Nanaimo Global Film Festival Logo, a video camera in front of a globeNanaimo Global
Film Festival
February 17 - 18, 2017

Alive and Kicking: The Soccer Grannies of South Africa

19 min | Lara-Ann deWet | 2015

Filmed in the heart of Limpopo, South Africa, the village grannies (aged 55 - 84) lace up their soccer boots and start kicking their way through centuries of taboos. Dealing with their own stories of abuse, poverty & neglect these women come together on the soccer pitch for their weekly dose of therapy- both emotional & physical, and to celebrate being alive. Through their camaraderie on the field they play serious soccer then break into laughter and song as they wage a singular fight for a decent life, true health and a chance to experience joy in a brutal world. Audience Award for Best Short Film, Seattle Int'l Film Festival

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Angry Inuk

83 min | Alethea Arnaquq-Baril | 2016

In her film Angry Inuk, Inuit director Alethea Arnaquq-Baril joins a new tech-savvy generation of Inuit as they campaign to challenge long-established perceptions of seal hunting. Though most commercial sealing is conducted by Inuit in the Arctic, anti-sealing activism has created a perception of the industry that denies their central role in the sealskin market. Seal meat is a staple food for Inuit, and many of the pelts are sold to offset the extraordinary cost of hunting. Inuit are spread across extensive lands and waters, and their tiny population is faced with a disproportionate responsibility for protecting the environment. They are pushing for a sustainable way to take part in the global economy, but in opposition stands an army of well-funded activists and well-meaning celebrities. Audience Award Hot Docs Film Festival

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The Brainwashing of My Dad

90 min | Jen Senko | 2016

As filmmaker, Jen Senko, tries to understand the transformation of her father from a nonpolitical, life-long US Democrat to an angry right-wing fanatic, she uncovers the forces behind the media that changed him completely. Her father is part of a much broader demographic. Through interviews with media luminaries, cognitive linguists, grassroots activists such as Noam Chomsky, George Lakoff and others, the film unravels the plan to shift the US to the right over the last 30 years, largely through media manipulation. This documentary will shine a light on how it happened and continues to happen. What responsibility do governments have to keep the airwaves truly fair, accurate and accountable to the truth?

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Cafeteria

25 min | Francine Hébert | 2015

This short documentary looks at how an entire community mobilized to improve the cafeteria menu at a primary school in Cocagne, New Brunswick. Rallying behind this noble cause, residents put their shoulder to the wheel, promoting products from local farmers over those of multinational corporations. Everyone gets involved to make healthy eating a common goal as well as a learning opportunity. French with English subtitles.

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Drumbeats and Dreams

12 min | Ed Carswell | 2016

Zena is graduating from Merritt Secondary School but the journey was not easy. From the haunting past of residential schools to the ongoing lack of shared understanding between cultures, Zena and her classmates have succeeded against all odds. This film looks at the Aboriginal Education programs in the Merritt / Princeton region of BC (School District #58) and culminates with a First Nations Grad event that heals and inspires.

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Goodwin's Way

56 min | Neil Vokey | 2016

Ginger Goodwin, a rebellious labour activist, was slain by police under mysterious circumstances almost a century ago, yet his name still elicits wounds that date back to Cumberland BC’s coal mining past. Residents weave an oral tapestry of fact and myth. Some remember Goodwin as a criminal, while many others admire the ideals of equality and self-determination he fought for. Those ideals have long been overshadowed by Cumberland’s dependency on a resource economy. Amidst an effort to oppose a proposal for a new coal mine, residents young and old reconnect with Goodwin’s legacy. Goodwin’s Way straddles the dividing line between historical and current-event documentary genres to tell the story of a community fighting for autonomy over its past, and its future.

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Havana Curveball

56 min | Ken Schneider | 2015

Havana Curveball is a heart-warming coming-of-age story about Mica, an ordinary American teenager who faces extraordinary challenges when he sets his heart on donating baseball equipment to young Cuban players. This is his act of thanks to the country that gave his grandfather refuge during the Holocaust. Viewers join Mica on a deeply felt journey that shows just how complex it can be to do a simple good deed. Best Documentary, Boston Int'l Kids Festival; Special Jury Award, Olympia Int'l Film Festival (Greece)

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How I Got Over

87 min | Nicole Boxer | 2014

How I Got Over is an intimate profile of 15 formerly homeless and incarcerated African-American women that dramatically reveals the social causes of their plight and how their lives were transformed. The film follows the women for 12 weeks as they craft and rehearse an original play based on their harrowing, true-life stories including domestic violence and incest. None have had any acting experience but they are guided by the Theater Lab's "Life Stories" program. Their work together leads to an emotional, one-night only, sold-out performance at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC. This is a look at what might be accomplished if more resources were devoted to recovery support, as well as a celebration of the transformative power of theater and the arts.

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Keepers of the Coast

38 min | Twyla Roscovich | 2016

The central coast of BC is one of the most spectacular and biologically rich places left on the planet – where ancient temperate rainforest intertwines with the living Pacific. Keepers of the Coast takes a close look at how the Kitasoo/Xai'Xais, Heiltsuk, Nuxalk, and Wuikinuxv Nations are stewarding their marine territories. The indigenous peoples who have inhabited the central coast for thousands of years have joined forces, forming the Central Coast Indigenous Resource Alliance (CCIRA). Keepers of the Coast explores how they are using a combination of traditional knowledge and science to inform marine plans that uphold their indigenous laws and steward their marine resources in a manner that sustains cultures and ensures intact ecosystems, healthy communities and local sustainable economies, now and into the future.

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Migrant Dreams

90 min | Min Sook Lee | 2016

Migrant Dreams exposes the underbelly of the Canadian government's Temporary Foreign Worker Program which empower brokers and growers to exploit and deceive migrant workers who have little access to support or information in their own language. These workers pay exorbitant fees to work at minimum wage jobs packing the fruits and vegetables we eat. Under the rules of the program, the migrants are tied to one employer and are denied basic labour and human rights. When an anonymous caller alerts the police to extortion payments demanded by a broker, the workers must decide who is willing to take risks and cooperate with the police investigation. One has nothing left to lose. For others, the risk to their safety and livelihood is too great. Best Canadian Documentary, HotDocs Film Festival

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A New Economy

85 min | Trevor Meier | 2016

What if working together for the good of all was the most common business model? Watch, as several organizations strive towards building a more cooperative future. By rewarding human effort fairly instead of obsessing about the bottom line, these revolutionary businesses are creating a more people-friendly future, creating new ways to make money and doing it sustainably. A New Economy features seven interwoven stories. Among them are a small craft-brew coop, a peer-to-peer open hardware lab and an urban agricultural social enterprise. The Borealis String Quartet weaves beautiful music together with conversations on the core rewards of cooperation.

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Planetary

53 min | Guy Reid | 2015

Planetary is a provocative and breathtaking wake-up call – a cross continental, cinematic journey, that explores our cosmic origins and our future as a species. It is a poetic and humbling reminder that now is the time to shift our perspective. Planetary asks us to rethink who we really are, to reconsider our relationship with ourselves, each other and the world around us, and to remember that we are all connected.

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Prison Dogs

72 min | Perri Peltz & Geeta Gandbhir | 2016

Puppies Behind Bars is a remarkable program that sees New York convicts raise and train service dogs for up to three years. The inmates live with the puppies 24 hours a day and teach them 99 commands to train them as service dogs to help war veterans with PTSD. The prisoners, often serving long sentences for crimes that haunt them, struggle daily to find a way to pay their debts to society. The Puppies Behind Bars program offers them a chance. Prison Dogs chronicles five prisoners and the five puppies they are entrusted to train. In the end, saying goodbye proves the hardest task of all. This is a story of love, loss, rehabilitation and redemption.

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The Resurrection of Victor Jara

89 min | John Travers | 2015

This feature documentary presents the heroic yet tragic story of Victor Jara: from his rise to prominence as a noted theater director, to his years as a folk-inspired troubadour, finally to his execution at the hands of Pinochet's military regime -- a junta responsible for summarily executing or 'disappearing' thousands of Chileans. Victor's story continues with his powerful cultural resurgence in recent years as a symbol of the struggle for human rights and social justice. Some of today's most prominent artists, along with Victor's friends and family, have joined together to tell his story. Among them are Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie, Emma Thompson, Peter Gabriel, Judy Collins, Jackson Browne, Victor's widow Joan Jara and Bono, who wrote about Victor in the classic U2 song, One Tree Hill.

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The Sea Between Us

22 min | Caoimhe Butterly | 2016

Filmed in early 2016, these are the stories of some of the women, men and children who have made the perilous sea crossing to Lesvos, Greece to seek refuge. Some of the medics, volunteers, activists and life-guards working in solidarity with them share their reflections.

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Refuge

8 min | Caoimhe Butterly | 2016

Filmed in Vasilika camp in Northern Greece in September 2016, this short film offers a glimpse into the degrading heaviness of the limbo that those seeking refuge were living through in camps throughout Greece before those camps were demolished. Ella, a young Kurdish activist and her family members call for freedom of movement and the right to re-build lives of safety, dignity and meaning.

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Seeds of Justice: In the Hands of Farmers

37 min | Jess Phillimore | 2015

Seeds of Justice follows Ethiopian plant geneticist Dr Melaku Worede’s inspirational work to value farmers’ knowledge and protect their position as guardians of seed diversity. Treading in Melaku’s footsteps from his youth to the present day through his pivotal experience of Ethiopia’s infamous famine, the film questions one of society’s most flawed assumptions: that scientists hold the answers to ending hunger, not farmers. Dr. Worede is also co-founder of USC Canada’s International Seeds of Survival program.

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Sonic Sea

61 min | Michelle Dougherty & Daniel Hinerfeld | 2016

Sonic Sea travels beneath the ocean's surface to uncover the damaging consequences of increased ocean noise pollution and what can be done to stop it. Featuring interviews with marine ecologists, ocean life experts, and wildlife activists, including Grammy-Award winning musician and activist Sting, Sonic Sea highlights how noise from a range of man-made sources has affected whales in recent years, including the mass stranding of whales around the planet. The film uncovers how better ship design, speed limits for large ships, quieter methods for underwater resource exploration, and exclusion zones for sonar training can work to reduce the noise in our oceans and stop the deaths of our ocean's beloved creatures, as long as society has the political will to solve it. Jury Award, Wild & Scenic Film Festival

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Tracing Roots

35 min | Ellen Frankenstein | 2014

Tracing Roots is a portrait of an artist and a mystery. The film follows master weaver and Haida elder Delores Churchill on a journey to understand the origins of a spruce root hat found with Kwäday Dän Ts’ìnchi, the Long Ago Person Found, a 300-year-old traveler discovered in Northern Canada in a retreating glacier. Delores's quest crosses cultures and borders, involving artists, scholars and scientists, raising questions about the meaning of connection, knowledge and ownership. Stay tuned for the amazing “reveal” at the end of the film.

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Unbroken Ground

26 min | Chris Malloy | 2016

Unbroken Ground explores the critical role food plays in finding solutions to the environmental crisis. The vast majority of our food is produced using methods that reduce biodiversity, decimate soil and contribute to climate change. Food can and should be grown, harvested and produced in ways that restore the land, water, wildlife and human health. The film tells the story of four pioneering groups and the people behind them, leading the way with regenerative agriculture, restorative grazing, new crop development and selective-harvest fishing.

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We Regret to Inform You

11 min | Eva Colmers & Heidi Janz | 2016

In a check-box society that functions by dividing us into neatly-defined categories, where does someone with a strong mind and a weak body fit in? Dr. Heidi Janz - award-winning playwright, accomplished academic, and self-described ‘crip’ – has a curious problem. Despite her obvious physical limitations she is denied financial assistance from government programs because of her “productive” mind. Following Heidi through her everyday life, with all its unique responsibilities, opportunities, and challenges, We Regret to Inform You offers an unsentimental and unapologetic look at what it means to be both “disabled” and “productive”.

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WEconomics

20 min | Mark Dworkin & Melissa Young | 2016

The Emilia-Romagna region in northern Italy has one of the highest concentrations of cooperative businesses in the developed world. The capital, Bologna, is an industrial powerhouse where prosperity is widely shared and cooperatives of teachers and social workers play a key role in the provision of government services. Frances Moore Lappe remarks, "Fabulous! I can't overstate the importance of this film right now!”

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Wheel of Life

15 min | Ken Schneider | 2015

Meet El Oso (the Bear), one of the founders of Casino, the Cuban dance that launched salsa. A simple man whose joie de vivre is a delight, Oso travels through his Havana regaling us with tales of his youth, when Havana’s exclusive clubs were white only, forcing him to dance on the streets. After intervention from rock n’roll and the revolution, Oso and his circle of friends choreograph a new history felt today across the globe. One of the first US-Cuba co-productions, Wheel of Life spins international relations onto the dance floor.

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Where to Invade Next

110 min | Michael Moore | 2016

Moore tells us the Joint Chiefs of Staff invited him to Washington, DC, to ask his advice. He responds by offering himself up as a one-man army who will “invade countries, take the things we need from them, and bring them back home to the US.” Whether it is Italy with its generous vacation time allotments, France with its gourmet school lunches, Germany with its industrial policy, Norway and its unique prison system, Tunisia and its strongly progressive women's policy, Iceland and its strong female presence in government and business, or Portugal's approach to illicit drugs, Michael Moore discovers there is much that America should emulate.

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Nice People

91 min | Anders Helgeson & Karin af Klintberg | 2015

The predominantly white community of the rural town of Borlänge is changed within two years by the influx of 3,000 Somalis who have fled war and come to live in Sweden. Integration is proving to be difficult, so entrepreneur Patrik Andersson decides that all the Swedes and Somalis need is something in common to bring them together. He encourages the Somalis to learn bandy (a cross between ice hockey and field hockey) with the goal of becoming the first ever bandy team to represent Somalia at the Bandy World Championships in Russia in 6 months, even though they have never skated in their lives! Can they do what seems to be impossible? Nice People portrays the power of building communities through shared experiences. “Entertaining and heart-warming” Audience Award, Hamburg Film Festival

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Driving With Selvi

74 min | Elisa Paloschi | 2015

Selvi, like so many girls living within India’s patriarchal culture, is forced to marry at a young age, only to find herself in a violent and abusive marriage. In deep despair, she chooses to escape, going to a highway with the intention of throwing herself under a bus. Instead she gets on the bus, choosing to live, and goes on to become South India’s first female taxi driver. We first meet 18-year-old Selvi at a girls’ shelter in 2004 – timid, soft-spoken, a fresh runaway from a difficult life. Over a ten-year journey, we see a remarkable transformation as Selvi finds her voice and defies all expectations – learning to drive, starting her own taxi company, leading seminars to educate other women, and much more. Through Selvi’s eyes, the audience is taken on an intimate journey of healing, overcoming obstacles, and fulfilling dreams.

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