Antigonish International Film Festival

By Submitted
First published on Oct 13 2016

How do we make change? As we face climate change, environmental destruction, abuse of people’s rights, and increasing inequality, to name a few; this question confronts us. There are many ways to engage for positive change.

We show films. We use documentaries by independent filmmakers from around the world to inform and inspire a sense of hope and possibility. In 10 years, the Antigonish International Film Festival (AIFF) has brought hundreds of films to the community during its festivals and through a monthly film series. We have partnered with community organizations to find and bring films on topics relevant to their concerns. The Antigonish International Film Festival (AIFF) provides access to voices and stories often ignored by mainstream media, stories that offer alternative visions of what life is, what it can be, and how change is made, and more inspiringly, how change was made somewhere in this big world on our small planet. This year, as in past years, films will bring information and perspectives on some problems as well as stories of victories that resulted from creative and courageous actions.


Some plant trees. A short film, Plant for the Planet, shows a 9-year old German boy who got children to plant 1,000,000 trees in Germany, a movement that has gone global among children and youth. Their new goal: planting 1 BILLION trees!

Others show spirit, compassion, patience, and endless perseverance. In The Bad Kids, we meet American educators who are convinced that all children need a chance, even when they misbehave. They are smart and big-hearted, and tough, and it seems to work.

Others do circus. In Circus Without Borders: The Story of ARTCIRQ and KALABANTE we meet two young men, world-class acrobats who are friends and share a common dream of bringing circus arts to remote and struggling communities to youth confronting suicide, poverty and despair in the Canadian Arctic and Guinea, West Africa.

Others cooperate. In WEconomics we travel to Northern Italy where we meet an ecologically conscious cooperative movement that brings prosperity and has time for kids and the elderly! People living in countries where corporatism reigns may not believe it.

And others fight and organize. In The Hand That Feeds, undocumented immigrant workers in New York get paid below the minimum wage and face dangerous machines and abusive managers. Sandwich maker Mahoma López was not interested in politics but in January 2012, he convinced a small group of co-workers to fight back, to risk deportation and the loss of their jobs, and to take the unusual step of forming their own independent union, a journey that tested their resolve

These films bring youth, their dreams, and their commitment to us. The least we can do is listen to them. See and hear them at the Antigonish International Film Festival, October 21-23, 2016, right here where we live!

Festival Passes: $5 for unwaged & students; $15 for regular. They are available at Lyghtesome Gallery & People’s Place Library. Community dinner is at St. James United Church at 6:30 on Sautday, Oct. 23. Cost is $20. It is catered by Cultural Connections Antigonish and is also a fundraiser for this group.


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