The 27th World Community Film Festival is ready to roll on Friday & Saturday, February 2 and 3 in downtown Courtenay.  Over 30 of the finest documentaries from around the world cover topics including: First Nations, arts and music, food security, environmental issues, labour, social justice and human rights.  These films are guaranteed to entertain, inform, and inspire.

Opening night at the Sid Williams Theatre (7:30 pm) promises to be a memorable event. Kumugwe Dancers will open the evening and share their songs and dances. The feature film, Meet Beau Dick, Maker of Monsters is a portrait of a Canadian art legend from Alert Bay, considered by many to be the finest West Coast artist since contact. Beau Dick was a charismatic hereditary chief, a carver and cultural activist whose generous and prolific nature exemplified the spirit of the potlatch. In his activism, he relied on his culture to inform him. Beautiful cinematography!  Filmmakers Natalie Boll and LaTiesha Fazakas along with Beau’s daughter Linnea will be in attendance.

Saturday films in four downtown venues continue from 10 am to 6 pm with many hidden gems. Programmer Picks include Denial  which follows David Hallquist, CEO of a Vermont Utility, as he grapples with issues around climate change and the vulnerabilities of the old electrical grid. The story takes an interesting twist when David comes out as a trans-woman.

Evolution of OrganicThe engaging story of organic agriculture told by the farmers who built the movement. The next generation of farmers are using methods such as “no till” and carbon farming as a climate solution. Regenerative agriculture is the promising new frontier.

Rebels On Pointe – Dancers in the world famous Les Ballets Trockaderos de Monte Carlo, the all male comic drag ballet troupe, explore themes of identity, dreams and family.  “Laugh out loud funny, the dancers are good company for any audience” POV magazine

Don’t miss the Oscar-nominated film 116 Cameras which shows how Holocaust survivors transformed into 3D digital holograms will communicate with future generations.

Family Program – Saturday 1:15pm – 2:45pm   Florence Filberg Rotary Room

These short films are appropriate for those 6 – 12 years old but will be enjoyed by all. Free for children 12 and under (accompanied by an adult with a ticket).  This year’s theme is “Critters”.

Social Justice Bazaar – Upper Florence Filberg Centre,  9:30am – 3:30pm – Free admission

Community groups sell fair trade goods and provide information about many of the issues featured in the films.  The Bazaar offers delicious food for sale throughout the day.

Festival Banquet – 6:00 pm Florence Filberg Centre – Sumptuous Mid Eastern vegetarian dinner –

Tickets (only $22 ) available at the World Community booth on Friday and at the Bazaar on Saturday.

Closing Night – Saturday -8 pm  in the Sid Williams Theatre –

Dolores  (Produced by Carlos Santana) Dolores Huerta fought for racial and labour justice alongside Caesar Chavez in forming the first US Farm Workers’ Union.  She became one of the most defiant feminists of the 20th Century and remains active at 87.  “…exuberantly inspiring …makes you want to march and dance.” San Francisco Chronicle

Tickets: Sid Williams Theatre Box Office (250-338-2430) or online www.sidwilliamstheatre.com   

Plan your viewing by checking out the film trailers and schedule : www.worldcommunity.ca

FMI: 250 337-5412

Janet Fairbanks

World Commuinty