Encouraging positive social change through film

Third annual New West DocFest promises award-winning lineup

By Patrick Vaillancourt, News Editor

For the third straight year, New Westminster Environmental Partners and the Green Ideas Network have teamed up to encourage discussion and bring greater awareness of environmental citizenship through film.

The third annual New West DocFest promises an award-winning lineup of films and cultural entertainment that is uniquely Canadian.

Event organizers are enthusiastic about this year’s event, which is being held at the newly built Landmark Cinemas located at New Westminster SkyTrain station.

“The festival is therefore very accessible and convenient to get to,” said Joyce Rostron, one of the festival organizers and the vice president of Green Ideas Network.

In addition to the new venue, the New West DocFest has expanded its program, moving to a three-day festival this year and expanding its lineup. Along with the five feature films, the festival will also include film shorts, guest speakers, live music, and a closing night reception.

The feature-length films will touch upon themes such as food, animal rights, music culture, environmental sustainability, and social justice.

The festival promises to be an age-inclusive affair, as festival organizers hope to attract children to the event. Opening night will feature The Legend of Sarila, a 3-D animated film which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this year. The film takes place in the Arctic tundra as three Inuit youth go on an adventure to save their clan from starvation due to environmental changes in the North.

While not a documentary, The Legend of Sarila will be featured prominently in the festival’s lineup in an effort to encourage children and youth to be more engaged.

“This film has been chosen because it fits with the festival organizers’ mandate; that is, to show movies with meaningful messages or cultural significance, and that inspire, educate and promote dialogue,” said festival organizers in a statement. “The fact that [The Legend of Sarila] appeals to children also satisfies another festival goal to show films with topical variety and which are inclusive to an all-ages audience.”

The other feature films include Blackfish, 20 Feet from Stardom, GMO OMG, and Bidder 70.

Festival organizers are also very proud to continue with their tradition of using sustainable green energy to power much of the festivities for the three-day event.

The festival goes from October 23 to October 25. A full festival pass goes for $20, while individual film screenings start at $5 for seniors and students and $7 for general admission. Tickets will be available at the theatre and are also available online at www.newwestdocfest2013.eventbrite.com