Fest Encourages Viewers To Get Active
TheTravelling World Community Film Festival brings its message of awareness, analysis, and action to Langara College next Friday through Sunday (February 11 to 13), giving documentary lovers and indignation junkies an opportunity to, among other things, move on from Bush-bashing to South Africa's Bushmen. The latter's dealings with the pharmaceutical industry in The Anti-Fat Pill and the Bushman is but one story among a variety of 30 social-justice documentaries to be screened during the fourth annual fest, which has expanded since its years at the SFU Harbour Centre.
Included in the international array of features and shorts will be local filmmaker Velcrow Ripper's lauded ScaredSacred and Tony Papa's Suzuki Speaks, which launch and finish the event, respectively. Also on offer will be Stephen Lewis's personal journey, The Value of Life: AIDS in Africa Revisited; Avi Lewis and Naomi Klein's The Take; a look at the Canadian working poor in No Place Called Home; the experiences of Canadian police constables serving in East Timor in Women on Patrol; and the journey of three gay couples toward love, commitment, and marriage in Let No One Put Asunder. Blue Vinyl looks at the effects on human health of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), America's most popular plastic, and Search for Freedom traces the social and political progression of Afghani women from the 1920s to the present.
To aid our transformation from observers to activists, the festival's cinematic component is bolstered with five panels stocked with representatives from such organizations as Oxfam, Post-Carbon Institute, Council of Canadians, Kids Around the World Project, BC Teachers' Federation, and the UBC School of Social Work. Produced for a paltry $5,000, the fest supports the work of CoDevelopment Canada, a Vancouver-based nonprofit outfit that forms partnerships between groups in B.C. and in Latin America in order to build alliances for social change.
"What we really want to do is build a community of social-justice activists in Vancouver," festival coordinator Mali Bain recently told the Straight. "We don't want to be exclusive in any way. We want to draw people from the outside. We're really reaching out to anybody who's interested in any one of these films and helping them to see the connection between them all, helping them to see how we can as individuals deal with the issues raised."
Viewers hoping to catch more than one film can purchase a festival pass for $30. Passes and individual tickets ($10/$15) are available in advance from outlets around town; for information on filmmakers in attendance, schedules, and film descriptions, go to www.codev.org/filmfest/.