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

Feminists: What Were They Thinking? (2018) W/ DIRECTOR IN ATTENDANCE!

When and Where: 

Wednesday, March 28 at 7:00pm

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


About the Film:

In 1977, a book of photographs captured an awakening — women shedding the cultural restrictions of their childhoods and embracing their full humanity. Feminists — What Were They Thinking? revisits those photos, those women and those times — and takes aim at our current culture revealing all too vividly the urgent need for continued change.

THE WOMEN IN THIS FILM TOOK POWER OVER THEIR OWN TRANSFORMATION AND HELPED INSPIRE A GLOBAL SHIFT IN WOMEN’S IDENTITY

“Feminism seems to be the scariest word in the English language. But not for those of us who experienced the game-changing awakening that was the Women’s Movement of the 1970s. Growing up in the fifties and sixties meant not only second class citizenship legally, but 2nd class human being-ship: not invited to the party of medicine, art, law, education, science, religion, except maybe as the secretary. Our film, FEMINISTS: What were they thinking? digs deep into our personal experiences of sexism and of liberation, and follows this ever-challenging dialogue right into the 21st century. We are taking it personally.” — Johanna Demetrakas, Director

Featuring interviews with Gloria Steinem, Lily Tomlin, Michelle Phillips, Cynthia MacAdams, Cheryl Swannack, Jane Fonda, Kate Millet, Meredith Monk, Laurie Anderson, among others!

A film by Johanna Demetrakas.

30 minutes of Q&A with the director 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: March 19, 2018 — 11:38 am

Vancouver: No Fixed Address (2017)

Watch the trailer here

When and Where: 

Wednesday, February 28 at 7:00pm

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


About the Film:

From Toronto to Sydney and from San Francisco to London the cost of housing in cities around the world is skyrocketing. This film takes an uncompromising look at the drama unfolding in one such city, where multi-ethnic citizens fight to preserve homes as living spaces instead of global financial commodities. It is also a story about the very idea of home and what promotes or destroys one’s sense of belonging. It is the story of a city and a people struggling to cope with the strange and often threatening economic and social forces emerging globally at the start of the 21st century. 

Our story takes place in Vancouver, Canada – consistently ranked in the top five cities on Earth to live.  It’s a place that elicits deep affection, even love from most of its residents. A city with unparalleled natural beauty, a relatively clean environment, safe streets, stable institutions, and an attitude that prioritizes lifestyle over work.  In short; paradise.   

But this is also a story of the people forced by high prices to live on the streets, people who live in substandard conditions, people who struggle to hang on to the homes they have. It’s also the story of our housing casino and those cashing in on the meteoric rise in housing values.  In other words, it’s a story most of us are involved in. 

Director Charles Wilkinson and producers Tina Schliessler and Kevin Eastwood (the team behind Haida Gwaii: On The Edge Of The World and Oil Sands Karaoke) have assembled a group of residents deeply affected by the housing boom, as well as a number of key influencers in the city including Mayor Gregor Robertson, Musqueam playwright Quelamia Sparrow, Condo King Bob Rennie, Senator Pau Yuen, and activist David Suzuki.

This feature documentary examines the common issues at work within the global housing bubble – arguments debated in London, New York, Toronto, Melbourne and the many more cities worldwide experiencing astronomical, often inexplicable increases in real estate values. It’s a story people everywhere are concerned about. Everywhere a wide array of opinions are put forward as to what hidden forces might be at play. Vancouver: No Fixed Address delves beneath the headlines and rumours and comes to some unsettling conclusions about home – a place we thought we knew.

A film by Charles Wilkinson produced by Tina Schliessler.

30 minutes of Q&A via Skype with the director 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: February 7, 2018 — 9:51 pm

Complicit (2017)

When and Where: 

Wednesday, January 31 at 7:00pm

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


About the Film:

Shot below the radar, Complicit follows the journey of Chinese factory migrant worker-turned-activist Yi Yeting, who takes his fight against the global electronic industry from his hospital bed to the international stage. While battling his own work-induced leukemia, Yi Yeting teaches himself labour law in order to prepare a legal challenge against his former employers. But the struggle to defend the lives of millions of Chinese people from becoming terminally ill due to working conditions necessitates confrontation with some of the world’s largest brands including Apple and Samsung. Unfortunately, neither powerful businesses nor the government are willing to have such scandals exposed. [Synopsys from Human Rights Watch Film Festival 2017]

Some press Reviews for “Complicit”:

Complicit is a harrowing and powerful documentary that may be set in fast developing China, but it raises an ethical question that we should all consider: From the smartphones we swipe to the Fitbits we wear, what really happens along the supply chain? Directors Heather White and Lynn Zhang make audiences face the uncomfortable truth that there is a devastating human cost to the conveniences we enjoy on a daily basis.- Candice Tan; thereelword.net

The film explores the stories of numerous affected workers, many of whom were forced to migrate to manufacturing jobs far from home due to rural poverty […] Although not stated directly, the film’s brutal message is undeniable: ‘people are dying for your iPhone’.  Unsurprisingly, these people are often among the millions that still live in poverty in China. Due to the country’s stark rural-urban economic divide, its migrant workforce is monumental and workers contribute to China’s new consumer capitalism, while also remaining left behind by it. – Jessica Duncanson; filmdoo.com

A film by Heather White and Lynn Zhang.

30 minutes of Q&A via Skype with director Heather White 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 16, 2018 — 6:19 pm

Fattitude (2017)

When and Where: 

Wednesday, November 29th at 7:00pm

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


About the Film:

Did you know that fat people are paid $1.25 less an hour than their thin counterparts? Or that a fat person who excels can still legally lose a job just because s/he’s fat? How about the reality that 1 in 3 doctors associates fat bodies with hostility, dishonesty and poor hygiene?

Fat people are subject to discrimination everywhere they look. In children’s books and stories fat people are villains and bad guys. On our television screens and in the advertising world the fat body is a joke. Magazines and entertainment news shows fixate on the “fatness” of celebrities’ bodies and there are very few films that feature fat leads, despite the fact that 60%+ of Americans are – or at the very least consider themselves – fat.

It is our goal to inform people about the harsh and very real realities of fat shaming and fat hatred – to expose how fat hatred permeates our popular culture, spreading the message that fat is bad and in turn forwarding the idea that being cruel, unkind or downright unjust to a fat person is acceptable behavior. AND THEN, TO INSPIRE CHANGE.

Fattitude is a body positive documentary, but it is also an activist movement.

Check out Fattitude’s website

A film by Lindsey Averill and Viridiana Lieberman.

30 minutes of Q&A via Skype with director Lindsey Averill to follow the screening.

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

Free for students with ID and community by donation non-perishables or cash ($5.00 – $10.00 suggested)

All proceeds go towards the Campus Food Bank.

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

 

in_the_shadow_of_the_hill_rio
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
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