Where else but Antigonish does $15 buy you two days of documentary films … or if you are a student or unwaged, just $5?
During the past 12 months, the selection committee of the Antigonish International Film Festival [AIFF] has been previewing and screening numerous films from various parts of the world, looking to source and select the most outstanding. Twenty-eight films have been chosen this year, many of them award winners from renowned filmmakers.
During the eighth annual edfestival, taking place this Friday and Saturday, there will be films from excellent local filmmakers, including Peter Murphy with Sometimes Life Has A Way of Surprising You, a fascinating look at Antigonish’s own Park Bench Players; Seeking Netukulimk directed by Martha Stiegman and Kerry Prosper; and Treasures of the Old Forest, directed by Henri Steeghs.
Here are a few of the other offerings:
Greedy Lying Bastards, about the people and powerful organizations who deny the reality of climate change.
Arctic Defenders, about the young Inuit in Canada’s North, with a new vision for their territory that is not that of outsiders and that reveals the dark side of the claims being made that the Inuit oppose.
Granny Power, about the activist grandmothers who are members of Raging Grannies, fighting for peace and social justice
Stand, a stunningly beautiful story set on the west coast of British Columbia showing what is at stake with the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline and tanker route and why the resident surfers and paddlers are dedicated to stopping this project. The richness and diversity of Haida Gwaii is featured, breathtakingly captured on film.
Friday night, a special film will occupy the place of honour and be shown at the Capitol Theatre. At its heart, Sweet Dreams is a story about empowerment, set in a place where most of the recent history has been horrendously bad.
This film follows the narrative of Rwandan women forming the first ever female drumming troupe, something previously unheard of in that country were only men were permitted to drum.
When you hear the joyful rhythms you will understand how this female group has empowered itself and their country, building new relationships among themselves and dealing with an awful history of old wounds while spreading healing.
And there is more. These same women go into business together, opening the first ice cream shop in all of Rwanda, embarking on a journey of independence, peace and possibility. Watch Sweet Dreams and see a film full of struggle, where life was never easy and nothing, not even survival, could be taken for granted. A group of determined women faced tremendous challenges in a post-conflict society and continue to do so, but now, never without hope, and, frequently enough, with success.
There are three screening venues in close proximity; Capitol Theatre, People’s Place Library and Antigonish town council chambers.
AIFF exists to bring the best documentaries to viewers and festival goers in this part of Nova Scotia, supporting local filmmakers while searching other countries for their best.
In addition, AIFF committee schedule monthly films during the remainder of the year as the First Friday Film Festival and travel to Truro to screen films for the inmates at the Nova Federal Prison for Women.
After watching films during the two days of Oct.17 and 18, head to the Prissy Pig restaurant to wrap up activities Saturday evening with good food and lots of good conversation … the community dinner is always a hit.
Get all the details on the AIFF website antigonishfilmfest.org.