2016 Films

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ACALA & the People’s Archives of Rural Nova Scotia - 2016 - Canada
60 min
Director: Peter Murphy
Year Presented: 2016

This is a selection of short films by the Antigonish County Adult Learning Association highlighting the life of this vibrant area of Nova Scotia. The idea of a rural archive was inspired by the visit of P. Sainath to Antigonish last fall when he was the 2015 Coady Chair for Social Justice. Sainath started the People’s Archive of Rural India to tell stories that the media there was not covering and he sparked this similar project by ACALA.
Sponsors: Antigonish County Adult Learning Association (ACALA), BMO Nesbitt Burns, Granny’s Antiques, The Prissy Pig Café & Deli, StFX Dept. of Adult Education
Afghanistan 1979: The War That Changed the World - 2014 - France
52 min
Director: Gulya Mirzoeva
Year Presented: 2016

In 1979, Soviet troops entered Afghanistan with what was termed a 'limited contingent' of armed forces. Little did they know that the war would last ten years, play a key role in the collapse of the Soviet Union and launch Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda. The film features former leader Mikhail Gorbachev, speaking publicly on the invasion for the first time, as well as Afghan, Russian, and American generals, journalists, intelligence analysts, and resistance leaders
Sponsors: First Light Insurance, StFX Dept. of Political Science
Angry Inuk - 2016 - Canada
85 min
Director: Alethea Arnaquq-Baril
Year Presented: 2016

Inuit hunters in tiny remote communities in the high arctic are negatively affected by animal rights groups protesting against the Canadian east coast seal hunt that happens a thousand kilometres away. Anti-seal hunting campaigns have attracted high profile supporters, and with them, hefty financial contributions. How does a culture which exercises understated anger and finds peaceful ways to resolve conflict compete with activist groups aggressively cultivating anti-sealing sentiment to underwrite their other causes?
Sponsors: Antigonish NDP Association, MAGI (Mediation/Arbitration Group, Inc.), StFX Dept. of Anthropology, StFX Faculty of Education, St. James United Church Social Justice Committee, Simply Ducky
#AsIAm - Take Care of You - 2016 - Italy
4 min
Director: Rafaella Monterosso & Michael Joseph
Year Presented: 2016

People with intellectual disabilities live in the shadow of a persistent view present in all cultures: that they are the undesirables. This is one of our world’s significant injustices and it is one we can change. Beautifully filmed and quietly moving, this is the story of a woman with Down syndrome taking care of her aging father. Itis an invitation to imagine the world differently and to rejoice in who you are as you are.
Sponsors: Anonymous, Canadian Association for Community Living (CACL) Community Workshop, L’Arche Antigonish, Park Bench Players
Autumn’s Spring - 2013 - France
52 min
Director: Denis Sneguirev & Philippe Chevallier
Year Presented: 2016

The word ‘inspirational’ has become quite a cliché, but this documentary truly merits it. Autumn’s Spring features a unique French troupe of 30 dancers over the age of sixty from every walk of life who recreate Igor Stravinsky’s masterpiece The Rite of Spring. This dance is the result of a seven-year effort by noted choreographer Thierry Thieû Niang. The film shows the culmination of this extraordinary human journey, showing how the project enriched the lives of the participants, liberated them and rekindled their belief in themselves.
Sponsors: Alpert Electric, Antigonish Shambhala Meditation Group, High-Crest Enterprises, Luke, Sunflower Natural Health
The Bad Kids - 2016 - USA
96 min
Director: Keith Fulton & Louis Pepe
Year Presented: 2016

Located in an impoverished Mojave Desert community, Black Rock Continuation High School is one of California’s alternative schools for students at risk of dropping out. Every student here has fallen so far behind in credits that they have no hope of earning a diploma at a traditional high school. Black Rock is their last chance. Extraordinary educators believe that, more than academics, it is love, empathy and life skills that give at-risk students command of their own futures. This coming-of-age story chronicles dedicated teachers combating the crippling effects of poverty on the lives of these so-called ‘bad kids.’
Sponsors: Nova Scotia Community College Strait Area Campus, StFX Association of University Teachers (AUT), StFX Faculty of Education
Circus Without Borders: The Story of Artcirq & Kalabante - 2016 - Canada
70 min
Director: Susan Gray
Year Presented: 2016

Guillaume Saladin and Yamoussa Bangoura are best friends and world-class acrobats who share the same dream: to help confront suicide, poverty and despair in their struggling communities through circus. Their dream unfolds in the Canadian Arctic and Guinea, West Africa. Seven years in the making, this tale of two circuses is a culture-crossing performance piece that offers a portal into two remote communities, and an inspiring story of resilience and joy.
Sponsors: Antigonish Culture Alive, Canadian Association for Community Living (CACL) Community Workshop, Highland Bike Shop, Heather Murphy CPA CA, StFX Faculty of Education, Tuesday Meditation Group
Cuba Mia: Portrait of an All-Woman Orchestra - 2005 - Cuba
86 min
Director: Cecilia Domeyko
Year Presented: 2016

An all-woman chamber orchestra, the Camerata Romeu, plays European style classical music while drawing on the Spanish, African and Latin American Indian rhythms that are popular throughout the island of Cuba, demonstrating that the power of music can cross the boundaries of nation, gender and time. Amazingly talented, incredibly beautiful and Cuban to the core, these women fill this film with dazzling faces and fiery performances that will both astonish and delight.
Sponsors: Antigonish 5¢ to $1.00 Store, Aphrodite Art & Fashion, Heatherton Activity Centre, StFX Service Learning Program & Student Society, StFX Women’s & Gender Studies Program, Don Webb
Facing Fear - 2013 - USA
23 min
Director: Jason Cohe
Year Presented: 2016

As a 13 year-old, Matthew Boger was thrown out of his home for being gay. While living on the streets, he was savagely beaten in a back alley by a group of neo-Nazi skinheads, one of whom was Tim Zaal. Twenty-five years later, Boger and Zaal meet by chance and embark on a journey of forgiveness and reconciliation. Self-doubt, anger and fear are just a few of the emotions they struggle through as they come to terms with their unimaginable situation, ultimately leading to friendship and collaboration.
Sponsors: Nova Scotia Community College Strait Area Campus, Peak Experiences, StFX LGBT Advisor & X-Pride
The Fisherman’s Son: The Spirit of Ramón Navarro - 2015 - Chile
29 min
Director: Chris Malloy
Year Presented: 2016

Ramón Navarro is a third-generation subsistence fisherman and farmer who lives on the coast of Chile at Punta Lobos. He learned to surf on a busted surfboard left by a visiting surfer and has become one of the world’s top-ten big wave riders. Using his surfing accomplishments to further a larger vision, he is working to protect the culture and environment of the breathtakingly beautiful Patagonian coast. The Fisherman's Son was recently named Best Documentary at the SURFER Poll Awards
Sponsors: Antigonish 5¢ to $1.00 Store, The Brownstone Café, Highland Bike Shop, RBC Royal Bank, StFX Dept. of Human Nutrition, Voices Antigonish
Following the Ninth: In the Footsteps of Beethoven’s Final Symphony - 2013 -
80 min
Director: Kerry Candaele
Year Presented: 2016

Part road trip, part adventure, this is the story of four lives transformed and repaired through Beethoven’s final symphony with its power to liberate us, to shield us against suffering, to provide hope and resilience during dark times, expressed most vividly in the choral rendition of Schiller’s poem Ode to Joy in the final movement: ‘Alle Menschen werden Brüder’ (All Men Will Be Brothers).
Sponsors: East Coast Credit Union Bergengren Branch, Municipality of the County of Antigonish, St. Francis Xavier University, Town of Antigonish
Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia - 2013 -
89 min
Director: Nicholas D. Wratha
Year Presented: 2016

No twentieth-century figure has had a more profound effect on the worlds of literature, film, politics, historical debate, and the culture wars than Gore Vidal. Vidal’s acerbic, opinionated and informed commentary on the state of American democracy is shown using interviews and historical footage of his famous appearances on television and talk shows over the last fifty years, providing a fascinating and wholly entertaining portrait of the last lion of the age of American liberalism
Sponsors: Luke, StFX Dept. of History. StFX Dept. of Political Science
The Hand That Feeds - 2014 - USA
84 min
Director: Rachel Lears & Robin Blotnick
Year Presented: 2016

Behind the scenes at a Hot & Crusty Bakery in New York City , undocumented immigrant workers face sub-legal wages, dangerous machinery, and abusive managers. Risking deportation and the loss of their livelihood, the workers team up with a diverse crew of innovative young organizers and take the unusual step of forming their own independent union, launching themselves on a journey that will test the limits of their resolve. Quiet Mahoma López, who gradually grows into a skilled spokesman for the movement, is contrasted with Gonzalo Jiménez, described by a lawyer as ‘the iron fist to Mahoma’s velvet glove.’
Sponsors: Easting Bread & Honey Co., StFX Dept. of Human Nutrition, StFX Development Studies Program, Unifor Local 2107
How to Catch a Fugitive - 2016 - Canada
10 min
Director: Corinne Dunphy
Year Presented: 2016

StFX students, as part of Dave Risk’s Flux Lab, run mobile gas leak detection studies in Saskatchewan and British Columbia. Cutting edge technology, beautiful cinematography and Antigonish connections combine for a very captivating film.
Sponsors: AA Munro Insurance, Antigonish Climate Resilience, BMO Nesbitt Burns, Dr. Robert Dunphy, Highland Bike Shop, Knights of Columbus St. Ninian’s Council #1105, Dr. Daniel McKenna, Municipality of the County of Antigonish, StFX Aquatic Resources Program, StFX Dept. of Earth Sciences, Sobey’s Antigonish, Sustainable Antigonish, Ms. Anne Thaler & Dr. John Hickey, Town of Antigonish
How to Change the World - 2015 - Canada
110 min
Director: Jerry Rockwell
Year Presented: 2016

In 1971 an eclectic group of young pioneers: Canadian hippie journalists, photographers, musicians, scientists, and American draft dodgers set out to stop Richard Nixon’s atomic bomb tests in Amchitka, Alaska. Their protest captured the world's imagination. Using never before seen archival footage that brings their extraordinary world to life, this is the story of the founding of Greenpeace and the defining of the modern green movement.
Sponsors: Pachamama, Peak Experiences, Sustainable Antigonish
Human - 2015 - France
190 min
Director: Yann Arthus-Bertrand
Year Presented: 2016

What makes us human? Driven by this question, filmmaker and artist Yann Arthus-Bertrand spent three years collecting stories from 2,000 women and men in 60 countries, capturing deeply personal and emotional stories that unite us all: struggles with poverty, war, homophobia, and the future of our planet mixed with moments of love and happiness.
Sponsors: Antigonish County Adult Learning Association (ACALA), Antigonish Quaker Worship Group, East Coast Credit Union Bergengren Branch, Lyghtesome Gallery, Municipality of the County of Antigonish, Nova Scotia Community College Strait Area Campus, Pictou-Antigonish Regional Library, StFX Association of University Teachers (AUT), StFX University Office of Human Rights & Equity, Sisters of St. Martha of Antigonish, Town of Antigonish
The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz - 2014 - USA
105 min
Director: Brian Knappenberger
Year Presented: 2016

Programming prodigy and information activist Aaron Swartz helped shape the internet as we know it, but it was his work in social justice combined with his aggressive approach to information access that ensnared him in a legal nightmare that ended with his suicide at the age of 26. This is a personal story about technology and its relationship to our civil liberties.
Sponsors: Pictou-Antigonish Regional Library, StFX Extension Department, StFX Innovation & Enterprise Centre, St. Francis Xavier University
Listening To Our Neighbours - 2015 - Canada
25 min
Director: Corinne Dunphy
Year Presented: 2016

Antigonishers in their homes and on the job talk about how climate change affects them and what they are doing to reduce its impact. Backed by a beautiful soundtrack written and performed by local songwriter Rosemary Curry and musical friends, Dunphy’s cinematography captures the beauty of the Antigonish landscape, while exploring the many local initiatives underway.
Sponsors: AA Munro Insurance, Antigonish Climate Resilience, BMO Nesbitt Burns, Dr. Robert Dunphy, Highland Bike Shop, Knights of Columbus St. Ninian’s Council #1105, Dr. Daniel McKenna, Municipality of the County of Antigonish, StFX Aquatic Resources Program, StFX Dept. of Earth Sciences, Sobey’s Antigonish, Sustainable Antigonish, Ms. Anne Thaler & Dr. John Hickey, Town of Antigonish
Lowdown Tracks - 2015 - Canada
86 min
Director: Shelley Saywell & Deborah Parks
Year Presented: 2016

Both social commentary and a celebration of the power of music and survival, Lowdown Tracks is shot and recorded inside shelters and rooming houses, on rooftops, in alleyways and along abandoned tracks, tellingthe story of a disparate group of street musicians in Toronto. Homeless, home free, or living on the margins, they are the very talented balladeers of the ‘lowdown’: telling it like it is.
Sponsors: Heatherton Group Home, Knights of Columbus Msgr. Hugh MacPherson Council # 14596, Park Bench Players, The TownHouse
The Messenger - 2015 - Canada
90 min
Director: Su Rynard
Year Presented: 2016

In ancient times humans looked to the flights and songs of birds to foretell the future. Today, once again, the birds have something to tell us. The Messenger is an artful investigation into the causes of songbird mass depletion and the people working to turn that around amid the remarkable variety of human-made perils that have caused this devastation to the songbird population. Moving from the northern reaches of the boreal forest to the base of Mount Ararat in Turkey to the streets of New York, this is an engaging, visually stunning, emotional journey, but one that mixes its elegiac message with hopeful notes.
Sponsors: Antigonish Insurance Agencies Limited, Cornect Family Farm, Forever Green Organic Farm and Gardens, Moonlight Restaurant, StFX Dept. of Biology, Sustainable Antigonish
Migrant Dreams - 2016 - Canada
88 min
Director: Ming Sook Lee
Year Presented: 2016

Migrant Dreams exposes the systemic problems of the Canadian government’s migrant worker program, a program which allows brokers and growers to exploit, dehumanize and deceive migrant workers who have virtually no access to support or information in their own language. These workers pay exorbitant fees to work at minimum wage jobs packing the fruits and vegetables we eat in our homes. This is the stirring story of two courageous Indonesian women caught in the program, fighting for basic rights in the face of debt bondage and low paying work.
Sponsors: StFX Dept of Human Nutrition
Nefertiti’s Daughters - 2015 - USA / Egypt
40 min
Director: Mark Nickolas
Year Presented: 2016

Street art has played a vital role throughout history during times of political transformation and social instability. Through the simple act of drawing on walls, artists communicate their society’s hopes, dreams and demands. This film primarily focuses on three prominent women artists: Bahia Shehab, Mira Shihadeh, and Salma Samy, whose ages span three decades, and whose work illuminates their perspective of the world, while giving us a window into how each sees the struggles of their country and, often, their gender.
Sponsors: Anonymous, Antigonish Women’s Resource Centre & Sexual Assault Services Association, Beautiful, Old Barn Gallery & Boutique, StFX Art Gallery, StFX Dept. of Art, Ms. Anne Thaler & Dr. John Hickey
The Pass System - 2015 - Canada
50 min
Director: Alex Williams
Year Presented: 2016

The Pass System illuminates Canada’s hidden history of racial segregation. For over 60 years, the Canadian government often denied indigenous peoples the basic freedom to leave their reserves without a pass. Cree, Saulteaux, Dene, Ojibwe and Blackfoot elders of the prairie land where this took place tell their stories of living under and resisting the system, and link their experiences to today. Acclaimed Cree actor and activist Tantoo Cardinal (Dances with Wolves, Legends of the Fall) narrates this investigative look into a little-known Canada.
Sponsors: Heritage Association of Antigonish, StFX Dept. of History, St. Francis Xavier University
Peacemaker - 2016 - USA
88 min
Director: James Demo
Year Presented: 2016

International arbitrator Padraig O'Malley helps make peace for others but struggles to find it for himself. The film takes us from Padraig's isolated life in Cambridge, Massachusetts to some of the most dangerous crisis zones on Earth: Northern Ireland, Kosovo, Nigeria and Iraq, where he uses a peacemaking model based on his recovery from addiction. We meet Padraig in the third act of his life in a race against time to find some kind of salvation for both the world and himself.
Sponsors: Anonymous, Antigonish Quaker Worship Group, Friends of the Antigonish Library Society, MAGI (Mediation Arbitration Group, Inc.)
The Pearl Button - 2015 - Chile
82 min
Director: Patricio Guzmán
Year Presented: 2016

Following the story of a shirt button discovered along the Chilean coast in 2004, familiar Guzmán themes such as memory and the historical past are explored, particularly that of history's ‘losers‘ rather than its victors. We learn about the settlement of Chile’s Tierra del Fuego, including some stories of the last surviving descendants of the original Alacalufeand Yaghaninhabitants, weaving in the interactions of the first English sailors and the fate of some of Chile’s political prisoners
Sponsors: StFX Dept. of Adult Education
The Pearl of Africa - 2016 - Uganda
90 min
Director: Jonny von Wallström
Year Presented: 2016

Uganda, once named the pearl of Africa by Winston Churchill, is a country blessed with diversity in ethnicity, flora and fauna, yet it is one of the world’s most transphobic places. This is a poignant, romantic, inspiring, and richly funny story of Cleo and Nelson, who are in a long-term relationship. She is a transgender woman and he is her cheery, stoic companion who accompanies her to Thailand so she can have gender confirmation surgery. This story of resilience, courage, acceptance and self-determination is told in an intimate, poetic way with the hope of making people more aware of the commonalities we share in our humanity.
Sponsors: A Partnership in Caring, StFX LGBT Advisor & X-Pride
Plant for the Planet - 2011 - Germany
16 min
Director: Lynne Cherry
Year Presented: 2016

As a nine year old boy inspired by Wangari Maathai, Felix founded Plant for the Planet and has helped plant more than a billion trees in Germany and around the world, helping sequester carbon and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In this movie he is 11 years old and talks about ‘climate justice’. He is now 18 years old and in college in London, UK.
Sponsors: Antigonish Community Energy Cooperative, Antigonish Farmers’ Market Association, Antigonish Harbour Watershed Association, Canadian Tire, Central Home Improvement Warehouse, MacLean Brothers Woodworking, Pleasant Valley Nurseries, Responsible Energy Action, StFX Dept. of Earth Sciences, StFX Dept. of Human Nutrition, The Tall and Small Café, Waffle Bus Stop, Wishing Wells Society
Radical Grace - 2015 - USA
90 min
Director: Rebecca Parrish
Year Presented: 2016

When the Vatican reprimands U.S. nuns for their ‘radical feminism’, three fearless nuns risk their place in the Church to follow another higher calling: social justice. One sister takes on Church patriarchy, another finds hope in the former prisoners she counsels, and the third launches a cross-country Nuns on the Bus tour, leveraging her newfound fame to spotlight social needs. These sisters bring humor and down-to-earth grit to an epic battle for justice, equality and the dignity of women..
Sponsors: StFX Dept. of Religious Studies, StFX Women’s & Gender Studies Program, St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Sisters of St. Martha of Antigonish
A Search for Justice - 2014 - El Salvado
13 min
Director: Christopher Buck
Year Presented: 2016

In 1980, four American churchwomen, working as missionaries, were raped and then murdered in El Salvador. The killings revealed the brutality of the civil war in El Salvador and raised awareness about America's policies in Central America. Now, the families of the slain churchwomen are still hoping to find justice, this time in American immigration courts.
Sponsors: Antigonish Breaking the Silence, Canadian Catholic Organization for Development & Peace Antigonish, Sandra & Terry O’Toole, StFX Dept. of Modern Languages, Sisters of St. Martha of Antigonish
Spirit Unforgettable - 2015 - Canada
86 min
Director: Pete McCormack
Year Presented: 2016

Spirit Unforgettable is the powerful, devastating and inspiring story of the iconic Canadian Celtic rock band Spirit of the West, and their charismatic frontman John Mann, who in 2014, at the age of 51, was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's disease. The band prepares for a 2015 concert at Massey Hall as part of their farewell tour. Archival footage is included, as well as exciting and moving live coverage of the Massey Hall concert itself.
Sponsors: EF Cooper Medical Inc., L’Arche Antigonish, MacLean Brothers Woodworking, StFX School of Nursing
Toronto G20 Exposed - 2012 - Canada
96 min
Director: -
Year Presented: 2016

Filmmaker: Adam Letalik Producer: Derek Soberal

While the mainstream media repeatedly broadcast images of burning police cars and broken windows, the cameras on the ground captured a far more terrifying story. The film highlights the apparent 1.2 billion dollar security failure at the 2010 G20 summit in Toronto and puts into question what kind of policies were in place to direct the police in matters like protecting property and crowd control. Eyewitness video footage and firsthand accounts tell a horrific tale of police brutality, mass arrests, secret laws and outrageous violations of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Sponsors: First Light Insurance, StFX Dept. of Adult Education, StFX Dept. of History, Simply Ducky
Truth and Reconciliation: The Un-Settling of Antigonish - 2016 - Canada
55 min
Director: Denise Davies
Year Presented: 2016

A year-long journey of cross-cultural community building led to creating and performing the community theatre production 1784: Un-Settling Antigonish.Performed by a cast of 30 spanning all ages, ethnicities, and levels of experience, the performers come from the same racial and geographical communities as the characters they portray: Mi'kmaq, Acadian, Irish, Scottish, African, and American. The film explores the impact of this process through rehearsals, performances, interviews with the performers, creative team and audience.
Sponsors: Antigonish Women’s Resource Centre & Sexual Assault Services Association, Canadian Catholic Organization for Development & Peace Antigonish, Just Us! Coffee Roasters, The Made in Nova Scotia Store
WEconomics - 2016 - Italy
19 min
Director: Melissa Young & Mark Dworkin
Year Presented: 2016

The Emilia-Romagna region in northern Italy has one of the highest concentrations of cooperative businesses in the developed world. The capital Bologna is an industrial powerhouse, where prosperity is widely shared, and cooperatives of teachers and social workers play a key role in the provision of government services.
Sponsors: Coady International Institute, East Coast Credit Union Bergengren Branch, Lyghtesome Gallery, StFX Campus Store, StFX Dept. of Business Administration, StFX Development Studies Program, StFX Extension Department, StFX Innovation & Enterprise Centre