On Our Radar: 2013 Projecting Change Film Festival

Once again, Vancouver is set to gear up for five fully packed days of cinematic fun with this unique film festival that truly shines a spotlight on social change and a variety of global environmental topics (and more).  With eye-opening screenings featuring award-winning production talents from around the world, this festival leaves plenty of room for discussion that doesn’t end when the curtain goes down.

Festival co-founder Brady Dahmer, who’s helped Notable out with his picks for Executive Reads, promises that this year’s Projecting Change will continue to explore “the human experience,” stating that with the success of events like TEDx and Pecha Kucha, “we’re borrowing some of the best bits from these events and putting our own spin on it.”  

Projecting Change has always been a unique festival centred on films that spark conversation ideas, ask bold questions, and help provide an undeniable platform for discussion and debate. 

This year’s festival will undoubtedly do the same. Read up on films we’ve got on our must-watch list:

Liberia 77 is a documentary that portrays a powerful story about Vancouver-based director, filmmaker and photographer Jeff Topham’s return (alongside brother Andrew) to the West African country of their childhood. This visit comes after 30 years, multiple civil wars and plenty of other obvious changes. They set about rediscovering the place they once called home, meeting the people and visiting the places captured in their father’s weathered photographs. Though it is indeed a very personal journey, it quickly evolves into the unexpected, going beyond simply exploring that relationship between photography and memory.

Bully has already garnered praise at the LA Film Festival, Silverdocs Film Fest and Zurich Film Festival (not to mention been named Official Selection at nearly 20 other world film festivals). Given the timeliness of this sensitive topic as it relates to the very real-world of bullying issues with youth today, Bully hits its target. Emmy-winning director Lee Hirsch has created a cinematic canvas for viewers who get to spend a year in the lives of students and their families who must live with public torment on a daily basis. The audience is like a fly-on-the-wall of everyday life as cameras follow bullied children from their schools to the sanctuary of home (or what should be). Parents, teachers and other students struggle to find a suitable solution to this very real issue that never seems to want to disappear.

Girl Rising is another such film we think is worth adding to your agenda as part of the festival.  Not only is it directed by Academy Award nominee Richard Robbins but it’s loaded with some seriously noteworthy talent beyond that. Nearly a dozen top-notch female celebrities help narrate (Meryl Streep, Alicia Keys are just a few), telling the story of nine girls from nine different countries all faced with respectively different struggles. Girl Rising does a beautiful job in illustrating the power of the human spirit, education and how, when combined, it can truly change the world.

Festival passes start at only $80 and will score you access to all of these picks and plenty more. In between viewings, stretch your mind and body by taking in Urban Yoga Retreats (featuring hour-long yoga classes, a nutrition seminar, meditation workshops and other noteworthy treats).

Individual tickets start at $12 if you only have time to catch one. Learn more about this and the festival line up here.