Justice Film Festival set for later this month

Red Deer Justice Film Festival brought to Red Deer in 2008 by CAUSE Canada

The 10th annual Red Deer Justice Film Festival is fast approaching and will be held Jan. 25th-27th at the Welikoklad Event Centre downtown.

According to the web site, the Red Deer Justice Film Festival was brought to Red Deer in 2008 by CAUSE Canada as part of the Marda Loop Film Festival in Calgary.

“After two years being run by CAUSE Canada, a group of women called ‘The Hearts of Women’ (HOW), who had been helping with some of the planning and volunteering, were asked to take over organization of the event.

“As a goal of the HOW was to advocate for the understanding of social issues, they jumped on board. Their hope was that the film festival may inspire others to take responsibility and promote positive action. The festival continues to run in association with the Marda Loop Justice Film Festival and as of last year, the torch has been passed on to a new group of women with the same hopes, goals, and intentions as those of the HOW.

Put on by Red Deer residents Lane Tomalty, Breanna Fitzpatrick, and Amanda and Chelsea Hadland, the Festival believes in social education and involvement. It’s free to the public and sponsored by the generous donations of local businesses and individuals.

“With films tackling various topics such as living with cancer, immigration matters, and the connective power of music, this year’s festival hopes to further engage with its audience through post-show discussions where an expert on the film’s subject matter will speak and answer questions.”

Highlights this year include A Simpler Way: A Crisis as Opportunity. According to a synopsis, “The overlapping economic, environmental, and cultural crises of our times can seem overwhelming, can seem like challenges so great and urgent that they have no solutions.

“But rather than sticking our heads in the sand or falling into despair, we should respond with defiant positivity and try to turn the crises we face into opportunities for civilisational renewal. During the year of 2015 a small community formed on an emerging ecovillage in Gippsland, Australia, and challenged themselves to explore a radically ‘simpler way’ of life based on material sufficiency, frugality, permaculture, alternative technology and local economy.

The C Word explores the impact of cancer.

“This disease is one of the things I dreaded most in life: the word I never wanted to hear,” said director Meghan L. O’Hara.

“And being in the belly of the beast after my own diagnosis, I can attest, it’s no picnic. But it can make you fearless – and hungry for information as to how? Why? Why me? Why so many? Why are cancer rates going up and up even as awareness and science advance?

“I wasn’t the only one asking those questions, and my quest for answers led me to a man who changed my life forever, because he was already on a course – to change cancer. A brilliant neuro-scientist, David Servan-Schreiber discovered his own brain tumor during MRI research. He set out to gather as ‘much information as I could to see what I could do to help my body fight and resist cancer and what he found was astounding. And what is even more shocking, why was no one talking about it?”

The Music of Strangers chronicles how over the past 16 years an extraordinary group of musicians come together to celebrate the universal power of music.

According to a synopsis, named for the ancient trade route linking Asia, Africa and Europe, The Silk Road Ensemble, an international collective created by acclaimed cellist Yo-Yo Ma, exemplifies music’s ability to blur geographical boundaries, blend disparate cultures and inspire hope for both artists and audience.”

For a complete listing of films, check out www.reddeerjustictfilmfest.ca.

As mentioned, the Festival will take place at Red Deer College’s Welikoklad Event Centre with screenings held from 6 – 11:30 p.m. each day.

There will also be matinée screenings on Saturday from 12:30 – 5 p.m.

-Weber

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