Time: Sun, 4:30pm, Main Theatre
Director: Damon Gameau
Award-winning director Damon Gameau embarks on a journey to explore what the future would look like by the year 2040 if we embraced the solutions to the climate crisis already available to us and shifted them into the mainstream. Structured as a visual letter to his 4-year-old daughter, Gameau blends traditional documentary footage with dramatized sequences and high-end visual effects to create a positive vision of what the planet could look like in 2040 when his daughter will be 25. From micro-grid renewable energy in Bangladesh, to farmers switching to regenerative agricultural methods, to marine permaculture, this film is an exercise in “fact-based dreaming."
Time: Sun, 1:30pm, Main Theatre
Director: Josh Murphy
Artifishal is a film about people, rivers, and the fight for the future of wild fish and the environment that supports them. It explores wild salmon’s slide toward extinction, threats posed by fish hatcheries and fish farms, and our continued loss of faith in nature.
Time: Sat, 4:45pm, Main Theatre
Assholes: A Theory 2019
Director: John Walker
Some grapple with the challenge of treating other human beings decently. Others are just… assholes, claims Professor Aaron James in his New York Times bestselling book, Assholes: A Theory. This intellectually provocative film takes a playful approach to uncovering why asshole behaviour is on the rise in the workplace, in government, and at home. Lively commentary is provided by actor John Cleese, former Canadian police officer Sherry Lee Benson-Podolchuk, Italian LGBTQ activist Vladimir Luxuria and others.
Time: Sat, 2:45pm, Main Theatre
Director: Christina Willings
Beauty explores the lives of five gender-creative kids, each uniquely engaged in shaping their own sense of what it means to be fully human. Whether it’s dealing with bullies, explaining themselves to their parents, or navigating the uncharted waters of relationships, Bex, Lili, Fox, Tru and Milo talk about their experiences and struggle to live in authenticity.
Time: Sun, 4:30pm, H115
Sea to Sea
Writers/Directors: Nance Ackerman, Ariella Pahlke & Teresa MacInnes.
Conviction is a collaborative documentary that envisions alternatives to prisons through the eyes of women behind bars. Three filmmakers collaborate with women on the inside to imagine what they would have needed in their lives to avoid incarceration. They paint, draw, photograph and film, envisioning a more ideal world, authoring their own narratives through art. A microcosm for a worldwide crisis, the film chronicles the women’s journeys as they navigate the world inside and outside prison walls, joining advocates and politicians in questioning the ideas of punishment and prison.
Time: Sun, 11:15am, H115
The Doctrine of Discovery: Stolen Lands, Strong Hearts 2019 66 min
Director: Lisa Barry
The Doctrine of Discovery, proclaimed over 500 years ago, continues to profoundly impact Indigenous and Settler people worldwide. Pope Alexander VI ruled that the lands being discovered by European explorers at the time was “empty” land and its millions of Indigenous inhabitants were “non-human”. Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission released 94 Calls to Action in 2015, with many of them referring to the Doctrine of Discovery and calling for its repudiation. This film is one of the responses of the Anglican Primate’s Commission on Discovery, Reconciliation and Justice.
Trailer: Eating Up Easter
Eating Up Easter 2019
Kartemquin Films & Plastic Oceans Int'l
Director: Sergio M. Rapu
The iconic statues and sensationalized “mysteries” of Easter Island (Rapa Nui) have drawn the interest of the world for centuries. Today, this tiny island is experiencing an economic boon as tourism skyrockets. Yet the indigenous culture and the island’s fragile environment are suffering. Some of these issues are similar to what we’re facing in BC. Eating Up Easter, directed by native Rapanui filmmaker Sergio Mata’u Rapu, explores the dilemma his people are facing. The film intertwines the authentic history of the island with the stories of four islanders and suggests ways forward in tackling the complexities of balancing growth and sustainability.
Time: Sat, 11am, Main Theatre
Fashion's Dirty Secret 2019
Director: Lucy Siegle
‘Fast fashion’ has taken the clothing industry by storm. Retailers churn out affordable versions of the latest fashions from the runway to the store shelf, and we’re pressured to keep up with the trends. While there is an increased awareness of poor labour conditions in some of these fast fashion factories, we’re still not talking seriously about how the industry is harming our planet. The fashion industry uses enormous quantities of scarce water and is thought to be one of the worst-polluting industries in the world, falling among the ranks of oil and coal.
Time: Sat, 7pm, Main Theatre
Finding Solitude 2019
Directors: Jaiden George and Tristan Hinder-Hohlweg
Finding Solitude is about saving the alpine, glaciers and forests on Vancouver Island. The film illuminates traditional outlooks, spiritual connections and land use principles of the Ahousaht, Tla-O-Qui-Aht and K’omoks peoples, including the cultural history of maintaining healthy territories. The future of all glaciers on Vancouver Island, including Queneesh in the Comox Valley, is bleak. Through interviews with scientific, environmental and indigenous cultural leaders, the film explores the importance of these critical ecosystems. Given the current state of the region, what practices will need to be adopted or revitalized in order to ensure the Island’s land is preserved for future generations? Beautiful cinematography!
Time: Sat, 2:10pm, H115
Five Acres 2019
Directors: Paul Manly and Laurie Mac Millan
The Five Acre Farm in the Harewood area of Nanaimo has a long history of producing local food. It’s one of the last intact farms in BC’s first planned agricultural community. Samuel Robins, Superintendent of the Vancouver Coal Mining and Land Company had some visionary ideas. In 1884, Robins purchased Harewood Estates, a large parcel of land between Nanaimo and the base of Mount Benson. He subdivided the area into five-acre lots and made them available as homesteads, at affordable prices, to mining families. Robins envisioned farming as a way for miners to provide for themselves whenever coal markets were depressed. Today, this farm provides food and opportunities for a wide variety of people.
Trailer: Gay Chorus: Deep South
Time: Fri, Main Theatre 7:30pm
Gay Chorus: Deep South 2019
The Film Collaborative
Director: David Charles Rodrigues
In response to a wave of discriminatory anti-LGBTQ laws in Southern US states and the divisive 2016 election, the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus embarks on a tour of the American Deep South. Led by Conductor Dr. Tim Seelig and joined by The Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir, the tour brings a message of music, love and acceptance to communities and individuals confronting intolerance. Over 300 singers traveled throughout the South, performing in churches, community centers and concert halls in hopes of uniting people. The journey challenges Tim and other Chorus members who fled the South to confront their own fears, pain and prejudices on a journey towards reconciliation, sometimes within their own families. What emerges is a vision of a more hopeful US, through the soaring power of music, humanity, and a little drag.
Trailer: The Guardians
Time: Sun, 3:15pm, H115
The Guardians 2018
Directors: Ben Crosbie and Tessa Moran
A visually dazzling meditation on the delicate balance between humans and nature, The Guardians elegantly interweaves the lives of the iconic monarch butterfly with an indigenous community in Mexico. Both depend on the same ancient forest for their survival and now face an uncertain future. Migrating 3,000 miles to hibernate in the towering Oyamels, the monarch population faces collapse, hitting a record low of 33 million, down from 1 billion just twenty years ago. In the valley below, the people of Donaciano Ojeda must carve out a sustainable future in their ancestral lands, now part of the protected Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve. Once loggers of this forest, they’ve made a radical decision to stop and to regrow it instead--but they now face new threats of illegal logging.
Time: Sat, 10:30am, Main Theatre
Hayashi Studio 2019
Director: Hayley Gray
Hayashi Studio follows the diverse lives that came to Cumberland BC in the 1900s and Senjiro Hayashi, the Japanese photographer who took their photos. Hayashi used his lens to document every race, class and gender. During internment many of his photos disappeared, some hidden in family attics, others used to make a greenhouse. Almost a century later the photos were found and exhibited, showcasing a piece of Pacific Northwest history rarely seen.
Time: Sat, 3:15, H115
In this era of “reconciliation,” Indigenous land is still being taken at gunpoint. INVASION is a new film about the Unist’ot’en Camp, Gidimt’en checkpoint and the larger Wet’suwet’en Nation standing up to the Canadian government and corporations who continue colonial violence against Indigenous people.
Trailer: Jordan River Anderson
Time: Sat, 11am, H115
Jordan River Anderson: The Messenger 2019
Director: Alanis Obomsawin
Alanis Obomsawin’s remarkable 52nd film documents the story of a young boy forced to spend all five years of his short life in hospital while the federal and provincial governments argued over which was responsible for his care, as well as the long struggle of Indigenous activists to force the Canadian government to enforce “Jordan’s Principle” — the promise that no First Nations children would experience inequitable access to government-funded services again.
Trailer: Life of Pie
Time: Fri, 7pm, Main Theatre
Life of Pie 2019
Directors: Ben Knight and Travis Rummel
It wasn’t long ago that the small Colorado town of Fruita was solely a hub of agriculture and oil and gas development. But singletrack shredders and pizza chefs Jen Zeuner and her partner Anne Keller have helped to transform the high-desert town into a mountain biking hotspot with their Hot Tomato Café. It wasn’t always easy — some residents of conservative Fruita weren’t quite ready for their “lifestyle” at first. But the women’s delicious East Coast-style pizza — and the love they put into making it — have made them indispensable members of the community and turned the Hot Tomato into the living room of the Grand Valley’s outdoor recreation industry.
Trailer: Nae Pasaran
Time: Sun, 1:30pm, H115
Nae Pasaran 2018
Director: Felipe Bustos Sierra
Nae Pasaran! reveals the incredible impact made by Scottish factory workers 40 years ago against the repressive dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. In 1974, Bob Fulton, a Rolls-Royce engine inspector, told his colleagues that a Chilean Air Force jet engine had arrived for maintenance and he was refusing to let it go through, in protest against the recent military coup of General Pinochet. Decades after their defiant stand in protest against Pinochet’s Air Force, these pensioners discover the dramatic consequences of their solidarity. Recently, three of the labour activists were awarded the highest honour the Chilean government can bestow on foreigners.
Time: Sat, 1pm, Main Theatre
Blue Ice Docs
Director: Fredrik Gertten
Housing prices are skyrocketing in cities around the world. Incomes are not. PUSH sheds light on a new kind of faceless landlord, our increasingly unlivable cities and an escalating crisis that has an effect on us all. This is not gentrification; it’s a different kind of monster. The film follows Leilani Farha, the UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing, as she travels the globe, trying to understand who’s being pushed out of the city and why. Who are the players and what are the factors that make housing one of today’s most pressing world issues?
Trailer: Sex, Sin & 69
Time: Sat, 3:15pm, Main Theatre
Sex, Sin & 69 2019
Director: Sarah Fodey
In June 1969, Canada enacted landmark legislation to decriminalize homosexuality nationwide. 50 years after this momentous action, diverse voices from Canada’s contemporary queer community reflect on this contested history for what it can teach us about shaping our movements into the future.
The film attempts to challenge our understanding of queer history by shining a light on widely adopted misconceptions surrounding decriminalization.
Trailer: The Superfood Chain
Time: Sun, 3:15pm, Main Theatre
The Superfood Chain 2019
Fathom Film Group
Director: Ann Shin
The Superfood Chain explores the story behind the rise of superfoods like quinoa, teff, coconuts, and wild salmon, revealing the ripple effect the superfood industry has on the lives of farm families in Bolivia, Ethiopia, the Philippines, and Haida Gwaii. The documentary examines serious issues related to the globalization of superfoods, including unintended effects on food security, health, sustainable farming, and fair-trade food practices.
Time: Sat, 4:15pm, H115
The Tree of Life and its People 2019
Spartan Media Group
Directors: Ria and Lee Millikan
Renowned First Nations carver and multimedia artist Rande Cook says “This story is about our land and all that comes from it… as indigenous peoples, our language, culture, art — it’s deeply rooted connection to the land.” The goal is protection of the land from old-growth logging and land revitalization for the indigenous peoples within their traditional territories. Regarding the cedar tree, Cook says “to destroy that living organism is to take away the essence of who we are.”
Trailer: Up, Down and Sideways
Time: Sun, 7pm, Main Theatre
Up, Down and Sideways 2017
Directors: Anushka Meenakshi and Iswar Srikumar
Phek is a village in the Indian state of Nagaland near the border with Myanmar, with around 5,000 inhabitants, nearly all of whom grow rice for their own consumption. As they work in the fields they sing together. The rhythm and movement of hoeing, plowing, planting, and harvesting is accompanied by songs and chants that echo through the hills. The songs have been passed down for generations and tell stories of the land, love, and the concerns of everyday life in an area that for many years has been troubled by political unrest. Shots of natural beauty and people working in the fields are interspersed with interviews about their lives and music, so inextricably linked.
Trailer: Way of the Hunter
Time: Sat, 2:45pm, H115
Way of the Hunter 2019
Director: Robert Moberg
Deep in the Great Bear Rainforest, against the backdrop of British Columbia’s breathtaking wilderness, a former hunter comes to terms with his past and looks with hope towards the future. Exploring one man’s evolving relationship with the natural world, Way of the Hunter tells the compelling story of Robert Moberg, a hunter who ultimately traded his gun for a camera.
nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up 2019
Director: Tasha Hubbard
On August 9, 2016, a young Cree man named Colten Boushie died from a gunshot to the back of his head after entering Gerald Stanley’s rural property with his friends. The jury’s subsequent acquittal of Stanley captured international attention, raising questions about racism embedded within Canada’s legal system. Sensitively directed by Tasha Hubbard, the film weaves a profound narrative encompassing the filmmaker’s own adoption, the stark history of colonialism on the Prairies, and a vision of a future where Indigenous children can live safely on their homelands.
Trailer: The Whale and the Raven
Time: Sat, 7:30pm, Main Theatre
The Whale and the Raven 2019
Director: Mirjam Leuze
Drawn to the rich food sources and quiet waters in the Kitimat fjord system, humpback whales, pods of orca, fin whales, and porpoises eat, play, and raise their young. Whale researchers Hermann Meuter and Janie Wray founded the Cetacea Lab on Gil Island to study this unique marine environment. As the Gitga’at First Nation struggles to protect their territory, the imminent construction of a new liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporting plant in nearby Kitimat promises to bring increasing tanker traffic and noise, with unknown consequences. Through sublime cinematography, Leuze immerses us in a truly majestic world and makes an emphatic argument for its preservation.
Time: Sat, 3:15, H115 (after Invasion)
What is happening at Unist'ot'en? 2020
Producer: Colonialism in Canada
The Unist'ot'en currently exist at the cutting edge of Canadian-Indigenous relations. This film discusses the past and present of the events unfolding in British Columbia's north, while guiding us to seek a greater future.
Trailer: Wilder than Wild
Time: Sat, 1pm, H115
Wilder than Wild: Fires, Forests & the Future 2018
Directors: Steven Most and Kevin White
Wilder Than Wild recounts recent California megafires, revealing how fuel build-up and climate change have exposed Western wildlands to large, high-intensity wildfires while greenhouse gases released from these fires contribute to global warming. The Yurok tribe is renewing their tradition of cultural fires while stakeholder groups are working with scientists and resource managers to build consensus on how to restore and manage the lands we love.
Trailer: Yalis Rising
Time: Sat, 10:30am, H115
Yalis Rising: Celebrating the T’lisalagi’lakw School 2020
Director: Ed Carswell
Conceived and built by the ‘Namgis First Nation, the T’lisalagi’lakw Elementary School holds the deep spirit of Alert Bay, BC. The students learn traditional songs and dances in anticipation of a year-end Potlatch celebration. For the Elders, teachers and community, this event is a sign of Yalis (Alert Bay) Rising. With vivid west coast imagery, this film reveals one of the best examples of cultural revitalization on the Pacific Coast.