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THE ANTIGONISH INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

By Elaine MacLean
First published on September 29th 2016

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Youth, activists, workers, artists, women, LGBTQ, indigenous, students, locals, settlers, migrants – humans all! These humans are represented in the films screened during this one and a half day film festival in October. Over 33 films will be screened, in three venues located in downtown Antigonish – the People’s Place Library, the Cineplex and the Town Hall. Taking time out to see one or a few of these films could change your views, your life or the lives of those around you. In fact, How to Change the World, is a film about the founding of Greenpeace. Through archival footage, we see and hear about this time early in the 1970’s and listen as the founders reflect on their idealistic youth and what they hoped to achieve with their actions. Angry Inuk tells another side of this story, exposing the challenges posed to Inuit hunters when international animal rights groups influence governments and policy makers in ways that make the traditional ways of the Inuit unsustainable. In recent days, we have become aware of the vulnerability of our pop stars, like David Bowie and Gord Downie. In Spirit Unforgettable, we see the day to day struggles of lead singer, John Mann, as Spirit of the West prepares for their farewell tour. An inspiring story of John, his family and colleagues, as they cope with his diagnoses of early onset Alzheimer’s. Lowdown Tracks tells the story of street musicians and how these talented people chose to express their feelings, hopes and dreams while living in challenging circumstances. Nefertiti’s Daughters focuses on the street art of three Egyptian women with similar motivations, using art to communicate with their world. There is no shortage of films that will attract those who follow history and politics with a variety of locations from Afghanistan, Canada, Chile, El Salvador and the USA. These films include: Afghanistan 1979: the War that Changed the World; Gore Vidal: the United States of Amnesia; The Pass System; The Pearl Button; and A Search for Justice.

For those who are drawn to dancing, circus performing or surf boarding, we have three films: Autumn’s Spring, Circus Without Borders and The Fisherman’s Son. Our Friday night feature film is Following the Ninth: In the Footsteps of Beethoven’s Final Symphony. The never ending theme of the Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and in particular the Ode to Joy is an ear worm few of us have escaped. In this film we experience how this symphony has been used by many, around the world, to express their hopes for the future. And finally, not be missed are our local Antigonish filmmakers whose work is featured in 4 of the films being screened: Denise Davies (Truth and Reconciliation: the Unsettling of Antigonish), Corinne Dunphy (Listening to Our Neighbours/How to Catch a Fugitive) and Peter Murphy (ACALA & the People’s Archives of Rural Nova Scotia). This is just a small sample of the films to be screened.

 

See full descriptions for all 32 films, on our website at http://antigonishfilmfest.org

 


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