The Department of Communication, Media and Film and the University of Calgary Film Society Present

Waking the Sleeping Giant (2017)

When and Where: 

Wednesday, October 25th at 7:00pm

at The Gallery Hall (across from the Nickle Galleries) in Taylor Family Digital Library


About the Film:

Waking the Sleeping Giant: The Making of a Political Revolution is the story of the attempt to build a 21st century progressive movement in the United States. Five remarkable individuals wrestle with persistent racial injustice, growing economic inequality, and the corrupting influence of money in politics against the backdrop of an extraordinary 2016 presidential race.

From the presidential campaign trail with Senator Bernie Sanders to a local race in the failing economy of rural West Virginia, from a mass sit-in on the U.S. Capitol steps to racially charged police commission hearings in Los Angeles, Waking the Sleeping Giant makes sense of this moment in American politics, probing widespread discontent during the 2016 election cycle, Donald Trump’s dramatic electoral victory, and the challenges ahead for those building a re-energized progressive movement.

Some press Reviews for “Waking the Sleeping Giant”:

An “incendiary new film” – Movie-Blogger.com

The filmmakers invite us to see the people in this film “as an arm, maybe a little toe, of the rousing giant, joining unionists, Black Lives Matter activists, academics, environmentalists, LGBTQ advocates, the quite religious and the not religious, all manner of just plain decent hard-working people, red staters, blue staters, rural dweller and urbanites, and yes, one or two quoted members of the liberal media, in channeling [the] anger into a politics of inclusivity.” – The Tyee

“Giant seriously rouses when it looks at Black Lives Matter or the story of West Virginian Sabrina Shrader.” – Georgia Strait

A film by Jacob Smith, Jon D. Erickson and Kathryn Goldman.

30 minutes of Q&A via Skype with Jacob Smith to follow the screening.

All seating is first come, first served. Please arrive early.

Free for students with ID and community by donation ($5.00 – $10.00 suggested)

All proceeds go towards the Campus Food Bank.

The Cinema Travellers (2016)

When and Where: 

Wednesday, September 27th at 7:00pm

at The Gallery Hall (across from the Nickle Galleries) in Taylor Family Digital Library, University of Calgary.


About the Film:

Showmen riding cinema lorries have brought the wonder of the movies to faraway villages in India once every year. Seven decades on, as their cinema projectors crumble and film reels become scarce, their patrons are lured by slick digital technology. A benevolent showman, a shrewd exhibitor and a maverick projector mechanic bear a beautiful burden – to keep the last traveling cinemas of the world running.

A film by Shirley Abraham and Amit Madheshiya.

30 minutes Q&A via Skype with Amit to follow the screening.

Press Reviews:
“Whatever masterpieces, if any, bow at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, it is likely none will communicate the excitement engendered by movies more headily than The Cinema Travellers.” – Graham Fuller, Screen Guardian.

“The most involving films on film history included […] “The Cinema Travellers,” which follows exhibitors who show films in fairground tents in the remotest parts of India.” – Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times.

“Although The Cinema Travelers simply could have been a sad chronicling of the struggles of a once-vibrant industry in its final throws, its triumph lies in how it also captures the magic of this unique, collective movie-watching experience.” – Alex Ritman, The Hollywood Reporter.

“A wise and wistful documentary that puts things in perspective by inviting viewers not to think of new ripples in the landscape (e.g. Netflix and VOD) as signs of decay, but rather as the symptoms of a form that’s simply shedding its skin.” – David Ehrlich, Indie Wire.

“An evocative, subtle and heartfelt snapshot, it also refrains from sentimentality. For all the fondness for the old, there’s equal thrill of the new.” – Benjamin Lee, The Guardian.

Awards for The Cinema Travellers:

Cannes Film Festival –  L’Œil d’or: Le Prix du documentaire Special Mention

Batumi International Art House Film Festival – Best Documentary Award

New Hampshire Film Festival – Grande Jury Award

Mumbai Film Festival – Young Critics’ Choice Award and India Gold Special Mention

Hawaii International Film Festival – Golden Orchid Award for Best Documentary

Anchorage International Film Festival – Doc Jury Award

Royal Anthropological Institute Film Festival – Audience Prize

Documentary Edge Festival – Special Mention: Best International Director

National Film Awards India – Special Jury Award: Best Non Fiction Film

Indian Film Festival Stuttgart –  Best Documentary

All seating is first come, first served. Please arrive early.

Free for students with ID and community by donation ($5.00 – $10.00 suggested)

All proceeds go towards the Campus Food Bank.

To Be a Miss (2016)

When and Where: 

Wednesday, February 22nd at 7:00pm

at The Gallery Hall (across from the Nickle Galleries) in Taylor Family Digital Library


About the Film:

Blessed with breathtaking landscapes and abundant natural resources, the South American country of Venezuela has also become renowned in recent years as the home to uniquely beautiful women celebrated in international beauty pageants. Indeed, Venezuela has claimed title to more global beauty competitions than any other nation in the world, successfully taking 6 Miss Universe, 6 Miss World, and 5 Miss International crowns.

The success of Venezuela’s pageant stars on the world stage has instilled an immense sense of national pride, while spawning an all-consuming obsession with physical appearance, and a desire by millions of Venezuelan girls to be a Miss.

Yet behind the glamor and fame that accompanies the pageants, there lies a more sobering portrait of what it means to be a woman in this Caribbean nation.

While millions of dollars are pumped every year into countless local and regional beauty contests and the powerful media interests that drive the industry forward invest massive resources in instilling the image of Miss Venezuela in the minds of young girls, essential services for women in the country are severely lacking, domestic violence is rampant, teen pregnancy is staggering, and deaths resulting from botched cosmetic surgeries are commonplace.

To be a Miss is a feature-length documentary journey that takes the viewer through the inner workings of Venezuela’s beauty factory, exploring the hopes and dreams of young models as they strive to become the next Miss Venezuela. Following three central protagonists, the film exposes the risks and rewards associated with this multi-billion dollar industry while showing how nationalism, personal ambition, and the influence of mass media have transformed the lives of ordinary women in the country.

“The Venezuelan people’s first experience with democracy came about through a beauty contest. In this Latin American country, which was still a dictatorship in the 1950s, it was a novelty for a working-class beauty queen to beat a rival from the elite. Now, beauty contests are big business in Venezuela. To Be a Miss showcases the coaches, agencies, plastic surgeons and even a manufacturer of the hotly contested beauty queens’ crowns. But above all we see the young women trying to escape the poverty of everyday life by competing in beauty contests. In a small room shared by two sisters and a cousin, a Barbie doll hangs like a trophy on the wall. This is the sisters’ goal: to achieve the Barbie look. They go to the gym twice a day, eat far too little and take part in countless competitions. The success of Venezuelan women in international beauty pageants encourages them to hope for a better future. Nevertheless, there are also critical voices from the university – not surprising when we see the preliminary rounds of a contest being held in a plastic surgery practice.” – International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam

A film by  film by Edward Ellis, Aaron Woolf and Flor Salcedo.
Executive Producers Catherine Murphy, Richard Lipsitz, and Andrea Clark.

30 minutes of Q&A to follow the screening.

All seating is first come, first served. Please arrive early.

Free for students with ID and community by donation ($5.00 – $10.00 suggested)

All proceeds go towards the Campus Food Bank.

Updated: January 31, 2017 — 1:22 am

In The Shadow Of The Hill (2016)


When and Where: 

Wednesday, January 25th at 7:00pm

at The Gallery Hall (across from the Nickle Galleries) in Taylor Family Digital Library

 

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About the Film:

In the lead up to the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics, the Brazilian government initiates a series of ‘pacification’ programs, aimed at retaking territories previously controlled by heavily armed drug trafficking armies. In November 2011, Rio de Janeiro’s largest slum ‘Rocinha’ is seized without a single shot fired.

Shortly after the intervention, reports begin to emerge of rampant police abuse, which culminate in the disappearance of local bricklayer Amarildo de Souza. Amarildo was last seen being taken by the police for questioning, and his family believes that he has been tortured and murdered by the police. In the face of brutal oppression, together the residents start a protest movement that will shake the Brazilian establishment to the core.

‘IN THE SHADOW OF THE HILL’ offers a fascinating and often brutal insight into life inside Brazil’s largest slum ‘Rocinha’. First time director Dan Jackson offers a stunning portrait of a community that is as vibrant and inspiring as it is violent and barbaric. It is a story of David and Goliath, of empowerment, and ultimately a celebration of the amazing fortitude and resilience of the human spirit.

“This resonant social-justice documentary exposes failed efforts to forcefully clean up Rio de Janeiro’s largest slum.” – Variety Review

“Clever handheld camera work lets us wind through the labyrinth of the favela. Life happens all at once in Rochina, kids are at play while armed soldiers sharply turn corners with their guns raised. There is a distinct beauty that Dan Jackson, a first time director from Australia, understands and captures in the favela’s sprawl. Every frame is vivid and filled with bold colors. He also finds power in his well-crafted close ups. For a first time director you feel as if you watching an experienced craftsman.” – HotDocs 2016 Review

“A new documentary, In the Shadow of the Hill, explores how the security force has a devastating impact on the lives of the people in the favela of Rocinha.” CBC Radio Review

“‘In The Shadow of the Hill’ also examines the relationship between favela residents and the police, and shows the efforts of community members and activists to maintain hope and seek justice.” Metro News Review

A film by Dan Jackson

30 minutes Q&A to follow the screening.

 

All seating is first come, first served. Please arrive early.

Free for students with ID and community by donation ($5.00 – $10.00 suggested)

All proceeds go towards the Campus Food Bank.

Updated: January 25, 2017 — 2:05 pm

Migrant Dreams (2016)

When and Where: 

Wednesday, November 30th at 7:00pm

at The Gallery Hall (across from the Nickle Galleries) in Taylor Family Digital Library


About the Film:

A powerful feature documentary by multiple award-winning director Min Sook Lee (El Contrato, Hogtown, Tiger Spirit) and Emmy award-winning producer Lisa Valencia-Svensson (Herman’s House), tells the undertold story of migrant agricultural workers struggling against Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) that treats foreign workers as modern-day indentured labourers. Under the rules of Canada’s migrant labour program, low wage migrants are tied to one employer.

Migrant Dreams exposes the underbelly of the Canadian government labour program that has built a system designed to empower brokers and growers to exploit, dehumanize and deceive migrant workers who have virtually no access to support or information in their own language. Workers willing to pay exorbitant fees to work at minimum wage jobs packing the fruits and vegetables we eat in our homes. Migrant workers who deserve basic labour and human rights. Canada it seems, has failed them.

“Migrant Dreams” exposes the underbelly of the Canadian government labour program that has built a system designed to empower brokers and growers to exploit, dehumanize and deceive migrant workers who have virtually no access to support or information in their own language. Workers willing to pay exorbitant fees to work at minimum wage jobs packing the fruits and vegetables we eat in our homes. Migrant workers who deserve basic labour and human rights. Canada it seems, has failed them.
 
“Lee’s doc goes beyond the headlines and immerses us in the daily lives of several migrants. Their courage to speak out against a system that denied them any chance of achieving their dreams is moving beyond words.” – HotDocs 2016 Review
 
“What all the migrants have in common is that they’re trapped in a system where a living wage is an ever-elusive dream, and where to complain is to risk being sent back home. All too tellingly, greenhouse operators and Canadian federal government officials are among those who refused to be interviewed for the film.” – Doxa 2016 Review
 
“It’s about what life is like for those caught in the web of deceitful immigration brokers. The focus is on two Indonesian women caught in Canada’s migrant worker program.” – Northern Stars
 
“Migrant Dreams operates in the classic model of activist documentary filmmaking, using film as a tool to shed light on uncomfortable truths and present them to audiences as a force for change.” – POV Magazine Review

A Film by Min Sook Lee

See more at Migrant Dreams website

All seating is first come, first served. Please arrive early.

Free for students with ID and community by donation ($5.00 – $10.00 suggested)

All proceeds go towards the Campus Food Bank.

The Pearl (2016)

When and Where: 

Wednesday, October 26th at 7:00pm

at The Gallery Hall (across from the Nickle Galleries) in Taylor Family Digital Library


About the Film:

The Pearl explores the raw emotional and physical experience of being a middle aged to senior transgender woman against the backdrop of post-industrial logging towns in the Pacific Northwest. The film leans into the struggle of those who were reared and successful as men and have reached middle age or later with a burdensome secret that they can no longer keep.

We travel with four women, all in extremely early stages of coming out, as they attend the Esprit Conference – an annual event in northernmost Washington where transgender women that have lived closeted their whole lives come together in an environment that allows them to express their true identity.  From here we follow these same 4 women over the course of nearly 3 years as they grapple with varying degrees of transition.

“This daring documentary explores the struggle of trans-womens’ quest for identity and, more important, their struggle to find a safe space.” – TownVibe Review

“It’s a reminder that transitioning takes far more than simply saying ‘my sex and gender don’t align.'” – Digital Journey Review

“Pearl” employs the radical immersion style favored by a number of young modern documentarians on display here” – Los Angeles Times

 

“By emphasizing the mundane, The Pearl asks viewers to see these women in their natural habitat, which is the same occupied by so many of the rest of us. Valuing simplicity, the movie erases any prejudiced notion of “us” and “them.” ” – Paste Magazine

 

A Film by Jessica Gimmick and Christopher Lamarca

See more at The Pearl Website

All seating is first come, first served. Please arrive early.

Free for students with ID and community by donation ($5.00 – $10.00 suggested)

All proceeds go towards the Campus Food Bank.

Updated: October 11, 2016 — 5:27 pm

The Prison In Twelve Landscapes

When and Where: 

Wednesday, September 28th at 7:00pm

at The Gallery Hall (across from the Nickle Galleries) in Taylor Family Digital Library

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About the Film:

A film about the prison and its life in the American landscape: from a California mountainside where female prisoners fight raging wildfires, to a Bronx warehouse full of goods destined for the state correctional system, to an Appalachian coal town betting its future on the promise of prison jobs.

More people are imprisoned in the United States at this moment than in any other time or place in history, yet the prison itself has never felt further away or more out of sight. The Prison in Twelve Landscapes excavates the hidden geographies of the modern prison system by offering a film about the prison in which we never see an actual penitentiary. Instead, the film unfolds as a cinematic journey through a series of seemingly ordinary landscapes across the USA where prisons do work and affect lives. In each place, we encounter new characters and new situations through which we make a sequence of surprising discoveries: for example, that the patch of grass and singular swing set at the corner of the block in a neighborhood in Los Angeles was built to thwart parolees with sex offender status who are barred from living within 2000 feet of parks or schools. Other scenes take viewers into in a warehouse full of boxer shorts, a California forest fire, an abandoned coalfield, a tech incubator hub in downtown Detroit, and a host of other unexpected spaces. A meditation on the prison and its invisibility in the era of mass incarceration, The Prison in Twelve Landscapes offers a tender and powerful cinematic subversion of the prison’s disappearance from public view.

 

”Elegant, haunting and vividly affecting”
– Winner: Special Jury Prize – Canadian Feature Documentary, Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival

“A gorgeous, raw, and nuanced film that left us breathless, broken and irate”
– Winner: The Colin Low Award for Canadian Documentary, DOXA Documentary Film Festival

“Brilliant meditation on all kinds of imprisonment”
– Winner: EDA Award for Best Female-Directed Documentary Feature, Alliance of Women Film Journalists

 

A Film by Brett Story

 

See more at http://prisonlandscapes.com

All seating is first come, first served. Please arrive early.

Free for students with ID and community by donation ($5.00 – $10.00 suggested)

All proceeds go towards the Campus Food Bank.

 

Updated: September 15, 2016 — 2:30 pm

Among the Believers

When and Where: 

Wednesday, March 30th at 7:00pm

at The Gallery Hall (across from the Nickle Galleries) in Taylor Family Digital Library

Among_the_Believers_posterAbout the Film:

Among the Believers premiered at the Tribeca International Film Festival, and concerns charismatic cleric Abdul Aziz Ghazi, an ISIS supporter and Taliban ally, who is waging jihad against the Pakistani state. His dream is to impose a strict version of Shariah law throughout the country, as a model for the world. A flashpoint in Aziz’s holy war took place in 2007, when the government leveled his flagship mosque to the ground, killing his mother, brother, only son and 150 students. With unprecedented access, Among the Believers follows Aziz on his very personal quest to create an Islamic utopia, during the bloodiest period in Pakistan’s modern history. The film also follows the lives of two teenage students who have attended madrassahs (Islamic seminaries) run by Aziz’s Red Mosque network. Aziz’s foil is nuclear physicist and leading educational activist Dr. Pervez Hoodbhoy. He passionately opposes Aziz through his public appearances, lectures, and the media.
Opposition against Aziz comes to a head in December, 2014, when Aziz insults a grieving nation by trying to justify the brutal massacre of 132 school children in Peshawar by the Taliban. The attack ignites a movement to end extremism in Pakistan’s mosques and madrassahs. Led by Hoodbhoy and others, Pakistan’s moderate majority focuses on Aziz and calls for his arrest.
Intimate and shocking, Among the Believers offers rare insights into the ideological battles shaping Pakistan and the Muslim world.

“This expose of schools teaching religious extremism in Pakistan is both infuriating and remarkable for the degree of access obtained by the trenchant filmmakers.”
– Casey Cipriani, Indiewire

“Among the Believers might also qualify as Tribeca’s scariest film this year. Boasting incredible access, directors Hemal Trivedi and Mohammed Ali Naqvi are invited into Red Mosque.”
– Jeff Labrecque, Entertainment Weekly

“With unprecedented access to major players, this documentary clearly follows the bloody power struggle between Muslim extremists and secular leaders for control of Pakistani children’s education”
– Ronnie Scheib, Variety

Directed by: Hemal Trivedi and Mohammed Ali Naqvi

Produced by: Jonathan Goodman Levitt and Hemal Trivedi

Written by: Jonathan Goodman Levitt

See more at http://www.amongthebelieversfilm.com/

All seating is first come, first served. Please arrive early.

Free for students with ID and community by donation ($5.00 – $10.00 suggested)

All proceeds go towards the Campus Food Bank.

 

Updated: March 13, 2016 — 11:27 am

Haida Gwaii: On the Edge of the World (with director in attendance).

When and Where: 

Wednesday, February 24th at 7:00pm

In ICT 122 (links to a pdf campus map and an interactive room finder can be found here).

World-Community-Film-Fest-Haida-Gwaii-On-the-Edge-of-the-World

About the Film:

We are very excited to present Haida Gwaii: On the Edge of the World, the winner of the Best Canadian Documentary award at HotDocs 2015, with director Charles Wilkinson in attendance!

This breathtaking film documents the natural beauty of Haida Gwaii, as well the people who live on the remote island. Featuring gorgeous panoramic cinematography of the island and its surrounding waters, the film tells the story of the Haida people, who lived on the island for over 10,000 years before contact with the outside world. Since contact, the island has been subject to rampant logging and over-fishing that threatens the natural world. In addition, the island sits directly in the path of the proposed Oil Sands pipeline to Asia. As the outside, commercial world threatens this natural paradise, the need for awareness is stronger than ever.

Please join is at 7 pm on February 24th in ICT 122 to screen this breathtaking, important and critically acclaimed film.

Directed by Charles Wilkinson

See more at http://charleswilkinson.com/

All seating is first come, first served. Please arrive early.

Free for students with ID and for the community by donation (cash or non-perishable food) to the Campus Food Bank.

30 Minute Question and Answer period with Charles Wilkinson to follow the screening.

Updated: February 17, 2016 — 3:54 pm

Radical Grace

When and Where: 

Wednesday, January 27th at 7:00pm

at The Gallery Hall (across from the Nickle Galleries) in Taylor Family Digital Library

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About the Film:

Executive Produced by Academy Award winner Susan Sarandon, Radical Grace interweaves the stories of three nuns who believe in justice so deeply that they’ll risk their place in the church they love to be true to their faith. From the halls of Congress to Saint Peter’s Square, we follow the sisters as they shake up the Catholic Church and American politics. This film is both an exploration of the American Catholic Church at a critical turning point and an intimate portrait of the transformative power of personal conviction.

“Back in 2011, I didn’t set out to make a film about religion. What became Radical Grace started out as a project documenting unique acts of social justice. That’s how I stumbled into the amazing work and life of Sister Jean Hughes, who was working with formerly incarcerated felons on the West Side of Chicago. Before that, my image of Catholic nuns was drawn entirely by Hollywood. I thought they all wore habits, lived a cloistered life of prayer and ritual and were very conservative. Sister Jean exploded my stereotypes. Her passion for justice, and deep, irreverent spirituality had me hooked” – Director Rebecca Parish

Acclaimed at festivals and by critics, we are proud to present Radical Grace as our January screening.

Directed by Rebecca Parish

See more at http://radicalgracefilm.com/

All seating is first come, first served. Please arrive early.

Free for students with ID and community by donation ($5.00 – $10.00 suggested)

All proceeds go towards the Campus Food Bank.

30 Minute Question and Answer period with filmmakers to follow the screening.

Updated: January 19, 2016 — 9:30 pm
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