Red Deer Justice Film Festival runs Jan. 23-25th

  • Jan. 14, 2015 3:30 p.m.

The seventh annual Red Deer Justice Film Festival will host 12 documentary films over three days this month at the Red Deer College Margaret Parsons Theatre.

These powerful stories will foster awareness of injustices and indignities suffered around the world and promote an understanding of what is possible when positive actions are taken, big or small, organizers say.

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 film festival as part of their own desire to advocate the understanding of social justice issues in a way that may inspire taking responsibility and positive action.

This year the following award-winning films will be shown: Just Eat It (Jan. 23rd at 6 p.m.) Filmmakers and food lovers Jen and Grant dive into the issue of waste from farm, through retail, all the way to the back of their own fridge.

After catching a glimpse of the billions of dollars of good food that is tossed each year in North America, they pledge to quit grocery shopping cold turkey and survive only on foods that would otherwise be thrown away.

In a nation where one in 10 people is food insecure, the images they capture of squandered groceries are both shocking and strangely compelling.

Project Wild Thing runs at 8:05 p.m. with speaker Fred Scafie of the Red Deer and District Food Bank to follow. Filmmaker David Bond is a worried man. His kids’ waking hours are dominated by a cacophony of marketing, and a screen dependence threatening to turn them into glassy-eyed zombies.

Like city kids everywhere, they spend way too much time indoors – not like it was back in his day. He decides it’s time to get back to nature – literally.

On Jan. 24th, things kick off at 11 a.m. with Arise – Women in the Environment.

This film captures the portraits and stories of extraordinary women around the

world who are coming together to heal the injustices against the earth. It weaves

together poetry, music, art and stunning scenery to create a hopeful and

collective story that inspires us to work for the earth.

Speaker Bev Carrick (executive director of CAUSE Canada) will wrap up the presentation with a talk. Carrick began working overseas 35 years ago as a famine relief nurse in Ethiopia and has development experience in both Latin America and Africa.

Seeds of Time will be screened at 1:10 p.m.

A perfect storm is brewing as agriculture pioneer Cary Fowler races against time

to protect the future of our food. Gene banks of the world are crumbling, crop

failures are producing starvation-inspired rioting, and the accelerating effects of

climate change are already affecting farmers globally.

From Rome to Russia and, finally, to a remote island under the Arctic Circle, Fowler’s passionate and personal journey may hold the key to saving the one resource we cannot live without: our seeds.

Dr. Flavio Capettini will speak following the film. Born in Brazil, Capettini completed a PhD in Plant Genetics in Minneapolis and has worked for the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) and the International Maize and Wheat Research Center (CIMMYT) in Mexico, Syria and Jordan. Has been in Lacombe since last April working to make better crop varieties to improve quantity and quality of food for people.

Island Green will be shown at 3:15 p.m.

This documentary takes a look at the changing face of PEI’s agricultural

industry. Once famous for its spuds and red mud, this tiny island province now

has higher than average cancer and respiratory illness rates. Is there a link to

industrialized farming? Rather than dwelling on PEI’s worrisome monocropping

practices, Island Green dares to ask: What if PEI went entirely organic?

Mike Kozlowski of Steel Pony Farm will lead a discussion following the film.

Natural Life shows at 4:25 p.m. This feature-length documentary challenges inequities in the U.S. juvenile justice system. It depicts, through documentation and re-enactment, the stories of five individuals who were sentenced to life without parole (natural life) for crimes they committed as youth. The five will never be evaluated for change, difference or growth. They will remain in prison till they die. Clayton Buchanon, a community supports coordinator and member of Red Deer’s High Risk Youth Coalition, will speak following the film.

Pink Room shows at 6:30 p.m. The Pink Room follows the journey of Mien and other young girls in the turbulent world of sex slavery that at times seems unfathomable. Mein grew up in Sway Pak, Cambodia a small village notorious for one thing: the trafficking of children. Dave Bouchard of the Magdalene House Society will be speaking following the presentation.

Rising From Ashes shows at 8:05 p.m. Rising From Ashes is an independent film about the development of a national cycling team in Rwanda, a country still affected by 1994 Rwandan Genocide where an estimated 500,000–1,000,000 Rwandans were killed.

Jan. 25th begins with Casablanca Calling at noon.

In a country where over 60% of women have never been to school, a new generation of women have started work as official Muslim leaders.

They are called Morchidat or spiritual guides. Casablanca Calling follows three Morchidat – Hannane, Bouchra and Karima – as they set out to change their country, starting at street level. The Morchidat have a mission: to teach an Islam based on compassion, tolerance and equality, and to separate its true teachings from prejudice, misinterpretation and misunderstanding. Speaker Siham Elyagmouri will be featured following the film.

No Land No Food No Life shows at 2 p.m.

This is a hard-hitting film which explores sustainable small-scale agriculture and the urgent call for an end to corporate global land grabs. Lori Oatway of the Lacombe Field Crop Development Centre will speak following the screening.

Revolutionary Optimist screens at 4 p.m. Children are saving lives in the slums of Kolkata. Amlan Ganguly doesn’t rescue slum children; he empowers them to become change agents, battling poverty and transforming their neighborhoods with dramatic results. Filmed over the course of several years, The Revolutionary Optimist follows Amlan and three of the children he works with on an intimate journey through adolescence, as they fight for the better future he encourages them to imagine is deservedly theirs.

Admission to the Festival is free. Sponsors are welcome. For more information, go to or contact Karen Horsley at


Most Read