First Friday Film Festival

Prosecuting Evil: The Extraordinary World of Ben Ferencz
Friday March 13, 2020

Friday, March 13, 2020, 7PM
StFX Schwartz 205

admission by donation

Prosecuting Evil: The Extraordinary World of Ben Ferencz, is a fascinating portrait of a man who continues to wage a lifelong crusade for law and peace, even as he turns 100 years old this month.

Ferencz's family fled Europe in the 1920s because of antisemitism and he grew up in one of the toughest neighbourhoods in the United States: New York City's Hell's Kitchen. Ferencz was refused entry to public school because he was too small and didn't speak English. Still, he persevered, and became a lawyer before enlisting in the US Army during the Second World War.

Ferencz wound up working as part of the prosecution team at the Nuremburg trials and later became a key agitator for the creation of the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

With skill and empathy, award winning Canadian director Barry Avrich couldn't have made a more relevant film. Racism, antisemitism, and the alt-right are on the rise and international alliances predicated on common values and notions of justice are now endangered. It is important and inspiring to know that people like Ben Ferencz exist, working to make our world a better place.

Dr. Michael Steinitz will be available for Q&A after the film.

Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice
Friday February 7, 2020

First Friday Film Festival
Friday February 7, 2020. 7PM
StFX Schwartz 205

admission by donation

Ronstadt is our guide through her early years of singing Mexican canciones with her family, her folk days with the Stone Poneys, and her reign as the ‘rock queen’ of the ‘70s and early ‘80s. She was a pioneer for women in the male-dominated music industry and a passionate advocate for human rights. Now, her singing voice is stilled by illness and she is forced into retirement but her music and influence remain as timeless as ever. With moving performance footage and appearances by friends and collaborators including Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, Bonnie Raitt and Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice celebrates an artist whose music is loved by generations of fans.

Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind
Friday January 10, 2020

First Friday Film Festival
Friday, January 10, 7PM
People’s Place Library

admission by donation

Now in his nineties, Gordon Lightfoot is well respected internationally and considered among Canada’s greatest song writers, helping to define the folk-rock sound of the 1960’s and 1970’s. His discography comprises 19 studio albums, three live albums, 16 greatest hits albums and 46 singles. Sparing nothing about Lightfoot's personal weaknesses and failures as well as his triumphs, this film covers Lightfoot's career using archival concert footage, his own words, and interviews with associates. In the span of his talented career his songs celebrate Canada and its culture, and touch its soul.

Meeting Gorbachev
Friday December 6, 2019

First Friday Film Festival
Friday, December 6, 2019, 7PM

admission by donation

Werner Herzog and André Singer’s riveting documentary provides incredible access to Mikhail Gorbachev, who is arguably the world’s greatest living politician.

Now 87 and battling illness, the visionary former General Secretary of the USSR, has mellowed and slowed down, however he is still gently but resolutely pushing toward his goals. Herzog, as on-screen interviewer, does not disguise his admiration for Gorbachev’s three remarkable accomplishments: negotiations with the US to reduce nuclear weapons; cessation of Soviet control of Eastern Europe and the reunification of Germany; and the dissolution of the Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc. All of this was accomplished in six years! This film reminds us of the drastic and unforeseeable ways in which the world changes.

Dr. Chris Frazer, StFX Dept. of History will be available for Q&A following the film.

Friday April 5, 2019

First Friday Film Festival
Friday, April 5, 2019. 7PM
Schwartz 215

admission by donation

Gift is a poetic examination of gift-based cultures around the world and challenges the logic of global capitalism. Canadian filmmaker Robin McKenna was inspired by Lewis Hyde’s 2007 classic bestseller, The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World and she embarked on a journey to realize his vision in film. Four storylines are explored: creativity, generosity, resistance and defiance. Among the many stories we meet a young Kwakwaka’wakw artist and chief in Alert Bay on northern Vancouver Island, BC, as he organizes a Potlatch ceremony. We embark on a woman’s journey as she prepares for Burning Man, an annual festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada. We are introduced to the moving works of Taiwanese artist Lee Mingwei. We get a glimpse of life at Metropoliz, a beautiful and peculiar museum in Rome.

Friday March 1, 2019

First Friday Film Festival
Friday, March 1, 2019 7PM
StFX Schwartz 215

Filmmaker Aube Giroux will be present for Q&A following the film.

admission by donation
all proceeds to be donated to the Antigonish Farmers’ Market building fund

In the award-winning new documentary Modified, the Nova Scotian filmmaker Aube Giroux and her mother embark on a very personal and poignant investigative journey to find out why genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are not labelled on food products in the United States and Canada, despite being labelled in 64 countries around the world.

Their intimate mother-daughter quest for answers is fuelled by a shared love of food and reveals the extent to which the agribusiness industry controls our food policies. They make a strong case for a more transparent and sustainable food system. A beautifully filmed celebration of food and family legacy, Modified was praised by world-renowned chef Jacques Pépin as “a very personal, tender, touching tribute and a well-researched, enlightening and powerful documentary”. Modified has been an official selection at over 60 international film festivals and the winner of 13 awards, including four Audience Favourite Awards.

All proceeds from the screening will be donated to the Antigonish Farmers’ Market for their fund for a permanent year round building.

Burned: Are Trees the New Coal?
Friday January 11, 2019

First Friday Film Festival in partnership with Antigonish Community Energy Coop
Ecology Action Centre
Responsible Energy Action

Friday, January 11
StFX Schwartz 215

admission by donation

Burned exposes the little known story of the accelerating destruction of our forests for fuel. It probes the policy loopholes, huge subsidies and blatant green-washing of the burgeoning biomass power industry. The film follows a dedicated group of forest activists, ecologists, carbon scientists and concerned citizens who are fighting to educate people about the enormous value of our forests and to debunk current biomass practices as a solution to climate change.

Although this documentary is filmed predominantly in the US, we here in Nova Scotia are dealing with this issue on an intimate basis: the large biomass energy plants in Point Tupper, Abercrombie and Brooklyn. Massive amounts of former forest are being exported to other countries as pellets and chips from Sheet Harbour. Wildlife biologist Bob Bancroft and energy analyst/activist Peter Ritchie will be on hand to lead a discussion following the film, filling us in on the particulars of our situation here at home.

Finding Oscar
Friday April 6, 2018

Friday April 6, 7PM
StFX Schwartz 215

In the Dos Erres massacre during Guatemala’s decades-long civil war, a young boy was spared, only to be raised by one of the very soldiers who killed his family. Nearly 30 years after the tragedy a dedicated team uncovers the truth and brings justice to those responsible by finding the missing boy named Oscar.
Warning: disturbing images

admission by donation
all donations in support of Antigonish Breaking the Silence Maritimes-Guatemala Solidarity

Breaking the Silence (BTS) is a voluntary network of people in the Maritimes who began to organize in 1988 to support the efforts of Guatemalans struggling for political, social, and economic justice. We recognize that injustice is connected to structural inequities both within and between countries, and BTS is committed to supporting structural transformation both in Guatemala and Canada. Our work is guided by the understanding that we all deserve to be treated as equals, and that we need to build long-term relationships based on solidarity and mutuality. We respond to the needs and issues defined by our partners and other Guatemalans with whom we work, and we support them in taking charge of their own lives. Our relationships are built on friendship, sharing and dialogue as we work, learn, and grow together. As a community of people who share this commitment to solidarity, we undertake advocacy and lobbying; organize delegations; send interns; volunteers, and human rights accompaniers; promote fairly-traded coffee; and raise awareness within our communities through speaking tours by Guatemalan leaders.

Human Flow
Friday March 2, 2018

Friday March 2. 7:00 PM
StFX Schwartz 215

More than 65 million people around the world have been forced from their homes to escape famine, climate change and war, the greatest displacement since World War II. Filmmaker Ai Weiwei examines the staggering scale of the refugee crisis and its profoundly personal human impact. Over the course of one year in 23 countries, Weiwei follows a chain of urgent human stories that stretch across the globe, including Afghanistan, France, Greece, Germany and Iraq.

admission by donation
all donations will go to StFX World University Service of Canada’s Student Refugee Program

The Student Refugee Program at StFX is a sponsorship program through which support is given to a student registered by the United Nations as a refugee to pursue post-secondary studies in Canada. For twelve consecutive years, StFX has admitted one student each year to the sponsorship program. The students that have been welcomed to StFX represent displacement due to civil war, persecution and genocide in regions such as Sudan, Rwanda, the DRC, and Ethiopia.

I Am Not Your Negro
Friday February 2, 2018

celebrating Black History Month in Nova Scotia

Friday February 9, 2018
StFX Physical Sciences 1072
admission by donation

In 1979 James Baldwin envisioned a book. It would have been a personal account of the lives and assassinations of three of his close friends: Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. Filmmaker Raoul Peck brings to life the book James Baldwin never finished. The voice over narration is completely drawn from Baldwin’s insightful work and the film gives us a clear and passionate lesson on the psychological dimensions of the racial conflicts in the U.S.

Oscar nominated for Best Feature Documentary 2017.

Bending the Arc
Friday January 5, 2018

Friday, January 5
StFX Schwartz 215
admission by donation

Thirty years ago three remarkable young people barely out of their teens (Jim Yong Kim, Paul Farmer and Ophelia Dahl) came together in a squatter settlement in Haiti. They were determined to provide the same world-class level of medical care they would expect for their own families to the Haitians who soon became their friends.

Idealistic but very inexperienced, they suffered tragic early failures that made them question the way they were delivering health care. This led them to develop, in partnership with the patients themselves and guided by medical anthropology, a revolutionary and controversial model: training their friends and neighbours, ordinary Haitian villagers, as health care workers. Despite enormous resistance from the outside world they treated diseases that the experts had determined could not or should not be treated in the poor because of expense and difficulty.

The groundbreaking work they began in Haiti would eventually grow to have massive global effects. Reaching far beyond the issue of health care, Bending the Arc shows how imagination, strategy, and sheer willpower can change the trajectory of the world, bending the arc of the moral universe closer to justice.

Nero’s Guests
Friday December 1, 2017

In Nero’s Guests director Deepa Bhatia follows award-winning journalist P. Sainath as he confronts and documents the agrarian crisis of farmer suicides in India. He shows the pathetic conditions of families forced into debt and humiliation caused by harmful policies pursued by the Indian government in the interests of rich Indian and multinational corporations. Sadly, the Indian government is not alone in this short-sighted self-interested practice.

The title of the documentary comes from the story of Nero, Roman emperor 54-68 AD, hosting extravagant parties in his beautiful garden. In order for his guests to enjoy the garden at night he used prisoners as human torches for illumination. Sainath notes it is not Nero’s cruelty that most troubles him; there have been numerous cruel rulers. It is the indifference of Nero’s guests: keeping silent, ignoring that cruelty, while continuing to enjoy the party.

P. Sainath is the founder of People’s Archive of Rural India (the inspiration behind People’s Archive of Rural Nova Scotia) and author of Everybody Loves a Good Drought.

AWAKE! A Dream from Standing Rock
Friday May 5, 2017

Friday, May 5th at 7 pm People’s Place Community Room, All welcome

In 2016 Standing Rock, North Dakota became one of the most watched places on earth. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe attracted world attention through their peaceful resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline. Awake, A Dream from Standing Rock captures the story of how this defiance is changing the way we fight for clean water, our environment and the future of our planet. The film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival on Earth Day, April 22, 2017.

Sponsored by Responsible Energy Action and the Antigonish International Film Festival.

Before the Flood
Wednesday April 12, 2017

In celebration of World Water Day
Before the Flood
7:00 Wednesday, ALERT Film rescheduled to April 12 due to inclement weather
Office of the Municipality of the County of Antigonish

From Academy Award-winning filmmaker Fisher Stevens and Academy Award-winning actor, environmental activist and U.N. Messenger of Peace Leonardo DiCaprio, Before the Flood presents a riveting account of the dramatic changes now occurring around the world due to climate change, as well as the actions we as individuals and as a society can take to help prevent these disruptions. “We need everyone to demand bold action from their political leaders and to elect representatives who have their best interests at heart, not the interests of corporations perpetuating a cycle of greed and destruction,” says DiCaprio. “This documentary shows how interconnected the fate of all humanity is and also the power we all possess as individuals to build a better future for our planet.”

Co-sponsors: The Municipality of the County of Antigonish
Antigonish International Film Festival
I Am the Blues
Friday April 7, 2017

First Friday Film Festival
7:00 Friday, April 7
StFX Schwartz 152
Admission by donation

I Am the Blues takes the audience on a musical journey through the swamps of the Louisiana Bay-ou, the juke joints of the Mississippi Delta and moonshine soaked BBQs in the North Mississippi Hills. The film visits blues musicians rooted in the genre's heyday, many now in their 80s, still living in the American deep south and touring the Chitlin’ Circuit. Let Bobby Rush, Barbara Lynn, Henry Gray, Carol Fran, Little Freddie King, Lazy Lester, Bilbo Walker, Jimmy “Duck” Holmes, RL Boyce, LC Ulmer, Lil’ Buck Sinegal and their friends awaken the blues in all of us.
Monday March 6, 2017

A documentary film screening in honour of International Women’s Week

7:00 Monday, March 6
StFX Nicholson Hall 151
Admission by donation

Sonita is an award-winning documentary about an ultra talented and fiery young Muslim woman resisting being sold into marriage. As an Afghan refugee in Iran she uses music and education as avenues for empowerment. Her inspiring story was captured by Iranian filmmaker Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami, who not only recognized Sonita's potential, but played a key role in helping her to find sanctuary in the US.

Partial list of 18 awards:

  • Sundance Film Festival: World Documentary Grand Jury Prize, World Documentary Audience Award
  • Amsterdam International Film Festival: Audience Award, Doc UI Award
  • Full Frame Documentary Film Festival: Best Filmmaker
  • IndieLisboa International Independent Film Festival: Schweppes Indie Music Award
  • Sarasota Film Festival: Best in World Cinema, Audience Award
  • Portland International Film Festival: Best Documentary, Audience Award

Co-sponsored by:
  • Antigonish International Film Festival
  • Antigonish Women’s Resource Centre and Sexual Assault Services Association
  • Coady International Centre for Women’s Leadership
  • Naomi Society
  • StFX Women’s and Gender Studies Program
KONELINE: Our Land is Beautiful
Friday February 3, 2017

7PM 151 Nicholson, StFX, Antigonish
Admission by donation

KONELINE: our land beautiful is a sensual, cinematic celebration of northwestern British Columbia, and all the dreamers who move across it.

Some hunt on the land. Some mine it. They all love it. Set deep in the traditional territory of the Tahltan First Nation, KONELINE captures the beauty and complexity of one of Canada’s vast wildernesses undergoing irrevocable change.

An art film with politics, drama and humour, KONELINE explores different ways of seeing and being: a guide outfitter swims her horses across the vast Stikine River; the world’s biggest chopper flies 16,000-pound transmission towers over mountaintops; white hunters carry bows and arrows; members of the Tahltan First Nation hunt out of a pickup with high-powered rifles. There are diamond drillers both Native and white and elders who blockade them. There is a Tahltan son struggling to preserve a dying language and a white guy who sings ‘North to Alaska‘ to his stuffed moose.

Awards include:
Winner, Best Canadian Feature - Hotdocs 2016
Winner, Best Canadian Documentary - Available Light Film Fest
The Brainwashing of My Dad
Friday January 20, 2017

7:00 January 20, 2017
StFX Nicholson Hall 151

On January 20 Donald Trump will be sworn in as President of the United States. Many people, both in the US and in Canada, are asking themselves how this could happen.

In The Brainwashing of My Dad, filmmaker Jen Senko tries to understand the transformation of her father from a non-political, lifelong Democrat to an angry, right wing fanatic. Through interviews with media luminaries, cognitive linguists (Noam Chomsky, Steve Rendall, Jeff Cohen, Eric Boehlert, George Lakoff), grassroots activist groups (STOP RUSH, HearYourselfThink) Brainwashing unravels the plan, begun under the Nixon administration, to shift the US to the right, largely through media manipulation. The result has led to fewer voices, less diversity of opinion, massive intentional misinformation and greater division in the country.

AIFF’s January film, The Brainwashing of My Dad, will be shown on inauguration day, Friday January 20, and will shine a light on how a Trump presidency happened in the US. It will lead Canadians to look at our own situation, to question who owns our airwaves, what rights do we have as listeners/watchers and what responsibility do we and our government have to keep the airwaves fair, accurate and accountable to the truth.

L'Arche Antigonish Fundraiser
Friday December 9, 2016

Fundraiser for L'Arche Antigonish on December 9 an evening of four films arranged by the Antigonish International Film Festival

7:00 PM Dec. 9
151 Nicholson Hall, StFX, Antigonish
Admission by donation. All proceeds to L'Arche Antigonish

Love and Belonging: In 1964, Jean Vanier, a Canadian professor of philosophy at the University of Toronto, created the first L’Arche community in the village of Trosly in France. Now there are 146 L’Arche communities around the world in which people with and without intellectual disabilities share a home. In this film Jean Vanier shares his memories of the early days of L’Arche and the spiritual insights provided by its subsequent development. Love and Belonging is accompanied by three short films about L'Arche communities - Antigonish: What Is Hearts & Hands?, Cape Breton: Life in L'Arche Cape Breton, and Quebec: Pareil pas pareil.

L'Arche Antigonish has just been named the StFX Community Partner Recognition Award winner. This achievement will be celebrated at Fall Convocation December 4, 2016.

Hearts & Hands is an art program within L'Arche Antigonish where people from L'Arche and the wider community come together to discover their creative potential and form friendships through visual arts, music, dance and drama.

The Men of the Deeps
Friday November 4, 2016

7PM. Nicholson Hall 351 The Men of the Deeps. Award winning NFB documentary film. as part of the 50th-anniversary celebration of The Men of the Deeps. Conductor Jack O'Donnell will be present for Q&A
Where to Invade Next
Friday June 3, 2016

7:00 pm
St. FX Schwartz - Room 215 - Admission by Donation

To learn what the USA can gain from other nations, Michael Moore playfully "invades" them to see what they have to offer.

Friday April 1, 2016

7:00 pm
St. FX Nicholson Hall - Room 151 - Admission by Donation

Mavis! is the first feature documentary on gospel/soul music legend and civil rights icon Mavis Staples and her family group, The Staple Singers. From the freedom songs of the ’60s and hits like I’ll Take You There in the ’70s, to funked-up collaborations with Prince and her recent albums with Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, Mavis has stayed true to her roots, kept her family close, and inspired millions along the way.

Featuring powerful live performances, rare archival footage, and conversations with friends and contemporaries including Bob Dylan, Prince, Bonnie Raitt, Levon Helm, Jeff Tweedy, Chuck D, and more, MAVIS! reveals the struggles, successes, and intimate stories of her journey. At 75, she's making the most vital music of her career, winning Grammy awards, and reaching a new generation of fans. Her message of love and equality is needed now more than ever.

Fractured Land
Friday March 4, 2016

7PM, 151 Nicholson Hall, StFX Admission by Donation What would it be like to live alongside one of the shapers of human events, in their youth, before they transformed history? In Fractured Land, we follow Caleb Behn, a young Dene lawyer who may become one of this generation’s great leaders, if he can discover how to reconcile the fractures within himself, his community and the world around him, blending modern tools of the law with ancient wisdom. As founder, Bill McKibben, puts it, "Anyone who can throw a hatchet and sue you is a force to be reckoned with." Caleb sports a Mohawk and tattoos, hunts moose, and wears a business suit. His father is a devout environmentalist and residential school survivor.His mother is in a senior position in the oil and gas industry. His people, at the epicenter of some of the largest fracking operations on earth, are deeply divided. How does Caleb balance their need for jobs with his sacred duty to defend their territory? He has arrived at a key moment in history, sees the contradictions, and wants to reconcile them. Filmmakers Fiona Rayher and Damien Gillis have been following Caleb for four years, capturing hundreds of hours of footage of his development, through law school, sharing knowledge with other Indigenous peoples, speaking to larger and larger audiences, dealing with deep community divisions, and building a movement.
This Changes Everything
Wednesday February 10, 2016

7:00 pm
St. FX - Nicholson Hall, Room 151

Filmed over 211 shoot days in nine countries and five continents over four years, This Changes Everything is an epic attempt to re-imagine the vast challenge of climate change.

Directed by Avi Lewis, and inspired by Naomi Klein’s international non-fiction bestseller This Changes Everything, the film presents seven powerful portraits of communities on the front lines, from Montana’s Powder River Basin to the Alberta Tar Sands, from the coast of South India to Beijing and beyond.

Interwoven with these stories of struggle is Klein’s narration, connecting the carbon in the air with the economic system that put it there. Throughout the film, Klein builds to her most controversial and exciting idea: that we can seize the existential crisis of climate change to transform our failed economic system into something radically better.

Salam Neighbor
Friday January 8, 2016

7:00 pm
St. FX Nicholson Hall - Room 151

Salam Neighbor is the work of the first two filmmakers allowed by the United Nations to register and set up a tent inside the Zaatari refugee camp which is located in Jordan, just across the border with Syria, and is home to over 80,000 refugees.

The two young American filmmakers uncover inspiring stories of individuals overcoming personal loss and struggling to rebuild their lives.

The film is sponsored by the Antigonish International Film Festival's FFFF. Admission is by donation and all proceeds will go to StFX Syria-Antigonish Families Embrace (SAFE).

Friday December 4, 2015

7:00 pm
St.FX Schwartz School of Business 205

Revolution is a feature documentary about opening your eyes, changing the world and fighting for something. A true life adventure following director Rob Stewart in the follow up to his hit Sharkwater, Revolution is an epic adventure into the evolution of life on earth and the revolution to save us.

Discovering that there’s more in jeopardy than sharks, Stewart uncovers a grave secret threatening our own survival as a species, and embarks on a life-threatening adventure through 4 years and 15 countries into the greatest battle ever waged.

Bringing you some of the most incredible wildlife spectacles ever recorded, audiences are brought face to face with sharks and cuddly lemurs, into the microscopic world of the pygmy seahorse, and on the hunt with the deadly flamboyant cuttlefish. From the coral reefs in Papua New Guinea to the rainforests in Madagascar, Stewart reveals that our fate is tied to even the smallest of creatures. Through it all, Stewart’s journey reveals a massive opportunity, as activists and individuals all over the world are winning the battle to save the ecosystems we depend on for survival.

Revolution premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and has already gone on to win ten awards, including the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the Atlantic Film Festival, Most Popular Environmental Film Award at the Vancouver International Film Festival, the Audience Award at the Victoria Film Festival and the Social Justice Award at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

The Revolution Movie

View the Trailer
Salt of the Earth
Friday November 6, 2015

Presented by Antigonish International Film Festival - First Friday Film Festival

Nov 6, 7:00 PM

151 Nicholson Hall, StFX

Admission by donation

For the last 40 years, the photographer Sebastião Salgado has been travelling through the continents, in the footsteps of an ever-changing humanity. He has witnessed some of the major events of our recent history: international conflicts, starvation and exodus. He is now embarking on the discovery of pristine territories: of wild fauna and flora, of grandiose landscapes as part of a huge photographic project which is a tribute to the planet's beauty. Sebastião Salgado's life and work are revealed to us by his son, Juliano, who went with him during his last travels, and by Wim Wenders, himself a photographer. (C) Sony Classics The Salt of the Earth was selected to compete in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival where it won the Special Prize. It was also nominated for the Best Documentary Feature at the 2015 Academy Awards. It won the 2014 Audience Award at the San Sebastian International Film Festival, the 2015 Audience Award at the Tromso International Film Festival and the Cesar Award for Best Documentary Film at the 40th Cesar Awards.

Citizen Four
Friday April 17, 2015

In January 2013, Laura Poitras started receiving anonymous encrypted e-mails from "CITIZENFOUR," who claimed to have evidence of illegal covert surveillance programs run by the NSA in collaboration with other intelligence agencies worldwide. Five months later, she and reporters Glenn Greenwald and Ewen MacAskill flew to Hong Kong for the first of many meetings with the man who turned out to be Edward Snowden. She brought her camera with her. The resulting film is history unfolding before our eyes.

Ronnie Scheib of Variety wrote "No amount of familiarity with whistleblower Edward Snowden and his shocking revelations of the U.S. government's wholesale spying on its own citizens can prepare one for the impact of Laura Poitras's extraordinary documentary Citizenfour... far from reconstructing or analyzing a fait accompli, the film tersely records the deed in real time, as Poitras and fellow journalist Glenn Greenwald meet Snowden over an eight-day period in a Hong Kong hotel room to plot how and when they will unleash the bombshell that shook the world. Adapting the cold language of data encryption to recount a dramatic saga of abuse of power and justified paranoia, Poitras brilliantly demonstrates that information is a weapon that cuts both ways."

Spencer Ackerman writes in The Guardian "Citizenfour must have been a maddening documentary to film. Its subject is pervasive global surveillance, an enveloping digital act that spreads without visibility, so its scenes unfold in courtrooms, hearing chambers and hotels. Yet the virtuosity of Laura Poitras, its director and architect, makes its 114 minutes crackle with the nervous energy of revelation."

La Camioneta
Friday June 6, 2014

7PM Desmond Hall, Coady International Institute.
Breaking the Silence Fundraiser. Join us at the TownHouse before the film for a Guatemalan meal. Every day dozens of decommissioned school buses leave the United States on a southward migration that carries them to Guatemala, where they are repaired, repainted, and resurrected as the brightly-colored camionetas that bring the vast majority of Guatemalans to work each day. LA CAMIONETA follows one such bus on its transformative journey: a journey between North and South, between life and death, and through an unfolding collection of moments, people, and places that serve to quietly remind us of the interconnected worlds in which we live. 71 min., 2013 Guatemala, USA Director: Mark Kendall
All Me: the Life and Times of Winfred Rembert
Friday May 2, 2014

2012 78 min. USA Director: Vivian Ducat
Visit the All of me Website
With his intensely autobiographical paintings, Winfred Rembert has preserved an important chapter of African American history. His images of toiling in the cotton fields, singing in church, dancing in juke joints, or working on a chain gang are especially powerful because he lived those moments himself. Now in his sixties, Rembert has an enthusiastic following among art connoisseurs. In this music-filled film he relives his turbulent life, and shows us how even the most painful memories can be transformed into something meaningful and beautiful.
Finding Vivian Maier
Friday April 4, 2014

Directors: John Maloof & Charlie Siskel
2013, USA, 84 mins.

Vivian Maier (February 1, 1926 – April 21, 2009) was an American street photographer born in New York City. Although born in the U.S., it was in France that Maier spent most of her youth. Maier returned to the U.S. in 1951 where she took up work as a nanny and care-giver for the rest of her life. In her leisure however, Maier had begun to venture into the art of photography. Consistently taking photos over the course of five decades, she would ultimately leave over 100,000 negatives, most of them shot in Chicago and New York City. Vivian would further indulge in her passionate devotion to documenting the world around her through homemade films, recordings and collections, assembling one of the most fascinating windows into American life in the second half of the twentieth century.

In Finding Vivian Maier, Maloof teams with producer Charlie Siskel to uncover this mystery. Following clues, they trace Maier’s history through New York City, France, and Chicago. Maier was an inveterate wanderer and self-taught photographer, favouring a Rolleiflex twin-lens reflex camera, with an uncanny ability to get close to people from all walks of life. Her artful and comic eye calls to mind the photography of Berenice Abbott and Weegee. Thanks to Maloof’s efforts, critics and galleries have now rallied behind Maier’s work, and The New York Times recognized her as “one of America’s more insightful street photographers.”

But as Maloof meets people who knew Vivian, new questions arise about her life and work. The families who employed her as a nanny have mixed memories, and hint at her dark side. Would she have even wanted this attention? Answering that question depends on how you interpret different bits of evidence. Regardless, it’s a wonder to behold the world through Vivan Maier’s eyes.

Friday March 7, 2014

Friday March 7, 2014
7PM Schwartz Bldg, St FX Campus, Antigonish
2013 83 min. USA Director: Gabriela Cowperthwaite
Visit Blackfish Website
This mesmerizing psychological thriller focuses on Tilikum, a captive orca involved in the deaths of three individuals. Blackfish explores the consequences of keeping these intelligent wild animals in captivity for our amusement and financial gain. The film premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.
The House I Live In
Friday December 6, 2013

Over forty years, the War on Drugs has accounted for more than 45 million arrests, made America the world’s largest jailer, and damaged poor communities at home and abroad. Yet for all that, drugs are cheaper, purer, and more available today than ever before. Filmed in more than twenty states, The House I Live In captures heart-wrenching stories from individuals at all levels of America’s War on Drugs. From the dealer to the grieving mother, the narcotics officer to the senator, the inmate to the federal judge, the film offers a penetrating look inside America’s longest war, offering a definitive portrait and revealing its profound human rights implications. While recognizing the seriousness of drug abuse as a matter of public health, the film investigates the tragic errors and shortcomings that have meant it is more often treated as a matter for law enforcement, creating a vast machine that feeds largely on America’s poor, and especially on minority communities. Beyond simple misguided policy, The House I Live In examines how political and economic corruption have fueled the war for forty years, despite persistent evidence of its moral, economic, and practical failures.
Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage. The band you know, the story you don't
Friday November 1, 2013

St FX Schwartz rm 215. Nov 1, 2013 7PM
Presented by the Antigonish International Film Festival .
. Admission by donation. An in-depth look at the Canadian rock band Rush, chronicling the band's musical evolution from their progressive rock sound of the '70s to their current heavy rock style.
A FIERCE GREEN FIRE: The Battle for a Living Planet
Friday October 4, 2013

7PM Schwartz Building, St FX A FIERCE GREEN FIRE: The Battle for a Living Planet is the first big-picture exploration of the environmental movement – grassroots and global activism spanning fifty years from conservation to climate change. Directed and written by Mark Kitchell, Academy Award-nominated director of Berkeley in the Sixties, and narrated by Robert Redford, Ashley Judd, Van Jones, Isabel Allende and Meryl Streep, the film premiered at Sundance Film Festival 2012, has won acclaim at festivals around the world. Inspired by the book of the same name by Philip Shabecoff, A FIERCE GREEN FIRE chronicles the largest movement of the 20th century and one of the keys to the 21st. It brings together all the major parts of environmentalism and connects them. It focuses on activism, people fighting to save their homes, their lives, the future – and succeeding against all odds.
Making the Case: Beatrice Mtetwa and the Rule of Law
Monday May 13, 2013

May 3, 2013 at 7 pm at Schwartz #215
FRIDAY NIGHT Special film on Beatrice Mtetwa, Recipient of StFX Honorary Degree

Beatrice Mtetwa is a famous Zimbabwe lawyer protecting human rights under difficult, and sometimes dangerous, conditions. She was recently in the news for being imprisoned, but has since been released. She will be receiving an honorary degree from StFX at Convocation. This is an opportunity to see the story of a leading human rights lawyer in action.

Bob Marley
Thursday February 7, 2013

7:00 DENNIS HALL, COADY INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE Bob Marley is celebrated around the world annually near the date of his birthday, February 7. First Friday Film Festival will be part of the celebration this year, showing the film Marley, with a dance to follow. THE FILM Bob Marley's universal impact on music history, as well as his role as a social and political activist is both unique and unparalleled. Directed by Kevin MacDonald, Marley (144 min.) is the definitive life story of the musician, revolutionary and legend. Made with the support of the Marley family, the film features rare footage, incredible performances and revelatory interviews with the people who knew him best, following him from his early days through his rise to international superstardom. THE VENUE First Friday Film Festival has changed from the usual venue in Schwartz to Dennis Hall at the Coady International Institute (the old chapel) because the sound is fantastic and there will be room to push back the chairs and dance! THE DANCE Dancing is encouraged during the performance sequences in the film and afterwards there will be further amazing concert footage and music for dancing. FFFF has Dennis Hall until 11:00, so bring your dancing shoes and plan to sing, dance and celebrate: one love, one world, one heart, unite!
Friday February 1, 2013

The unique and inspiring art of the great German choreographer, Pina Bausch is showcased in this beautifully filmed documentary. As the dancers perform her most famous works, director Wim Wenders takes the audience on a sensual, visually stunning journey straight onto the stage with the legendary Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch ensemble. He follows the dancers out of the theatre into the city and the surrounding areas of Wuppertal, the home and centre for Pina Bausch's creativity.
Searching for Sugar Man
Thursday April 12, 2012

In the early 1970s a Detroit folksinger who had a short-lived recording career, unbeknownst to himself became an icon in liberal white South Africa. In the 1990s, a few of his fans decided to seek out their hero's fate. What followed is a bizarrely heartening story in which they found more in their quest than they ever hoped, and a Detroit construction laborer discovered that his lost artistic dreams had come true after all.
Planet B-Boy
Sunday April 1, 2012

Originally known as "B-boying", breakdancing is an urban dance form that originated from the streets of New York City during the seventies. Along with Emceeing, Graffiti and DJing, B-boying served as one of the crucial elements in the birth of hip-hop culture in America. This documentary looks at the history of breakdancing and its vibrant resurgence in urban cultures around the world, making a compelling argument for breakdancing as an art form. Focusing on five different crews competing in the 2005 Battle of the Year (France, South Korea, Germany, USA and Japan) extensive footage of the dancers follows them in competition as well as in street performances and rehearsals.
Under African Skies
Wednesday January 4, 2012

Paul Simon travels back to South Africa on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of his historic Graceland album, reuniting with the original band to give a reunion concert. The film explores the turbulent birth of the album which was initially met with tremendous political crossfire, as Paul was accused of breaking the UN cultural boycott of South Africa designed to end the Apartheid regime. Paul revisits these ghosts and comes to some new revelations as his musical journey is explored. The film is both an anatomy of a profound artistic achievement and a meditation on the role of the artist in society.
Exit Through the Gift Shop

Exit Through The Gift Shop (2010)

An amusing, engrossing look at underground art, Exit Through the Gift Shop entertains as it deflates the myths and hype surrounding the "Art World".

Featuring the notorious street artist Banksy. The documentary's focus is French-born L.A. thrift-shop owner Thierry Guetta, whose apparent compulsion to videotape every moment of his life led him to document the phenomenon of contemporary street art. Guetta's cousin, a street artist known as Space Invader, allowed the avid cameraman to tape him as he illegally spread his artwork, and Space Invader also introduced him to other street artists, whose work Guetta captured on tape.

Eventually, Guetta hooked up with Shepard Fairey, who was best known (before he created an iconic Barack Obama campaign poster), artist/prankster Banksy, and becomes obsessed with finding him and videotaping his exploits. Thanks to Guettta's growing reputation among street artists, the two eventually meet and form a sort of partnership. Guetta even videotapes Banksy's infamous "Gitmo" prank at Disneyland, wherein a handcuffed, hooded figure in an orange jumpsuit is placed beside one of the rides. They get along quite well until Banksy suggests that Guetta stop shooting, take the countless hours of footage he's accumulated, and start assembling them into a documentary.

Banksy eventually takes over the documentary project, and inadvertently pushes Guetta's creative energy in a new direction, as Guetta becomes a kind of street artist himself, with shocking results.