The Open Your Eyes (OYE) initiative is a community based, cross-sector collaboration to mobilize knowledge-based documentary media content. The concept is simple and was initially developed in 2015-16, then piloted in 2017, and is now going into its third year in Fredericton, NB. Here’s how the OYE initiative works.

Are you with a non-profit organization that would like to raise community awareness about a social issue in your community? If so, the OPEN YOUR EYES initiative can provide access to cash and in-kind promotional support to produce a short documentary film (approx. 5 minutes in length) to tell your story, and an online cross-sector promotional campaign to share your story with others in the community. This includes preparing a detailed promotional campaign to heighten awareness of your organization, social issue and the short documentary film to be produced. The promotional campaign will include social media & email promotion, film launch & community screenings, media releases & interviews, and other organization activities (fundraising, special events). One organization and one social issue is selected for each annual OPEN YOUR EYES initiative.

The OYE initiative has been designed to incorporate applied research (understanding a social issue) with a community impact service activity (knowledge mobilization using a short film & online promotional campaign). The OYE model is an easy way to establish cross-sector partnerships in a community and raise awareness towards a social issue by producing, funding and mobilizing knowledge-based documentary media.


If you would like to learn more about the OPEN YOUR EYES initiative and bringing it to your community, DOCTalks would love to share our experiences with you. Please send us an email:   


In 2017, the OYEF recipient was the Community Action Group on Homelessness (CAGH) that addressed the issue of “housing first” for homeless persons. Further below you can watch their short film entitled, Housing First - the rest will follow.

In 2018, the Hayes Urban Teaching Farm addressed the issue of local “food security” in a period or rapid climate change. You can watch their short film entitled, Growing Farmers, further below.

The 2019-2020 OYEF recipient will be announced by December 2019.


The Open Your Eyes initiative in Fredericton has been made possible by these community partners.