We are dedicating this year’s festival to the memory of Doug Soo and to the spirit of Nelson Mandela. One loss is local, the other global; they were both much-loved and are both much-missed. The Just Film Festival owes a debt of gratitude to each of these remarkable men.
Doug Soo retired in 2012 after 15 years as Dean of Langara Continuing Studies. An innovative leader with boundless energy, imagination, and good humour, Doug was deeply committed to supporting community and neighbourhood-based organizations and non-profits. Doug believed that the role of Continuing Studies in a community college was to educate and share knowledge, not just to those who can pay, but to all community members .He enthusiastically welcomed the film festival to Langara and provided staffing and support for it,recognizing the vital role the festival plays in raising awareness about social justice and environmental sustainability.
On January 12, Doug passed away unexpectedly during a hiking trip with friends on Grouse Mountain. We are very sad to lose such a wonderful mentor and friend. We dedicate this year’s festival to Doug, with appreciation for his commitment to justice for people and for the environment.
Late last year the very long and exceptional life of a much-loved and extraordinary man ended. People all around the world had a profound response to the death of Nelson Mandela because so many of us have been deeply affected by how he lived his life: both with utter dedication to the struggle for social justice and great compassion and good humour.
The impact of Mandela’s life is the focus of one of this year’s films. Music for Mandela explores the role of music in his life and in the fight against Apartheid. He also makes an appearance in this year’s big pharma versus AIDS activist saga Fire in the Blood.
The Just Film Festival is dedicated to Mandela’s legacy of commitment and compassion and to his belief that education is a powerful tool we can use to change the world.