Sunday, 4 February 2018

Another successful World Community Film Festival

By Keith and Heather Nicol
     We always like attending the World Community Film Festival and this year was no exception although we had to unfortunately miss the 2 feature films on both Friday, Feb 2 night and Saturday, Feb 3 night due to previous commitments. This year was the 27th anniversary of the event and we enjoyed most of what we saw.  On Saturday morning we headed to the Lower Native Sons Hall to see True Conviction.  It tells the story 3 previously incarcerated men from Dallas, Texas who were innocent of their crimes but had spent many years in prison before they were finally exonerated. These three  decided to help others in the same situation and this film shows their struggles with trying to get the law to reopen cases. Since 2 of the 3 men are black, race certainly played a huge role in wrongful convictions and by the stack of letters they would regularly receive many other inmates are in the same boat. One success was finally getting a man out on parole who had supposedly committed a $200 robbery. He had spent close to 35 years in prison for this offence! The next film Footprint: Population, Consumption and Sustainability was a disappointment. It blamed climate change and the world’s other environmental ills mainly on 3rd world countries who have high rates of population growth.  The Western World’s high rates of resource utilization and energy was glossed over.
The Lower Native Sons Hall is a cozy film space
    We had lunch in the bazaar area of the Florence Filberg centre and noted that the “Stop site C Dam “booth was getting lots of attention.  Lots of people were signing petitions and donating money to this cause. After lunch we headed to the Sid Williams Theatre to see a great film called Bending the Arc. This film was amazing and if you didn’t see it , then join the World Community Society and get it from the lending library. The story of several American doctors who over many years travel to Haiti and other very poor nations to set up clinics and provide health care was truly inspiring. We finished our session by seeing a film about a local organic farm called Amara,located just outside of Comox and run by Arzeena  Hamir and her husband .This short film provides an insight into how hard small scale organic farming is but that it also provides a rural lifestyle that this family loves. This film is called The Hands that Feed Us and is worth seeing.  It goes without saying that we missed a large number of films since films were being shown simultaneously in 4 venues so we plan to hold on to our programme and check those of particular interest out of the lending library. The organizers should be pleased with the large number of people that attended this year’s event.
The bazaar offered a chance to learn about other environmental issues

       The World Community also has a travelling component so if you know people in Nanaimo, Prince George, Kelowna, Winnipeg, and Duncan be sure to let them know about it. For more info see:  


  1. Thanks for your feedback about the festival. While the film "Footprint" addressed some of the challenges in the developing countries that are dealing with lack access to birth control due to various religions, we didn't feel that it "blamed" their citizens for the problems of unsustainability of the planet. The film "Birthright" brought that same issue back to North America. We have screened many films over the years that have dealt with our "first world" overconsumption but have been asked specifically to find films about population issues. We agree with you that the focus could have been broader. "Bending the Arc" is re-screening on Feb. 13 at NIC Courtenay at 7 pm as a "best of fest" pick. Unfortunately that film and 4 others from the festival won't be in our library for members because we couldn't get permission from the distributor.

  2. Point taken about Footprint...So for those that didn't see Bending the Arc then be sure to check it out on Feb 13 as part of the best of the fest. Congrats again on a great festival.