Guelph’s annual international documentary film festival, the Festival of Moving Media, kicks off four days of film screenings and special events next Thursday.
The Nov. 1-4 festival, which has events at eight venues, will include titles such as Bottled Life: The Story of Nestlé’s Business With Water, Boxing Girls of Kabul, and Big Boys Gone Bananas!, a news release said.
Every year there are trends within filmmaking, and this year the festival says it sees an emphasis on humour, empowerment and the individual.
“Some of the subjects in this year’s festival resemble the cast of an absurd travelling circus: beauty pageant contestants, 90-year-old competitive ping pong players and even a James Brown impersonator,” festival programmer Anna Cox said in the release.
“But once you meet the girls from Afghanistan who defy cultural norms by strapping on boxing gloves or the 70-year-old twin sister prostitutes who defy expectations about women’s sexuality by strapping on other things, I think you’ll be glad the circus came to town,” she said.
“Whether the film is about a man who fights against a banana corporation that went nuts or a kids soccer team that never wins, these remarkable and funny stories reinforce the tenacity and luminance of the human spirit.”
The festival will have an information centre in Old Quebec Street open from 12-6 p.m. from Nov. 1-3 and 12-4 p.m. on Nov. 4. Festival passes and individual advance tickets can be bought there or at The Bookshelf, where they are already being sold.
The festival’s website (festivalofmovingmedia.ca) has descriptions and trailers of the films to be shown, as well as other details.
Venues for the festival include The Bookshelf Cinema, Ed Video Media Arts Centre, Evergreen Seniors Centre, Guelph Public Library’s main branch, the Guelph Youth Music Centre, the Ignatius Jesuit Centre, the Macdonald Stewart Art Centre and the U of G’s landscape architecture building.
Ed Video is presenting two hour-long documentary workshops in conjunction with the festival, one of them led by producer, director and writer Erin Faith Young, a Guelph native.
Another special event at this year’s festival is Stolen Bodies, Reclaimed Bodies, a series of 12 short films created by “women with disabilities and differences” as part of the Re-Vision Project spearheaded by the University of Guelph, the release said. Many of the filmmakers will be in attendance to lead a discussion after the 3 p.m. Nov. 3 screening at Ed Video, 40 Baker St.
The festival’s other special event this year is “GUH with Microcosmos,” a family-friendly event on Nov. 4 at 2 p.m. at the Guelph Youth Music Centre. A co-presentation with the Kazoo Festival, it involves the GUH band performing an “original live musical soundscape” for the award-winning film Microcosmos, which includes “breathtaking insect scenery,” the release said.
It has been a year of transition for the festival, which traces its roots back to 1984 and is one of the oldest documentary film festivals in the world. “After 30 years, we said goodbye to the Guelph International Resource Centre, moving from being a project of GIRC to an independent festival,” it said.
“We will miss their guidance but are equally excited about the challenges and possibilities that come with being an independent entity.”