Who We Are

The Ethnographic Film unit consists of a core group directly involved in film production and related research.  Participation as an associate member of the film unit by those engaged in similar work is encouraged. Contact us at charles.menzies @ ubc.ca for further information.

Charles Menzies, Director

Charles Menzies image Charles Menzies is an Associate Professor of Social Anthropology in the Department of Anthropology and the Director of the Ethnographic Film Unit at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC. His primary research interests are natural resource management (primarily fisheries related), political economy, contemporary First Nations' issues, and maritime anthropology. He has conducted field research in north coastal British Columbia (Canada), Brittany (France), and Donegal (Ireland).

Caroline Butler, Associate Director

Caroline Butler imageCaroline Butler did her graduate work in anthropology at the University of British Columbia and is currently Adjunct Professor of Anthropology at the University of Northern British Columbia. She lives in Prince Rupert, BC where she has conducted research with commercial fishers and loggers, exploring issues of resource regulation and local knowledge. She has collaborated with First Nations communities in BC, researching natural resource use and employment, Aboriginal fishing rights, Indigneous knowledge and traditional resource management.

Jennifer Rashleigh, Associate Director

Jennifer Rashleigh imageJennifer’s filmmaking has taken her from rural communities in Pakistan to remote villages in northern British Columbia. She typically collaborates with non-filmmakers—educators, activists, and community members—to create videos for educating inside and outside classrooms across Canada, the US, and overseas. Present and past collaborators include UBC Anthropology, Ministry of Children and Families, South Asia Partnership Pakistan, Leon and Thea Koerner Foundation, and the UNITE union. By focussing on the stories of people living in the margins, she hopes that viewers gain personal insight into the profound changes to environment and culture within the globalizing economy.
Recent projects and awards include: Award from American Anthropology Association Film Festival for The View from Gitxaała (2005); Eric Klemm: Metamorphosis (Bravo!FACT broadcast, 2006) The Story of Luna (Arte broadcast in France & Germany, 2005).

Danielle Thrasher, Film Unit Member

Danielle Thrasher image Danielle Thrasher is an MA student in Social Anthropology at UBC. Her primary research interests surround First Nations traditional food systems and food sovereignty, particularly food production and processing, as well as the intersection of taste and place. She uses film in order to reveal how food and food practices provide a point through which people can connect with and explore their own cultural traditions and identity [Tasting Tradition (2014)]. Danielle is currently working on film vignettes that document traditional food practices at Gitxaala Nation; these vignettes aim to act as teaching tools within the community.

Martina Volfova, Film Unit Member

Martina Volfova image Martina is a PhD student in linguistic anthropology at UBC. Her primary research interests include issues surrounding language endangerment, revitalization, maintenance, and most recently language documentation. Martina is interested in using film to carry out documentation of embodied linguistic practices and culturally important activities to develop not only multimodal language documentation materials, but also innovative, culturally appropriate language learning resources. Martina is also interested in exploring film as an ethnographic research tool for community based, collaborative research projects such as digital storytelling. Currently, Martina is working on a short ethnographic film exploring her own Czech heritage through traditional folk songs and their transformation in the context of North American Czech diaspora

Denise Green, Former Film Unit Member

 . Denise Nicole Green is an Assistant Professor at Cornell University whose research uses video to explore processes of identity negotiation through the production and use of textiles and clothing.  She has created films to accompany various textile-related research projects, including Histakshitl Ts’awaatskwii / We Come From One Root (2010), Fifty-Fifty (2009), Wash & Re-use (2009), Somewhere in Between (2009), and Temporary Clash for Momentary Satisfaction (2006).  Denise is also interested in community media production and has worked on interactive media projects with  Cornell Cooperative Extension and The Art of Regional Change at the University of California-Davis Humanities Institute.  She is currently collaborating with people from the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nation on a series of language education films. Denise received a PhD in Anthropology from UBC where she was a member of the Film Unit, a Master of Science in Textiles from the University of California, Davis, and Bachelor of Science with honours in Fiber Science and Apparel Design from Cornell University.





















Membership in the Film Unit

 Membership in the Film Unit is open to faculty at the University of British Columbia and graduate students whose research supervisors are Film Unit faculty members. The Film Unit is a self-funding unit. The practical implication of being self-funding is that it is the members of the Film Unit who pay for and raise funds for the operation of the Film Unit. Membership thus entails a responsiblity to support the Unit's budget. Faculty members of the Film Unit will normally contribute funds on an annual basis to support the maintanence of Film Unit equipment and supplies. Film projects are funded on a project by project basis. Student Film Unit members, in collaboration with their faculty research supervisors, have been highly successfull in winning external grants for their film and associated research projects. Membership inquiries should be directed to the Film Unit Director.
Ethnographic Film Unit
6303 NW Marine Drive Vancouver BC V6T 1Z1 charles.menzies @ ubc.ca 604-822-0337