1. Media Space

  2. Press Kit

A Better Man

Attiya Khan & Lawrence Jackman
2017 | 79 min

Prizes and awards

  • Top Twenty Audience FavoriteHot Docs 2017

  • Official SelectionAtlantic International Film Festival 2017

  • Sabeen Mehmud Award for Courage in CinemaMosaic International South Asian Film Festival 2017

  • Official SelectionPEI Festival 2017

  • Official SelectionDOC NYC 2017

  • Official SelectionGimli Film Festival 2017

  • Official SelectionDocumenta 2017

  • Official SelectionSan Diego Asian Film Festival 2017

  • Official SelectionSt-John’s International Women's Film & Video Festival 2017

  • Official SelectionVisioni dal Mondo, Milan 2017

Long Synopsis



The Social Issue


Clip 1

Clip 2

Clip 3

Clip 4

Promotional Materials


Attiya and Steve - old photos.
Attiya Khan & Alex Mazer
Marina Dempster
Photo : © Marina Dempster
Attiya Khan & Sollange Umwali
Marina Dempster
Photo : © Marina Dempster
Lawrence Jackman & Attiya Khan
Marina Dempster
Photo : © Marina Dempster
Marina Dempster
Photo : © Marina Dempster
Attiya and Steve at the coffee shop.


Attiya Khan
Writer, Co-Director
Photo : Jennifer Rowsom

Attiya Khan

Attiya Khan (Writer, Co-Director) is a Toronto-based feminist, intimate partner violence survivor, and long-time advocate and counselor for abused women and children. Attiya conceived the idea for A Better Man in 2012, drawing on her personal and professional experience with intimate partner violence. Attiya has worked in women’s shelters in Canada and the United States, including running the Child and Youth Services Program at Transition House in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She also worked at YWCA Toronto, supporting the communications and advocacy team, managing a training program on crisis intervention, and administering the December 6th Fund, which offers interest-free loans to women fleeing domestic violence. As a writer, activist, and speaker, she has presented at numerous events and conferences related to domestic violence. Together with her family, she recently co-founded a YWCA Toronto scholarship program for domestic-violence survivors.

Lawrence Jackman
Co-Writer, Co-Director, Editor
Photo : Jennifer Rowsom

Lawrence Jackman

Lawrence Jackman  is a Toronto-based filmmaker. Over the past 15 years, he has worked on many award-winning films, focusing primarily on independent documentaries and dramas. He often works as an editorial consultant and has a long-standing association with the NFB in this role. Jackman has experience working at critical stages to creatively and structurally bring films to completion. Both as an editor and a director, he is interested in creative storytelling and pushing genre boundaries. In 2011, he directed How Does It Feel, a documentary musical about the importance of creative fulfillment that tells the story of a singer with cerebral palsy.

Christine Kleckner
Producer (Intervention Productions Inc.)
Photo : Jennifer Rowsom

Christine Kleckner

Christine Kleckner  is a producer whose short film Barefoot (2012) premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, received honourable mention at the Berlinale, and was selected for the Not Short on Talent Showcase at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. Prior to that, she produced Wapawekka (2010), which screened at TIFF, Sundance and the Berlinale. During her time with the NFB, she collaborated on groundbreaking projects such as Stories We Tell and the multi-platform Filmmaker-in-Residence. She is an alumnus of the National Screen Institute of Canada’s Drama Prize Program. Christine resides in Toronto.

Justine Pimlott
Producer (NFB)
Photo : Jennifer Rowsom

Justine Pimlott

Justine Pimlott is a multi-award-winning producer based at the National Film Board of Canada’s Ontario Studio in Toronto. With over 25 years of experience in the industry, she has a long history of bringing stories that are often marginalized to the screen.

Her NFB credits include: A Better Man (Hot Docs 2017, Doc NYC 2017); the Canada 150 interactive project Portrait of a Family (2017); What Walaa Wants (Berlin 2018, Hot Docs 2018 DGC Special Jury Prize Best for Canadian Feature Documentary, TIFF Canada’s Top Ten Film, CSA nominee for Best Feature Length Documentary); Camera Test – Five Feminist Minutes (Hot Docs 2019); numerous Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards shorts; the online LGBTQ2+ short doc series, Five @ 50 (2019); Borealis (Hot Docs 2020); and Inconvenient Indian (2020).

Sarah Polley
Executive Producer
Photo : Denise Cronenberg

Sarah Polley

Sarah Polley (Executive Producer) is a Governor General’s Award-winning writer-director whose dramatic features include Away from Her (nominated in 2007 for an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, and winner of the 2008 Genie Awards for Best Motion Picture and Achievement in Direction) and Take This Waltz, starring Seth Rogen, Michelle Williams and Sarah Silverman. Her third film, Stories We Tell, was named best documentary by the Toronto Film Critics Association, the New York Film Critics Circle, the National Board of Review and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. It was also on the shortlist for the 2013 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. Most recently, Polley adapted Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace for Netflix and CBC and serves as Executive Producer for the upcoming six-hour miniseries.

Anita Lee
Executive Producer (NFB)
Photo : NFB

Anita Lee

Anita Lee is Executive Producer at the National Film Board of Canada and leads the development and production of projects produced solely by the NFB as well as domestic and international co-productions for the Ontario Studio. She is the executive producer of a slate of upcoming projects that includes Unarmed Verses and A Better Man.

As a producer for the NFB from 2005 to the present, Anita produced some of the most critically acclaimed works in recent NFB history, including Sarah Polley’s Stories We Tell, which garnered international recognition and was named Best Documentary Feature Film by National Board of Review, Los Angeles Film Critics Association, New York Film Critics Circle, Canadian Screen Awards, and Best Canadian Film by the Toronto Film Critics Association.  Past productions include Tiger Spirit, Gemini Award winner for Best Social/Political Documentary, The Bodybuilder and I, Hot Docs Best Feature Documentary winner, and Flicker, Hot Docs Jury Prize winner, Best Canadian Feature Documentary.

Lee’s most recent credits include Highrise: Universe Within, winner of the 2016 Webby Award as well as Best Original Interactive Production Produced for Digital Media at the Canadian Screen Awards in 2015; The Deeper They Bury Me, which premiered at the New York Film Festival; and most recently, The Apology,runner up Audience Award at Hot Docs International Film Festival and the Cinephile Award for Best Documentary at Busan 2016. She is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Jane Jankovic
Executive Producer (TVO)

Jane Jankovic

Jane Jankovic is Executive Producer of Documentaries at TVO. Priority commissions are social-issue and current-affairs documentaries and series that focus on contemporary social, political and cultural issues of direct relevance to Canadian audiences and promote citizen engagement. Recent examples include Prey (Audience Award, Hot Docs 2019); Propaganda: The Art of Selling Lies (Hot Docs 2019); There Are No Fakes (Hot Docs 2019); The Heat: A Kitchen (R)evolution (Hot Docs opening gala 2018); and A Better Man (Hot Docs 2017). Jane has worked in television and media for more than 30 years, first as a magazine editor and then as a producer for several independent production companies on programming for CTV and CBCNN. She joined TVO in 1994 as senior producer of its Gemini Award-winning daily current-affairs program, Studio 2, and has been commissioning documentaries since 2007.

Janice Dawe
Executive Producer
Photo : Paola Scattolon

Janice Dawe

Janice Dawe (Executive Producer) brings to A Better Man years of expertise in producing and financing award-winning documentaries for Canadian and international buyers. Most recently, she executive produced Michèle Hozer’s 2016 Canadian Screen Award-nominated documentary Sugar Coated (TVOntario, Netflix, Canal D and ZDF). Janice held the senior role of Vice-President of Production at White Pine Pictures, one of Canada’s most respected documentary production companies, earning executive producer credits for The Experimental Eskimos (Allan King Award for Excellence in Documentary), Fight Like Soldiers Die Like Children, and the Gemini-nominated multiplatform documentary series City Sonic. Over her career, Janice has formed strong relationships with the creative community, broadcasters, buyers, financiers and lenders. She currently serves on the OMDC Screen-Based Industry Advisory Committee and is an active committee member for the CMPA.

Kathy Avrich-Johnson
Executive Producer
Photo : Paola Scattolon

Kathy Avrich-Johnson

Kathy Avrich-Johnson (Executive Producer) – Creative producers turn to Kathy for her valuable insights, as well as her straightforward and practical approach to addressing the issues, challenges and opportunities of rights acquisitions, co-production, financing, delicate rights-clearance matters, and domestic and international distribution. In addition to producing hundreds of hours of drama, including the series Rookie Blue and Saving Hope, Kathy was executive producer of Allan King’s last three feature documentaries: the award-winning Dying at Grace, Memory for Max, Claire, Ida and Company and Empz 4 Life. Kathy produced two comedic documentaries through her production company Canadian Accents for the CBC arts series Opening Night. Kathy is the author of two much-appreciated and well-thumbed producer handbooks: Development and Other Production Challenges (published by Telefilm Canada, 2003) and Canadian Production Finance (published by the Ontario Media Development Corporation & Telefilm Canada, 1998; revised 2001).

Iris Ng
Director of Cinematography
Photo : Michael Barker

Iris Ng

Iris Ng (Director of Cinematography) is a cinematographer with over a decade of experience collaborating with award-winning filmmakers and artists. Her credits encompass art, narrative films, documentary series, commercials, and music videos, with a focus on long-form documentaries including Stories We Tell, directed by Sarah Polley, Herman’s House, directed by Angad Bhalla (Emmy Award for Outstanding Arts & Culture Program), The Ghosts in Our Machine, directed by Liz Marshall, and most recently, a portion of the 10-part Netflix documentary series Making a Murderer, Storyline Entertainment’s League of Exotique Dancers, and Yap Films’ Loretta Lynn: Still a Mountain Girl for the PBS series American Masters. She has also lensed films directed by Min Sook Lee, Fredrik Gertten, Michael McNamara, Martha Burns, Fisher Stevens, and artists Chris Curreri, Richard Fung, and Oliver Husain.

Lesley Barber
Photo : Katherine Holland

Lesley Barber

Lesley Barber (Composer) – A member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Class of 2016, film composer Lesley Barber writes music marked by intelligence and emotional depth. She has scored a string of award-winning and highly acclaimed projects, including Kenneth Lonergan’s multi-award-winning and Oscar-nominated film, Manchester by the Sea. Her distinguished list of credits includes Lonergan’s Oscar-winning You Can Count On Me, Jerry Rothwell’s award-winning documentary How to Change the World, Patricia Rozema’s Mansfield Park, Mira Nair’s Golden Globe-winning Hysterical Blindness, Mary Harron’s Moth Diaries, the children’s classic Little Bear with Maurice Sendak, Yo-Yo Ma: Six Gestures, Wiebke Von Carolsfeld’s Marion Bridge, Allison Anders’ Beaches, and the recently released powerhouse doc The Apology by Tiffany Hsiung. Lesley is a proud and active member of the Alliance for Women Film Composers, which has taken a leading role in the much-publicized diversity conversation now occurring in Hollywood. She has a passion for good food, great cities and interesting company.


Intervention Productions
In co-production with the National Film Board of Canada
Produced in association with TVO
A film by Attiya Khan and Lawrence Jackman

Written and Directed by
Attiya Khan and Lawrence Jackman

Christine Kleckner

Justine Pimlott

Executive Producer
Sarah Polley

Executive Producer
Anita Lee

Executive Producer, TVO
Jane Jankovic

Executive Producers
Janice Dawe
Kathy Avrich-Johnson

Director of Photography
Iris Ng

Lawrence Jackman

Music Composed by
Lesley Barber

Attiya Khan
Tod Augusta-Scott
Alex Mazer
Elliot Mazer
Seth Martiniuk
Sollange Umwali

Associate Producer
Lori Chodos

Additional Cinematography
Jennifer Rowsom
Stan Barua
Marcus Matyas
Curry Leamen
John Price
Mark Caswell

Sound Recording
Jason Hopfner
Mary Wong
Bruce Cameron

Camera Assistant
Jordan Kawai
Eva Percewicz
Stephanie Corfield

Zach Zohr
Mark Feenstra
Stefan Kuchar
David Doldersom

Set Shuter

Additional DIT
Curry Leamen
Gregory Szymanski

Production Assistant
Shane MacKinnon
Rob Chodos

Stills Photography
Marina Dempster

Title Design
Electric Square

Impact Producer
Steph Guthrie

Narration Consultant
Soraya Peerbaye

Elizabeth Kalbfleisch

Social Media
Janette Luu

Development Production Manager
Nagmeh Phelan

Music Supervisor
Jody Colero

Laurel Toews

Production Accountant
Candis Buder
Adriana Aviles

Kay & Warburton

Arthur J. Gallagher Canada

Interim Financing
Rogers Communications Inc.

Equipment Rental
Sim Digital
Charles Street Video
Joe Sutherland Rentals
William F. White International Inc.
Inspired Image Picture Company

Manager, Business Affairs
Nava Rastegar

Independent Production Officer, TVO
Linda Fong

For the NFB

Production Supervisor
Mark Wilson

Studio Administrator
Stefanie Brantner

Technical Coordinator
Marcus Matyas

Production Coordinators
Natalie van Dine
Andrew Martin-Smith

Marketing Managers
Melissa Wheeler
Amanda Laukys

Post-Production House
Redlab Digital

Account Manager
Ahmad Ismail

DI Producer
Linda Johnston

Jason Zukowski

Dave Oliver

Audio Post Facility
Tattersall Sound & Picture

Supervising Sound Editor
Jane Tattersall

Dialogue Editor
Krystin Hunter

Sound F/X Editor
Claire Dobson

Assistant Sound Editor
Chris King

Re-Recording Mixer
Martin Lee

Assistant Re-Recording Mixer
Jesse Fellows

ADR Recordist
Marcel Ramagnano

Audio Post Project Manager
Alex Åslund

Thanks to
Peter Gibson


Strings, Hardanger and Clarinet
Drew Jurecka

Piano, Keyboards and Programming
Lesley Barber

Recorded and Mixed by
Sydney Galbraith

Mixed at
Desert Fish Studios, Toronto

Editorial Assistance
Jakob Thiesen

Music Assistant
Iain Gardner

“Words in the Fire”
Written and Performed by Patrick Watson,
Simon Angell, Mikhail Stein, and Robbie Kuster
Licensed courtesy of Secret City Records Inc.
Published by Secret City Publishing Inc.



Press Relations

  • About the NFB

    The NFB is Canada’s public producer and distributor of award-winning documentaries, auteur animation, interactive stories and participatory experiences, working with talented creators across the country. The NFB is taking action to combat systemic racism and become a more open and diverse organization, while working to strengthen Indigenous-led production and gender equity in film and digital media. NFB productions have won more than 7,000 awards, including 12 Oscars. To access this unique content, visit NFB.ca.

  • About Intervention Productions

    Intervention Productions creates paradigm-shifting documentary media that presents new modes of understanding gender-based violence. By weaving together candid personal narratives and cutting-edge fieldwork, Intervention Productions tells powerful stories that challenge dominant viewpoints and offer refreshing glimpses at the many forms that healing and justice can take. The groundbreaking 2014 Indiegogo campaign for its debut feature, A Better Man, set a new bar for crowdfunding documentary film, raising over $100,000 from donors in 30 countries and earning support from influential artists ranging from Margaret Atwood to Leslie Feist. Intervention Productions co-founders Attiya Khan and Christine Kleckner believe passionately in the power of documentary storytelling to transform our communities and the world at large. For more information and resources including their impact and outreach work, visit www.abettermanfilm.com.