Featuring a slate of challenging and eye-opening productions, the sixth annual Red Deer Justice Film Festival runs Jan. 24-26 at Red Deer College.
The Festival will host 12 documentary films in the Margaret Parsons Theatre. Organizers say these stories foster awareness of injustices suffered around the world and promote an understanding of what is possible when actions are taken, big or small.
Each film will be followed by a discussion and the opportunity to connect with a variety of organizations that will have their displays in the NGO village.
The Hearts of Women have once again taken on the organizing of the festival as part of their own desire to advocate the understanding of social justice issues in a way that inspires taking responsibility and positive action.
This year’s features include It’s a Girl on Jan. 24 at 6 p.m.
In India, China and many other parts of the world today, girls are killed, aborted and abandoned simply because they are girls. The film tells the stories of abandoned and trafficked girls, of women who suffer extreme dowry-related violence, of mothers fighting to save their daughters’ lives and of other mothers who would kill for a son.
Heather MacIntosh of Amnesty International will speak following the film.
Also set for Friday evening is The Avenue at 8 p.m.
For years, 118th Ave. in Edmonton has been synonymous with drugs, crime and prostitution. The Avenue exposes the heart of the people residing around 118th Ave. as they take back their neighbourhood.
Tara Lodewyk, planning manager for the City of Red Deer, will share some insights following the film.
On Jan. 25, things kick off with Plastic Paradise at 11 a.m.
Plastic Paradise chronicles Angela Sun’s journey of discovery to one of the most remote places on Earth, Midway Atoll, to uncover the truth behind the mystery of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Along the way she encounters scientists, celebrities, legislators and activists who shed light on what society’s vast consumption of disposable plastic is doing to our oceans.
Shift Change will be screened at 1 p.m. This film tells stories of employee-owned businesses that compete successfully in today’s economy while providing secure, dignified jobs in democratic workplaces.
Hidden Pictures follows at 3 p.m. The filmmaker, who grew up under the shadow of her dad’s mental illness, takes us on her journey to uncover stories into mental illness across the globe.
State of Control opens at 4:45 p.m.
Following two American filmmakers as they travel undercover in China and Tibet during one of the most precarious times in the country’s recent history as a police state and full-scale media blackout that began in 2008 and continues to this day.
Forced to flee and return to the U.S. the filmmakers continue to roll-camera as they work with leading cyber security experts to confirm that members of their production team were victims of cyber attacks proved to have originated in China.
They realize they are not the only targets but are one small piece of the reality of global cyber-crime activity where seemingly nobody is immune.
Randall Baran-Chong will check in after the film via Skype. Baran-chong is executive director of HanVoice, Canada’s largest and leading not-for-profit on North Korean human rights and refugees.
Saturday evening’s line-up include Suicide-is not the First Nations’ Way – a documentary/drama that explores suicide in First Nations communities. Life on the Reserve follows at 7:40 p.m.
Graham Shonfield, the filmmaker, had volunteered for development work in Africa, but nothing prepared him for the conditions that he experienced firsthand in northern Ontario at Gull Bay First Nation reserve.
Tanya Schur will speak following the film.
Finally, The Earth Wins will be screened at 8:45 p.m.
The film is described as a ‘moving, provocative, visceral’ cinematic experience celebrating the diversity of the Earth’s riches.
Sunday’s films begin with GMO OMG at noon.
Each of us consumes genetically engineered food on a daily basis. GMO OMG tells the story of a father’s discovery of GMOs in relationship to his three young children and the world around him. Follow his family’s struggle to live and eat without participating in an unhealthy, unjust, and destructive food system.
Kris Vester will speak following the screening.
People of a Feather is slated for 2:30 p.m.
People of a Feather is a journey into the Belcher Islands Inuit people. Uniting this community’s past and present is their cultural connection with the eider duck, a species suffering massive die-offs.
Eider down is essential for surviving Arctic winters. But both the Inuit and the eiders are struggling to adapt to changing sea dynamics as seasons and ocean currents are reversed by run-off from hydroelectric dams that power North America’s eastern seaboard.
George Campbell will speak following the film.
And rounding out the day is Brooklyn Castle at 4:45 p.m.
This public-school powerhouse in junior high chess competitions has won more than 30 national championships, the most of any school in the country. Its squad boasts so many strong players that the late Albert Einstein, a dedicated chess maven, would rank fourth if he were on the team.
I.S. 318 is a Brooklyn school that serves mostly minority students from families living below the poverty line. Brooklyn Castle is the story of five of the school’s young players and how chess became the school’s inspiration for academic success.
For more information go to www.justicefilmfestival.ca.