Written by Denise Deby.
The One World Film Festival is worth a look. Each year, the Festival brings beautiful and engaging documentaries covering social justice, human rights and environmental issues to Ottawa.
This year, the Festival starts with a celebration of its 25th anniversary and the opening night screening of Above All Else on Thursday, September 25.
Above All Else (USA 2014) tells the story of a group of people in East Texas who try to stop construction of the Keystone XL pipeline through their lands by building a blockade in the trees.
After the screening, filmmakers John Fiege and Anita Grabowski, and Ben Powless who leads Ecology Ottawa’s #TarFree613 campaign, will participate in a panel discussion moderated by Susan Johnston.
The 25th anniversary celebration follows at 9 p.m. on Thursday and features music by DJ Jas Nasty, cake from Auntie Loo’s and a cash bar.
Two movies are scheduled for Friday, September 26. The first is Virunga (UK 2014), about park rangers, business and military interests in and near Virunga National Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home of the mountain gorilla. A panel discussion with John Wall, chair of the Jane Goodall Institute of Canada, Eric Schiller, president of Canadians for Human Rights in the Congo, and moderator Hasnat Ahsan of Oxfam follows.
The second movie on Friday, Song from the Forest (Germany 2013), is about a musicologist who spends 25 years with the Bayaka people in the Central African Republic rainforests and returns with his 13-year-old Bayakan son to New York City.
Screenings of Watchers of the Sky (USA 2014) and On the Side of the Road (Israel/Palestine and Canada 2013) take place on Saturday, September 27.
Watchers of the Sky connects the life of Raphael Lemkin, who raised awareness of genocide, with four people who are keeping his legacy alive in different parts of the world.
On the Side of the Road follows two Israeli veterans coming to grips with that region’s 1948 war. The screening includes an introduction to the film by Tyler Levitan of Independent Jewish Voices.
All the One World Film Festival 2014 events take place at Library and Archives Canada. See the One World Film Festival website for details and ticket information.