This time of year marks the United Nations World Day of Social Justice (Feb. 20), Anti-Bullying Day (Feb. 27), International Women’s Day (March 8) and Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (March 21).
The intention of these initiatives is to raise awareness and act as launching points for action, dialogue and change.
In this spirit, the Sunshine Cost Museum and Archives presents The Diversity Film Festival, produced by the Faces of the Coast: Organizing against Racism and Hate project (OARH) and funded by EmbraceBC.
The films explore themes of diversity and community.
Host for the evening is April Struthers, a consultant for Alof!i Consultancy contracted to direct the Faces of the Coast project. The screening will take place at the museum on Thursday, March 14, from 7 to 9 p.m.
The set of four short films and one feature-length film runs for 1.5 hours, and there is time allotted for questions and dialogue at the end. There are limited seats, so come early; doors open at 6:30 p.m.
This is a repeat of last year’s screenings because of additional requests. Audiences were clear that the film festival was a very effective vehicle to raise difficult issues like racism and discrimination. Past attendees said they liked the fact that the films were short and local or regional.
“We chose the films because they really expressed the discrimination issues we have heard about on the Coast and because they showed landscapes and economies like ours,” Struthers said. “They also taught us something about solutions on how to live together as respectful neighbours.”
The feature film is Defining Diversity, Creating Community, produced by the award-winning Powell River filmmaker Tony Papa. The film weaves together stories from many different peoples in a manner that left many of last year’s attendees saying they were touched in ways they had not expected. Also included is Friendship Songs and Dreams: Shashishalem Class, produced by two shíshálh members and previously screened as part of the Vancouver DOXA film selections.
Struthers would like to see a yearly diversity film festival on the Coast.
“When you are developing a community capacity project, you always hope the ideas and formats will be picked up by those around you and will evolve to reflect what is special about living on the Coast,” she said. “I, together with our advisory group, am gratified to see that occurring. Stay tuned to see how this idea grows.”
For more information, contact the museum by phone at 604-886-8232 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.