Film festival focuses on social issues

This weekend brings the 9th World Community Film Festival to Grand Forks.

Submitted by Larry Hudema

From Feb. 21 to 23, No Boundaries Film Club will be presenting the 9th annual Grand Forks screening of the World Community Film Festival—British Columbia’s largest, longest-running international social issues film festival. The World Community Development Education Society, based in Courtenay, has been holding the festival in the Comox Valley since 1990. In recent years they have introduced the Traveling World Film Festival to share the films with other communities in B.C. and across Canada. Find out more about our parent organization at

The opening film, Seeds of Freedom, challenges the mantra, promoted by the pro-genetically-modified foods lobby, that large-scale, industrial agriculture is the only means by which we can feed the world. It shows how small-scale farmers feed 70 per cent of the world, using less land and water, with a higher degree of sustainability.

From there we sail in to the World Before Her. This Best Canadian Feature winner at Hot Docs examines a transitional moment faced by India. It features contestants in the Miss India competition and women enrolled in a militant fundamentalist camp.

As usual there is a varied fare of documentary films covering a range of topics, such as Grow, which profiles a new crop of idealistic young farmers and Greedy Lying Bastards, which details people and organizations casting doubt on climate science and who, exactly, funds them. There are uplifting, empowering films: Sweet Dreams, a story of Rwandan women who formed a drum troupe and ice cream business, Camera Woman and Stand, a film with some superlative photography of the West Coast. I could list them all: the couple on corporate/economic shysterism, all the way to our closer, Al Helm: Martin Luther King in Palestine, a tale about the sadly enduring tale of having to establish fundamental human rights. Ok….not done yet, Solar Momas, or how to overcome obstacles and achieve…anyway, you get the point. These films show us, as global citizens, how we are more alike than different and that we all face challenges and that, though difficult, they are not insurmountable.

For more information, including online access to the program, you can check us out at our website We are also on Facebook.

A festival pass is $20, low income, $10; per session admission (morning, afternoon, evening) is $5 and $3 respectively. GFSS students are free.

Also check out the student version of the film festival at the following site, In case anyone who wishes to watch Greedy Lying Bastards but is unable to catch it Saturday afternoon it will be showing Thursday at 7 p.m., the public is welcome. Admission is by donation and goes toward supporting the GFSS Global Citizens Club.

The Boundary Peace Initiative will be hosting snacks and lunches in the multi-purpose room. The lunches, particularly, are a great place to debrief after a good round of film watching or just idly enjoy the company of fellow filmgoers and very good borscht meals, as well as some delightful baking.

The selection of many of the films was done with the assistance of a number of people who are on the No Boundaries Film Club e-mail list. This facilitates the selection process somewhat. John, Zak (welcome, new committee member), and I would like to extend our thanks to those of you who took the time to do this.


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