Refuge 31 Films - Engage the World

Encompassing the family/faith genre, the projects we have produced or have in development are meant to engage the world in an intelligent and meaningful way while delivering a message of hope and inspiration.

About Refuge 31

Burning Ember: The Steve Bell Journey

A feature documentary that examines the life of Canadian singer-songwriter Steve Bell. Airing on CBC’s Documentary Channel in Canada and UKTV in The UK. Best Feature Documentary – Real to Reel Film Festival 2015

More info on Burning Ember


A WWI documentary that examines the relevance of a war that happened a hundred years ago for a new generation of Canadians.  Refuge welcomes Jenny NG-Turner (Producer) and Andrew Forbes (Director of Photography) onto the production team. Begins shooting in Manitoba and Ontario July 2015.

More info on LSTA

Burning Ember: The Steve Bell Journey

Best Feature Documentary – Real to Reel Film Festival 2015
Award of Excellence – Accolade Global Film Competition 2015
Nominated Remi Award – Houston Worldfest International Film Festival 2015
Nominated WMIFF Award – World Music & Independent Film Festival 2015
More info on BURNING EMBER

The Last Objectors

The story of Canada’s conscientious objectors of the Second World War. A 44 minute documentary by Refuge 31 Films for CBC and MTS Stories from Home. Produced with The Mennonite Heritage Centre Archives and supported by Heritage Canada.

Film set for release September 2016.

“The world needs a break. Somewhere to go where a message of hope can be found and strength reclaimed. A refuge.”

Andrew Wall

Founder, Refuge 31 Films

Welcome to Refuge 31 Films

We’re a Canadian production company focused on documentary television with a positive message. Refuge is excited to announce that our first feature documentary, Burning Ember: The Steve Bell Journey, has recently picked up a few awards including a Gold Remi Award at Worldfest in Houston, Texas. It was released last year and is currently airing on CBC’s Documentary Channel.

Burning Ember has been a wonderful experience for Refuge and we’ve been honoured to tell this amazing story. We’ve also been honoured by the awards, screenings and world broadcasts. Check out our Projects page or Recent News to find out what else we’ve done and are currently working on.

Our Projects

Most recent film projects by Refuge 31

News & Updates

The production and screening journal of Refuge 31

Burning Ember takes Texas with Multiple Awards and Nominations

Refuge 31 was honoured this past year at both the the Fort Worth Indie Film Showcase and WorldFest- Houston. When we say honoured we mean FIVE nominations for Burning Ember: The Steve Bell Journey and walked away from the lone star state with two AWARDS. It seems Texas  really took a shine to our film and the Steve Bell story. At the prestigious Worldfest-Houston the documentary took home a Gold Remi Award in the Biography category. Worldfest is a massive festival in its 49th season with some very notable past winners… “Since we did give first honors to Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Ang Lee, Jon Lee Hancock, Randal Kleiser and the Coen Brothers, the winners of this year could well become the Spielbergs or Ang Lees of tomorrow.” – Worldfest – Houston At the Fort Worth Indie Film Showcase Burning Ember was nominated for: Best Overall Feature Documentary Best Feature International Best Feature Higher Calling (Films that examine the desire to do more and be more.) In the end Refuge 31 took home the Best International Feature award! God bless...

Live concert project to be released this summer…

The first feature documentary that Refuge 31 produced, Burning Ember: The Steve Bell Journey, involved following singer-songwriter Steve Bell and shooting over a dozen concerts across Canada and the USA. Refuge 31 is now planning to release a 44 minute live concert film cut from Burning Ember footage shot at the Westend End Cultural Centre in Winnipeg, 2013. This concert included Dr. Malcolm Guite who read various poetic works and performed musically on stage. The brilliant Dr. Guite, who has collaborated with Steve Bell previously and whose works have been the inspiration for many of Steve’s songs, is a published poet and musician as well as a Chaplain and instructor at Girton College, Cambridge University in England. Steve Bell and Malcolm Guite – Live at the West End is set for completion and broadcast 2016. Stay tuned for broadcast and Blu-ray availabilty!  ...

Burning Ember on CBC and online at CBCmusic

Refuge is delighted to announce that it’s first feature documentary production, Burning Ember: The Steve Bell Journey, will be airing January 6th on CBC’s Documentary Channel. We’re also excited that CBC Music is streaming the film online for a limited time over the holidays. Link for viewing It’s been an exciting year of awards, nominations and accolades for Burning Ember. We couldn’t be more honoured or happier with the film making its way to Canadian television audiences through the CBC in Canada and are excited to bring you more announcements about it’s success in the new year. Stay tuned…...

Filming begins on the documentary Suspended…

Refuge 31 Films has begun filming the documentary Suspended, a TV-hour documentary that examines Winnipeg artist Cliff Derksen as he with his wife Wilma and daughter Odia sculpt, paint and build towards an oncoming art show. The Derksen family is well known by the Winnipeg community but not necessarily for their art. In 1984 their daughter Candace was murdered in what would be a twenty-four year old mystery that would finally result in an arrest and conviction in 2008. Despite the tragedy, along with years of frustration and anguish, the family would find solace in the process of creating art. More information at our Suspended project page. Filming will be taking place through 2015 / 2016. Premiere and broadcast in spring/summer...

Last Objectors filming in Manitoba

Refuge has been filming through October and November around Manitoba as part of the 44 minute documentary The Last Objectors. In association with MTS Stories From Home and the Mennonite Heritage Centre Archives, the documentary is part of a two part project supported by Heritage Canada and the World Wars Commemoration Fund of Canada. Contentious Objectors, or CO’s, were those who chose to not go to war,  many of them being Mennonites as well as from the United Church, Jehovah’s Witness, Quaker and Brethren in Christ denominations. Instead they were to serve their country in alternative service such as forestry, healthcare and a variety of other roles. The CO’s, most in their 90’s now, were from across the country and Refuge will be interviewing many of them over the next few months. For more information of the project as it progresses go to: The Last...

Rhubarb Magazine reviews Burning Ember

  Refuge 31 was delighted this week to see an article in Rhubarb Magazine reviewing Burning Ember: The Steve Bell Journey.  “This film is the definitive story of Steve Bell. It is not, as I initially thought, a music video compilation or a concert film; rather, it provides a skilled telling of Bell’s career in the form of a biographical documentary. I would have liked more music, but the story is a good one.” – Rhubarb Magazine The article, written by Kevin Nikkel, is well worth the read....