched it without feeling the emotions of deep sadness by seeing the images and listening to the dark accounts of the mistreatment, meted out to the young residents at the Woodlands institution. Emotions changed to joy after seeing the ground-breaking path forward by the creation of the association in the 50s and watching the progressively inspiring accounts and footage of the happier lives of the residents.

David Ozier is a visual storyteller, par-excellence, who has masterfully captured all of the major events along this journey and distilled the essence of it in this nearly an hour-long film. In the post-film remarks, he recounted his deep personal bonding with the clients and learning firsthand from their families, who spent many hours with him, sharing their personal testimonies and the piles of family photo albums. He also told us about roping in the creative illustrators, animators, and film-editor who are the very best in their crafts, to collaborate on this project as a story of social justice that needed to the told.

I am deeply inspired by his persuasive message about the power of passion and conviction and how wide-scale systemic changes in society are possible by the bold actions of single individuals.

I feel privileged to have been invited to watch this eye-opening and educational film and have a lively chat with David at the post-film reception!

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