October 9, 2019 Season Premiere: “PUSH”

Why can’t we afford to live or own businesses in our own cities and towns anymore? How is it that The Commons are being bulldozed to accommodate the “financialization” of the real estate market? Housing affordability is decreasing at a record pace and homelessness is increasing by alarming rates. Who are the players and what are the factors that make housing one of today’s most pressing world issues? Swedish filmmaker Fredrik Gertten (“Big Boys Gone Bananas”, #5242 in the Film Library) follows Leilani Farha, the UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing as she goes from Harlem to Valparaiso, South Korea to Toronto to talk to people who are being PUSHed out of their homes and their communities.

Young people are getting trapped in a cycle of renting apartments that are unaffordable and unreliable. Working people, more and more with children, are facing evictions and are left with no place to live, the number of people in the Global South living in “informal housing” (favelas) is projected to exceed 1 billion by next year.

This isn’t a natural, inevitable development. It can change. The film addresses ideas of what we, the public, need to do to PUSH back.

There will be a post-screening Q&A panel with Kelly Roth, Executive Director and Lisa Crossman, Peer Housing Support Coordinator with the Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness. They are both Sooke residents and, along with members of the Sooke Shelter Society, will be able to enlighten filmgoers and answer questions about homelessness in our area.

7-9 p.m.

Trailer: pushthefilm.com

Interview with Leilani Farha: newint.org/features/2019/06/19/unitednations-leilanifarha-housing.

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Wednesday May, 15th at 7:00pm at EMCS. Doors open at 6:30pm, Tickets by donation.

Intermission Film Series last show of the season:

“DERSU UZALA” Akira Kurosawa, 1975

Set in the forests of Eastern Siberia at the turn of the century, it is a portrait of the friendship that grows between an aging hunter and a Russian surveyor. A romantic hymn to nature and the human spirit.

Speaking of the film in greater detail, Kurosawa said, “The relationship between human beings and nature is getting worse and worse…I wanted to have people all over the world know about this Soviet Asian character who lived in harmony with nature… I think people should be more humble toward nature because we are a part of it and we must become harmonized with it. If nature is destroyed, human beings will be destroyed too. So, we can learn a lot from Dersu,” (quoted in Donald Richie’s The Films of Akira Kurosawa).

Or, as the title character himself says in the film, “Man is very small before the face of nature.”

94% Audience score in Rotten Tomatoes

Dersu Uzala was the second Kurosawa film to earn an Academy Award. His 1950 film Rashomon won Best Foreign Language Film, and the director was awarded an honorary career-achievement Oscar in 1990.

This story of friendship will fill your heart.

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12th Annual Farm and Film Gala April 10, 2019

Co-presented with Sooke Region Food CHI

6:30-7:45 – in the theatre foyer: vendors of all things from and for the farm and garden, information tables from community organizations, tea, coffee and goodies made by the EMCS Culinary Arts students (by donation).

 7:45-9:00 – in the theatre:  film and gift baskets. 

“After Winter, Spring” is a film about a small rural community in the Perigord region of southwestern France, cultivated for over 6000 years caught between their traditional ways of farming and an uncertain future.  Their story is beautifully and lovingly filmed and recorded by one of their neighbors, filmmaker Judith Lit.  Through the compelling stories of these hard-working farmers inextricably connected to their land and their animals, the film explores the nature of small farmers and the rapid changes of the last 2 decades that have impacted the lives of farmers whose survival is tied to the land.

“This film is never less than a pleasure to watch” Brian Miller, Seattle Weekly

Vendors and community groups attending: ALM Farms, Full Circle Seeds, Bountiful Bay Farm, EMCS Home Ec students, Habitat Acquisition Trust, Honestly Tea, Metchosin Farm, Sea Bluff Farm, Sheila’s Coastal Crunch, Three Sisters Farm, Pesticide Education Group, Zero Waste Sooke, Sooke Fall Fair.

 

 

 

 

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Intermission Film Series CALENDAR ALERT! “Rabbit proof fence”

FRIDAY March 15th, 2019

This month scheduling has provided us the opportunity to have a movie night on Friday March 15th instead of the usual 2nd Wednesday.   A great way to begin the weekend.  We’ll be showing Rabbit Proof Fence, a wonderful film from Australia about a 14-year-old courageous girl determined to be free.

EMCS Teathre

Movie begins at 7:00pm. Doors open at 6:30pm

By donation, Thanks!

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(February 13th) “What is Democracy?” POSTPONED TO FEB. 28th.

Co-presented with Transition Sooke

Coming at a moment of profound political and social crisis, “What is Democracy” reflects on a word we too often take for granted. This 2018 National Film Board documentary spans millennia and continents from ancient Athens’ where modern democracy was born to the financial collapse of present-day Greece and from capitalism’s roots in medieval Italy to the U.S., with its growing gap between rich and poor and persistent racism. Featuring a diverse cast, including celebrated theorists, trauma surgeons, activists, factory workers, asylum seekers and former prime ministers, this urgent film connects the past and the present, the emotional and the intellectual, the personal and the political, in order to provoke and inspire.

Director Astra Taylor notes: “A word we say and hear all the time but rarely reflect on, democracy is both an ideal and a reality, a rousing aspiration and a devastating disappointment……(W)ho are the people, especially in this moment of increasing hostility and division? And what about the fact that, as wealth and influence concentrate the people are not very powerful at all? Can self-government even live up to its promise of universal inclusion? Do we even want to rule ourselves? “

“(T)his documentary (is) a deliberate challenge to complacency and, as such, it’s a great watch”____________________The Guardian

After the film Transition Sooke co-president Michael Tacon will facilitate an audience discussion on any topics or thoughts raised by the film.

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2nd Season of the INTERMISSION FILM SERIES January 9th, 2019: “Casablanca” with Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman and Paul Henreid

“It’s still the same old story/ A fight for love and glory/

A case of do or die/

The world will always welcome lovers

As time goes by.”

Intermission Film Series  is opening the 2019 program with a film requested but the audience: Michael Curtiz‘s 1942 classic Casablanca. If you’re seeing it for the first or dozenth time, it’ll be a treat to view this classic in the EMCS Community Theatre ~ Wed. Jan. 9 at 7 p.m. Admission by donation. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casablanca_(film)

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December 12, 2018 “Picking Up the Pieces: The Making of the Witness Blanket”

One of the most memorable Awareness Film Nights occurred in February 2014 when we devoted the evening to telling the story of residential schools in B.C..  It went long past closing time and featured a film and powerful talks by residential school survivors telling what they had undergone both during and after their residential school experiences.  Also among the speakers was Carey Newman, introducing his new project the “Witness Blanket”.

Fast forward to October 2018 and Carey’s film about the making of that blanket, called “Picking Up the Pieces: The Making of the Witness Blanket” premiered at the Vancouver International Film Festival to sold-out audiences.

Filmmaker and master carver Carey Newman created the Witness Blanket over several years by weaving together hundreds of found items from residential school buildings, churches and other cultural structures across Canada, including shoes, bricks, photos and even a door, to create “a national monument to recognize the atrocities of the Indian Residential School Era”.  The result is a 40 foot long “quilt” made up of beautifully carved and thoughtfully placed wooden panels, homes to memories that “individually…. are paragraphs of a disappearing narrative (but) together they are strong, collectively able to recount for future generations the true story of loss, strength, reconciliation and pride” and that appear to be an undulating  blanket.

In this moving film Carey seamlessly weaves the two stories together with his same artist’s eye; the story of the making of the Witness Blanket and the more poignant story of the residential school legacy as borne by survivors and their families.

As our post-screening speaker/filmmaker in attendance, Carey will be returning to Sooke, where he grew up and where his parents, Victor and Edith Newman are well known as artists, as key partners in the Sooke Reconciliation Group and as the remarkable people that they are.

Consider bringing a food item for the EMCS students’ “10,000 Tonight” Food Bank drive being held on the same evening.

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2nd Season of the INTERMISSION FILM SERIES November 14, 2018: “THE MIRACLE WORKER” with Patty Duke Astin and Anne Bancroft

These days it seems even more important than usual to seek and find inspiration and encouragement that helps us to build caring relationships and to respond to adversity.  Examples abound, some fictional, some based on the lives of flesh and blood people. The Intermission Series begins the season with a true story that portrays what is described in the film’s title as a miracle.

 

Unable to see or hear after a severe illness at 19 months old, Helen Keller, with the help of Annie Sullivan, learned so much more than basic communication.  She became a writer, activist, and lecturer, inspiring many people over the almost 88 years of her life. She described “her most productive pleasures” as curiosity and imagination.

 

The Miracle Worker filmed in 1962 is regarded as a classic, Patty Duke Astin and Anne Bancroft both won Academy Awards as Helen and Anne, and of course, Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 100% approval rating.  It was adapted from the play of the same name by Arthur Penn who also directed the film. A line from a review by Wesley Levell describes it well: Two well-deserved Oscars grace this unflinching portrait of selfishness in direct resistance to selflessness.

 

Sounds like something that could come in handy in our world today.

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24th Season Premiere October 10, 2018: ERA OF MEGAFIRES with Jens Wieting

 

 

Why wildfires have gotten worse – and what we can do about it.

The rise of highly destructive megafires has become one of today’s most pressing and complex problems.

This 2018 film is a 60 minute multi-media presentation that combines the research of Dr. Paul Hessberg of Pacific Northwest Research Station, U.S. Forest Service with the visual storytelling of award-winning film company North 40 Productions, including video vignettes, animation and the work of wildfire photographer John Marshall.

Facing the reality of this issue can be daunting, but like all wicked problems, through education we can change the way fire comes to our forests and communities.

To bring the issue home to B.C. and Vancouver Island, the post screening discussion will be lead by Jens Wieting, Senior Forest and Climate Campaigner with the Sierra Club of B.C.

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JUNE 13TH SEASON FINALE: WATER WARRIORS and OPEN MIC

In just 22 short, thunderous minutes “Water Warriors” is the story of a New Brunswick community’s successful fight to protect their water from fracking.  A familiar scenario – a small determined group of First Nations and local activists go up against a large foreign corporation that has plans to tear up the ecosystem and pollute and use vast amounts of their water in order to develop a fracking site in their region.  It sure looks hopeless at times, and not much fun in the cold weather, but they persevere.

All over the world people are standing up and saying no more eco-destruction and no more corporate takeover of the commons (“land or resources belonging to or affecting the whole of a community”).  Whether it’s stopping sand dredgers in Cambodia, standing up to mining companies who are polluting your village in South America, Help(ing) Our Wolves Live in Sooke or growing non-GMO, unsprayed food, organizing a reconciliation group, monitoring local species at risk or bringing solar cooking stoves to remote villages in Africa or India, the list of people making a difference is long.

THE FILM WILL BE FOLLOWED BY AN OPEN MIC……A call to community-builders and activists!

The Season Finale of Awareness Film Night will be your chance to share with us what you are working on to bring about a more just, beautiful, sane, connected world. 

It can be a big, time-monopolizing effort, or a small effort.  Come and talk about it…………we will have 1 and 1/2 hours to share.  Not a time for boasting, rather a time to rouse us so that we may go off into the summer inspired, knowing what is being protected and what innovations are being created and how many people are working behind the scenes to make a better world.

If you are interested in sharing a brief description of the actions you have been taking to promote justice, hope, preservation of the ecosystem, the creation of beauty and/or healing in our world, send off an email with a few details to: info@awarenessfilmnight.ca

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