Cultural Odyssey Films was established ten years ago to provide a platform for the production and distribution of documentary films about contemporary cultural groups and individuals.
Based in Vancouver, Canada and Cape Town, South Africa, the company has produced six documentaries, focusing mainly on social activists in the post-Apartheid society of the Western Cape.
The ethnographic approach is central to the films, and conveys the reality of each subject and their story from their own lived experience. The narratives are presented in the voices of the subjects, through unstructured interviews that emphasize their underlying cultural assumptions.
Viewers are challenged to enter the subject’s world, and grasp their worldview. Despite the influence of globalization on public perceptions, the films challenge the notion of cultural homogenization.
Our ethical position is to faithfully record and share the experiences and views of the subjects of our films. We have a commitment to present a balanced picture that captures the demographic and normative diversity of our subjects.
The documentaries have been broadcast on cable channels throughout southern Africa, screened at film festivals in the U.S. and Canada, and licensed for use at universities in North America and South Africa.
Cultural Odyssey Films is Ronald C. Stuart (Ron) and Wendy Bross Stuart (Wendy), husband and wife with extensive experience in music, theatre and film production.
Born in the New York area and educated at McGill University and the University of British Columbia, he has taught Anthropology and Sociology at the University of B.C. and at Columbia College for over 40 years. Research includes field work among the Coast Salish First Nation of B.C., and in Japan, during periods of residence between 1972 and 1989. Ron has been involved in international education in both Japan and Canada, and directed the first study-abroad program for Japanese students in Vancouver in 1978. He has been active in promoting cultural exchange, and served as consultant to Shingakukai Corporation of Nagano, Japan for ten years.
Wendy Bross Stuart
Born and raised in New York, Wendy is an ethnomusicologist, music director, composer/arranger, collaborative pianist and vocal coach. A graduate of McGill University and the University of British Columbia, she studied traditional Japanese music in Kyoto, Osaka and Nagano, and was awarded an advanced teaching license in koto and shamisen. Wendy has written two books: “Gambling Music of the Coast Salish Indians” (National Museum of Man) and Northern Haida Songs (University of Nebraska Press). Her choral arrangements have been published in the U.S. and Canada and she has recorded four CD’s of Jewish music with soprano, Claire Klein Osipov.