Every year, the Guelph Film Festival showcases international, national, and local documentaries. These include films made by young filmmakers of the Guelph community, with the Tiny Docs by Tiny People program.
By Justine Kraemer, GAC Volunteer Writer
Every year, the Guelph Film Festival showcases international, national, and local documentaries. These include films made by young filmmakers of the Guelph community, with the Tiny Docs by Tiny People program. This year’s Festival will be a hybrid event, both in-person and online. The in-person venues to facilitate this year’s Festival include: 10C Shared Space, Art Gallery of Guelph, Guelph Civic Museum, Guelph Youth Music Centre, Heritage Hall, Planet Bean Coffee—Hilltop, Royal City Brewing Co., and Victory Public School. All venues are fully accessible.
The in-person portion of the Festival will run from November 4-12, 2022. The Festival will kick off with an opening presentation of ‘And Still I Sing’. The movie focuses on Afghan pop star Aryana Sayeed, and her mentoring of young female musicians in the country amidst the backdrop of the US and Taliban peace negotiations. There will be a post-screening discussion with director Fazila Amiri. The movie will also be available online during the second half of the Festival.
There are some features that will only be presented in-person. ‘Delikado’ focuses on the island of Palawan, where Indigenous Land Defenders are being killed for their work. These activists risk their lives to prevent further environmental destruction by governments and corporations. ‘I Get Knocked Down’ is another in-person only presentation. It focuses on Dunstan Bruce, his work with Chumbawamba, and his quest to continue his political activities. ‘To the End’ spotlights women leading the fight for a Green New Deal in the United States. It will be screened at the Guelph Civic Museum.
The online portion of the Festival will run after the in-person event concludes, from November 13-26. Here, there will be screenings of films that were first presented in-person. There are several highlights to look forward to. ‘TikTok Boom’ is a critical analysis of the social media platform that has taken the world by storm. ‘Uýra’ is the story of a trans Indigenous artist, confronting transphobia in Brazil and teaching art to the next generation. ‘Rematriation’ highlights one of the few remaining old growth forests on Vancouver Island, Fairy Creek.
There are several other films being highlighted, emphasizing a diverse range of experiences. ‘Sexual Healing’ is the story of a disabled woman’s quest for sexual pleasure, in a society that doesn’t consider disabled people worthy of experiencing sexual relationships. ‘Dear Jackie’ is a look at the historical Black community in Little Burgundy, Montreal. This presentation is supported by the Guelph Black Heritage Society. Finally, ‘Framing Agnes’ is a documentary in which trans actors uncover the story of a woman named Agnes, who pursued gender-affirming care at the UCLA in 1958.
The shorts program offers local filmmakers a chance to showcase their work. The theme of mental health seems to come into play in many short documentaries that will be shown throughout the Festival. The short documentaries will also have both live-action and animated films. Tickets to all programs, including the short documentaries, are available now and are available in a tiered pricing system. Tickets can be purchased to the in-person portion of the Festival, the online portion, or both.
The Guelph Film Festival has a fantastic lineup for the year. There is programming available for all ages. There are films that will cover a wide range of issues that face communities around the globe. There will also be a particular focus on Indigenous activism on their own lands. The emphasis on the diversity of the human experience is sure to make for a rich experience for all Festival attendees. At their best, documentaries prompt us to expand our view of the world around us, and have greater empathy for our fellow human beings. Hopefully, this year’s Festival will be a fun and educational experience for all.
The Guelph Film Festival runs from November 4-26, 2022. Tickets are available now.