Unloved - Huronia's Forgotten Children

Documentary | Not Rated | 90 min.


Galaxy Cinemas Sun, Oct 15, 2023 4:00 PM
Film Info
Event Type:Feature
Release Year:2022
Rating:Content advisory: abuse, disturbing images
Production Country:Canada
Original Langauge:English
Cast/Crew Info
Director:Barri Cohen
Cast:Patricia (Pat) Seth
Marie Slark
Cindy Scott
Harold Dougall
Brian Logie
Carrieanne (Ford) Tompkins
Produced By:Craig Baines
Peter Raymont
Screenwriter:Barri Cohen
Music By:Michelle Osis


Sunday, October 15, 2023 - 4:00 pm
Galaxy Cinemas Barrie, 72 Commerce Park Dr, Barrie, ON L4N 8W8


Includes a post-screening Q&A with the film’s director Barri Cohen and survivors of the Huronia Regional Centre.

Filmmaker Barri Cohen leads part detective story, part social history in UNLOVED - HURONIA'S FORGOTTEN CHILDREN as she uncovers the truth about Alfie and Louis, her two long-dead half-brothers. They were institutionalized at the Huronia Regional Centre in Orillia in the 1950s, with one brother unceremoniously buried in secret in an unmarked grave as a small child. Their lives were cut short, but their story stands as a microcosm of the immense tragedy of the Western World's 20th-century disastrous treatment of intellectually disabled children and youth. Through the interwoven narratives of a POV family story with critical institution survivors, a question preoccupies the film: how do we allow ourselves to dehumanize the most vulnerable people in our care?
UNLOVED - HURONIA'S FORGOTTEN CHILDREN is a heartbreaking yet redemptive work that moves outwards from a highly personal and painful family secret to an investigation of hidden, searing truths about an entire government-enabled system of institutional cruelty and ugliness against vulnerable children. Yet, humanity is hopefully restored by assembling community and survivor testimony, along with the filmmaker's insistence that these experiences be fully recognized and memorialized.


Winner – Rogers Audience Award for Best Canadian Documentary, Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Film Festival, 2022
Winner – Best Documentary Feature, Bronx Social Justice Matters Film Festival, 2022
Winner - Best Picture Editing in a Documentary (Sarah Peddie), Directors Guild of Canada Awards, 2022
Nominated - Best Direction of a Documentary, Directors Guild of Canada Awards, 2022
Winner - Kat Award For Best Documentary, Together! Disability Film Festival, 2022 
Nominated – Best Original Music, Documentary, Canadian Screen Awards, 2023
Nominated – Best Direction, Documentary Program, Canadian Screen Awards, 2023
Nominated – Barbara Sears Award for Best Editorial Research, Canadian Screen Awards, 2023
Nominated – Barbara Sears Award for Best Visual Research, Canadian Screen Awards, 2023
Nominated - Documentary Script, Writers Guild of Canada Screenwriting Awards, 2023

Barri Cohen, Director, Writer, Executive Producer

Barri Cohen is an award-winning writer, director, and producer whose career spans over 20 years of making independent documentaries and television series across a range of genres from lifestyle to comedy for general and specialty audiences in Canada and around the world. Her work has involved partners such as the National Film Board of Canada, the CBC, Discovery Channel USA and Canada, CTV/Bell Media, the Corus Group of Channels, and OTT’s like Hulu, GEM Super Channel and Starz. Many of Cohen’s independently produced and directed works involve health, mental health, and environmental, social justice stories. Among her awards and nominations include those for her feature documentary Toxic Trespass: Children’s Health & The Environment (TVO/NFB) and the recently co-produced Toxic Beauty (2019) — Phyllis Ellis’s multiple Canadian Screen Award-winning and internationally nominated feature documentary for White Pine Pictures and documentary Channel which had its premiere at the 2019 Hot Docs International Documentary Film Festival. Cohen also produced Ellis’s Canadian Screen Award-nominated documentary for CBC, Girls Night Out (2016).

Cohen is the past National Executive Chair of the Documentary Organization of Canada, past editor and publisher and current columnist of Point of View Magazine and was the co-chair and co-founding member (1994 - 1996) of the Hot Docs International Documentary Film Festival. She is currently developing a family drama/comedy series, writing a memoir collection with essays, and studying psychoanalysis.