After clocking hundreds of hours watching a variety of documentary films, the programmers for the 22nd World Community Film Festival have chosen a diverse and dynamic program.
“Being a member of the programming committee offers me a chance to see many great documentary films,” says programmer Gordon Darby. “Narrowing them down for the 30 or so films for the festival program is an arduous and delicate operation.”
One of Darby’s favourite films in this year’s festival Feb. 1 and 2 in downtown Courtenay is Sing Your Song.
Director Susanne Rostock takes viewers on an emotional journey through the life and times of singer, actor and activist Harry Belafonte who played a major role in some of the biggest moments in history. Sing Your Song is a unique film that is very enlightening, incredibly inspirational, and thoroughly entertaining.
Another favourite is We Still Live Here: Âs Nutayuneân, a beautiful film by acclaimed filmmaker Anne Makepeace that focuses on Mashpee Wampanoag, Jessie Little Doe Baird, who is summoned by her ancestors in a dream and encouraged to resurrect their language, which hasn’t been spoken in over a century.
The film explores the intrinsic relationship between language and culture, and demonstrates what one person can do when they set their mind to it.
Programmer Janet Fairbanks likes “character-driven” films.
She recommends Crime After Crime, the award-winning film that tells the unforgettable story of Debbie Peagler who was wrongly incarcerated for over a quarter of a century due to her alleged connection with the murder of a man who abused her.
In spite of the injustices she endured, she remained positive and inspired others, leading the gospel choir and teaching other women prisoners to read.
Another Fairbanks pick is All Me: the Life and Times of Winfred Rembert.
With his intensely autobiographical paintings etched into leather, Rembert has preserved the day to day lives of African Americans in the segregated South.
“In spite of surviving discrimination, a lynch mob, and prison, Rembert has been able to turn some of his most painful memories into something meaningful and beautiful in his art.”
His commentary about “prison as the new slavery” is a wakeup call to those who believe that prisons are the answer to social problems.
Plan your filmfest experience by reading the film schedule online worldcommunity.ca.
Tickets are on sale at the Sid Williams Theatre box office. Call 250-338-2430 or toll free 1-866-898-8499 or order online at www.sidwilliamstheatre.com. Some low-income passes are available.
— World Community Film Festival