Friday, March 6th, 2020

2020 Gala Event

The Empire Theatre

The 9th annual Belleville Downtown DocFest, kicked off Friday, March 6, 2020 with the much-anticipated Opening Gala at the Empire Theatre.

We were thrilled to have Daniel Roher, director of the critically acclaimed Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band introduce his film, executive produced by Martin Scorsese. The film was TIFF’s 2019 Opening Night Gala Film and it was the first time a Canadian documentary opened TIFF. The film follows Robertson from his early life in Toronto to the creation of legendary roots-rock group The Band. Robertson’s memory for detail and contributions from friends such as Eric Clapton, Bruce Springsteen, and Martin Scorsese conjures up a glorious era of creativity and excess.

After the Gala film, for our featured live performance, LeBarons played their unique style of alt-country music live onstage. LeBarons have consistently won over audiences and critics with their recordings and impassioned live performances. Lush, atmospheric soundscapes set the stage for Chris MacDonald’s vivid, lyrical stories. “Expertly crafted”; “haunting and hypnotic”; “epic, brooding, and emotional” – are a few of the words used by critics to describe the band’s sound and their music.

Proudly Presented by:

Pretsell Davies Thompson Benton logo

Docfest’s Gala sponsor since our first year. Our sincerest thanks for the continuous support.

Green Carpet Reception

Daniel Roher on the Green Carpet with Dug Stevenson


DocFest’s resident celebrity interviewer, Dug Stevenson interviewed local filmmakers, dignitaries and other VIPs on the Green Carpet before the Opening Gala. YourTV Cogeco recorded the Green Carpet interview as filmmakers discussed their work, local politicians and the other VPs connected with the community.

The Band, L – R: Rick Danko, Levon Helm, Richard Manuel, Garth Hudson, Robbie Robertson
from ‘Music From Big Pink‘ album, 1968, Photo © by Copyright Elliott Landy – visit his website at this link

Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and the Band

  • Director Daniel Roher
  • 2019
  • 105 min


Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band is a confessional, cautionary, and occasionally humorous tale of Robertson’s young life and the creation of one of the most enduring groups in the history of popular music, The Band. The film is a moving story of Robertson’s personal journey, overcoming adversity and finding camaraderie alongside the four other men who would become his brothers in music, together making their mark on music history. Once Were Brothers blends rare archival footage, photography, iconic songs and interviews with Robertson’s friends and collaborators including Martin Scorsese, Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton, Van Morrison, and more.


LeBarons, milestone album, Summer of Death was two years in the making and proves the band is destined to become a major player in the music scene. The Rocking Magpie called it ‘Epic, Brooding and Emotional Americana from Canada’. Their alt country sound with the amazing vocals and songwriting of Chris MacDonald will leave you wanting more.