Voices for Dignity

On December 20th we went down to the Pivot Legal Society headquarters in Vancouver, BC. to be there when they received the decision on the Bedford vs. Canada case.  Members of Sex Workers United Against Violence (SWUAV) and PACE Society along with other sex workers and allies all came together to hear the historic decision.

When the unanimous decision to strike down all three laws was published the room erupted in joyous "woohoos" and happy tears as a group of women celebrated a long and hard fought victory.  It was one of the most exciting, inspiring, and emotional moments of my life and I really can't begin to imagine what it must of felt like for the people that have been committed to this issue for more than 10 years.  

You can read more about the decision and what it means on Pivot's website here.

Please watch our short documentary about Pivot Legal Society, Pace Society, and SWUAV's trip to the Supreme Court.  The doc gives some insight into how the laws impact street based sex workers in Canada and you get to meet some of the amazing hardworking individuals that impacted the Supreme Court ruling.  


Hope In Shadows - Artist Portrait

Mitch was invited by Cineworks to participate in a cool program they run called Play It Forward that facilitates the collaboration of artists and non-profits.  Mitch and all of us at Combination Films were really honoured to be one of the three artists selected for the initiative.  Cineworks generously provided us with free gear rentals and funds to cover additional expenses.   

The non-profit we picked to work with was Pivot Legal Society; we admire the work they do so much and had great experience working with them before.  After a couple meetings with Pivot it was decided that an artist portrait of one of the Hope In Shadows winners would be the best fit for the project.  

Pivot connected us with Brian Ward, a talented artist living in the Downtown Eastside that had a winning photo selected for the calendar as well as a photo that was awarded a Honourable Distinction.  Brian and his wife, Rose, kindly welcomed us into their home for the interview and Brian shared with us his passion for art.  We had a really great afternoon shooting with Brian and learning about his art practice.

We are really happy with how the project turned out and have already been getting some great feedback.  The artist portrait screened at this years Passion for Justice (which if you missed I highly recommend you go next year - it's so fun!) to a great crowd and received a big round of applause.  The video has been screening at VanCity Theatre before the screenings of the documentary, Inequality for All.  There is one last screening tomorrow night.   

You can check out the video below and remember to pick up your own Hope in Shadows calendar sold by vendors around the city.

The Cinematheque // Venue Rental Promo

One of the most fun shoots we've ever had was recently working with the lovely staff and volunteers at our favorite theater in Vancouver, The Cinematheque.  They program the best films, have the best popcorn, and as you will see are an awesome rental venue for a variety of events.

We're really looking forward to their upcoming series of Ozu films, Family Ties: The Sublime Cinema of Yasujiro Ozu.  Maybe we'll see you at a double-header?

Save the Date Video

Darren's bother and sister-in-law where married this summer on a stunning Vancouver Island farm.  It was a magnificent day!  Months earlier they asked us to produce a Save the Date video for them.  We wanted to document a little slice of their life while also showcasing the natural beauty of Vancouver and BC (there were a lot of guests coming from out of town).  

We were really happy with how it turned out.  Check it out - it's short and sweet.

The Cinematheque - Logo Animation

We have been huge fans of The Cinematheque for a long time, so it was very exciting for us to come up with an animated intro/logo for this incredible organization.  It will be playing in the theater soon, so be sure to look out for it!

 Gabriel Koenig did the killer sound design and music, and Steve Chow is responsible for the smokin' text design. 

'Cooking with Tim' - TV Show Pitch

We have signed up for the Telus Optik StoryHive with a project we have been really excited to make for a while.

About the project -

Food is such a vital part of not only human existence, but of human experience - and so for multiple reasons deciding what to eat is an incredibly important decision. We have found that learning how to source local ingredients while still preparing high-quality and affordable meals can be intimidating and overwhelming.

Fortunately, fantastic amateur chef Tim Helmuth is here to show us how. 'Cooking with Tim' is a show that believes that the origins of food are just as important as how you prepare it, and it all starts with sourcing the best, freshest ingredients. Tim, along with his friend and co-host Darren, will travel around the Lower Mainland visiting food producers farms, dairies, mills etc.  and find out who are the people making the food that we eat every day.

Each episode, Tim will teach Darren how to prepare something delicious highlighting their new ingredients. 'Cooking with Tim' will appeal to a broad range of food fans, whether you are about to begin cooking for yourself or are looking to improve. Old friends Tim and Darren have a fun and inclusive chemistry that will entertain as well as educate while they prepare delicious, local, and affordable meals.


We will keep you updated on the progress of this project - stay tuned! 

Pivot Legal Society - Working Towards the Decriminalization of Sex Work

We have, so fortunately, been asked by Pivot Legal Society to document their lead up and journey to the Supreme Court of Canada as interveners in the Bedford case.  Pivot has teamed up with Sex Workers United Against Violence (SWUAV) and PACE to represent the voices and interests of street-based sex workers from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, and oppose the current set of laws surrounding sex work in Canada that are putting workers in very real and immediate danger. It has been an incredibly inspiring experience working with Pivot on this project.  Even though we are just at the beginning of filming we can already clearly see what an exciting opportunity we have to document Pivot's powerful work and this truly historic case.

We formed Combination Films out of art school with the shared belief that film, art, and storytelling have the ability to change minds and make a difference in the world.  We know that if we do our job right to translate these voices, stories, and experiences accurately the final product will be something that can spark discussion, provoke thought, and help people see that these laws are wrong and that we should all do whatever we can to change them.

We have only had a couple days of shooting so far but we wanted to show Pivot a work-in-progress / rough cut to see the progress.  This is in no way a polished or finished work, but instead a quick mock-up of what is to come as it is only a small fraction of the content we plan to gather.  The sound, b-roll, colour, and still images are all temp at this point, but we still thought it is worth sharing.


 Please check out Pivot’s website for more information about their work and sex worker’s rights. http://www.pivotlegal.org/