Every February for the past three decades, World Community has hosted a film festival of documentaries from all corners of the world that focus on emerging human development issues.
This year, the festival has incorporated an online platform that affords viewers an opportunity to watch every film over a nine-day period, as opposed to one weekend.
As the World Community website states: ‘It’s your festival, your way.’
The Feb. 5-13 event features 18 documentaries that address social and environmental justice, LGBTQ+, Indigenous issues, food security, climate change, music and arts. Some will include interviews with filmmakers and other resource people.
The non-profit, Comox Valley-based World Community is comprised of advocates working to foster a greater awareness of social, economic and environmental consequences of human activity at local and global levels. It sells fairly traded coffee and organic products to help support a health care project in Nicaragua. Its flagship event is the film fest. Films are selected by a four-person committee. Creativity, film quality and relevance to the community are important aspects of selection.
For this year’s festival, Gordon Darby recommends The Magnitude of All Things, by Canadian director Jennifer Abbott. The film is a beautifully shot personal exploration of the global impacts of climate change through a prism of grief, both personal and environmental. Darby said viewers will remember the moving, thoughtful film long after they have seen it.
Ardith Chambers and Janet Fairbanks both selected No Ordinary Man: The Billy Tipton Story as their favourite film this year. For decades, the life of American jazz musician Billy Tipton was framed as the story of an ambitious woman passing as a man. Tipton’s story is re-imagined and performed by trans-masculine artists as they collectively paint a thought-provoking and moving portrait of an unlikely hero.
“I especially enjoyed the scenes of Billy’s son’s reaction to a more inclusive attitude,” Chambers said.
Programmer Wayne Bradley’s festival pick is The Men’s Room, an intimate story of a long-lasting men’s choir in Norway, and a rare portrayal of men caring deeply for other men during times of crisis.
“You must see this film for its ability to candidly frame our social need for connectedness,” Bradley said. “As one of the choir members observes, ‘With all the different personalities in the choir, it means you end up loving all of humanity.’”
For more festival information and to watch film trailers, visit www.worldcommunity.ca or find World Community on Facebook.