Films 2017


On the Bride’s Side

– Exclusive Vancouver premiere –

98 min. | 2016 | Italy

DIRECTORS: Gabriele Del Grande, Antonio Augugliaro, Khaled Soliman Al Nassiry

Thursday, March 30 | 7:00 pm 

On the Bride’s Side   By a chance encounter in a cafe, a Palestinian poet and an Italian journalist meet five Palestinian-Syrians in Milan who have fled war-torn Syria and washed up on the Italian island of Lampedusa. They decide to help the five journey to Sweden to claim asylum as refugees while they themselves hope to avoid being arrested as traffickers. How? By faking a wedding. What at first seemed a joke takes form as the friends assemble the masquerade. A friend dresses as the bride and the refugees, Italians and friends make up the wedding party as they journey three thousand kilometres across Europe. They bring a film crew for the “wedding” video. This real time filming of the masquerade is a compelling, emotionally charged journey that still has time for music, celebration of being alive and remembrance of those lost. As we travel through the borders and safe houses, we see another side of Europe, one that is compassionate, irreverent, transnational; one that ridicules the rules, restrictions and the very notion of  Fortress Europe.
film website



Fantassut/Rain on the Borders

15 min. | 2016 | Canada

DIRECTOR: Federica Foglia

PRODUCERS: Deepa Mehta, David Hamilton

Thursday, March 30 | 9:00 pm 

Fantassút / Rain on the Borders A short, atmospheric documentary shot in the Idomeni refugee camp in Greece where 11,000 refugees lived a kind of suspended animation waiting for borders to open and hoping to continue through the Balkan route.
film website

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu waves as he speaks before a joint meeting of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 3, 2015. Since Republicans took control of Congress two months ago, an elaborate tug of war has broken out between GOP lawmakers and Obama over who calls the shots on major issues for the next two years. In the course of a few hours Tuesday, House Republicans caved to Obama on Homeland Security funding and immigration. Yet they also antagonized him by giving Israel's prime minister a perch in Congress to rail against nuclear talks with Iran. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu waves as he speaks before a joint meeting of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 3, 2015. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Occupation of the American Mind

84 min. | 2016 | U.S.A.

DIRECTORS : Loretta Alper, Jeremy Earp

Thursday, March 30 | 9:21 pm 

The Occupation of the American Mind examines how the Israeli government, the U.S. government, and pro-Israel lobbying groups have waged a series of coordinated PR campaigns to manage political fallout from Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian land and shape American media coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Israel’s favor. “We’re talking about a sophisticated and sustained campaign that for decades has silenced meaningful debate about Israel’s repression of Palestinian human rights while vilifying pro-Palestinian voices,” said Sut Jhally, the Executive Producer of the film. “The point of the effort is to make sure nobody questions U.S. support for Israel, and there’s no question it’s been amazingly effective. What we’re trying to do with this film is simply clear some space for rational and balanced discussion about the conflict and U.S. support for Israel.”
The film traces the development of pro-Israel “hasbara” – or propaganda – efforts in the U.S. We in Canada are subject to these same efforts.
Every Canadian as well as every American should see this film. Narrated by Roger Waters.
film website

Screen Shot 2017-01-23 at 1.07.04 PM

Burden of Peace

77 min. | 2015 | U.K.

DIRECTORS: Joey Boink, Sander Wirken

Friday, March 31 | 7:10 pm 

The documentary ‘Burden of Peace’  tells the impressive story of Claudia Paz y Paz, the first woman to lead the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Guatemala. The country that has been ravaged for years by a devastating civil war, in which nearly 200,000 Mayan Indians were systematically massacred, is today one of the most violent in the world. Claudia starts a frontal attack against corruption, drug gangs and impunity and does what everyone had hitherto held to be impossible,even unthinkable: she arrests former dictator Efraín Rios Montt on charges of genocide. His would become the first conviction of a former head of state for genocide in a national court in world history. But these achievements in justice would come at a price for Paz y Paz.
film website



When Two Worlds Collide

103 min. | 2016 | Peru/Qatar

DIRECTORS: Heidi Brandenburg Sierralta  & Mathew Orzel

Friday, March 31 | 9:10 pm 

When Two Worlds Collide  The irreconcilability of indigenous land rights and free-trade agreements has seldom been more dramatically illustrated than in this documentary about the collapse of the Peru’s Amazon rainforest due to the exploitation of natural resources. The on-the-ground footage immerses us in a community’s struggle for survival against a multinational’s machinations.  The heart of the film is the 2009 clash between Peru’s government, headed by right-wing politician Alan García, and the Peruvian Amazon communities. García’s efforts to attract foreign businesses culminate with the signing of a free-trade agreement with the US that includes a number of provisions directly contravening indigenous peoples’ rights. As we witness in deftly edited archival footage, the lack of desire on the government’s part to find an agreement leads to escalating social unrest.
film website


 sponsor_logos_web Langara

Langara Student Film Festival

40 min. | 2016 | Canada

Saturday, April 1 | 12 noon to 12:40 pm

JUST FILM FESTIVAL  is proud to continue with their tradition of hosting the Langara Student Film Festival within the umbrella of our festival. The Documentary Film Program is an intensive professional training program designed for students from diverse backgrounds who wish to pursue a career in the challenging world of non-fiction film. This 16-week program combines hands-on production skills, professional proposal writing, critique of historical and current trends in documentary filmmaking, and current business practices under the tutelage of acclaimed local  award winning Filmmakers.

Sat noon:
On Crows (10 min)  Director: Mariah Kennedy
Lucila (15 min.)  Director: Amy Pysden

Sat. 9:45 p.m.
Human Rules (10 Min.)  Director:  Jeff Berg  (who will be present)
followed at 9:55 by Queen of Ireland

Langara Documentary Film Program


We Call Them Intruders

56 min. | 2015 | Canada

DIRECTORS: Tamara Herman, Susi Porter-Bopp

Saturday, April 1 | 12:45 pm 

This documentary exposes a dark side of Canadian mining in Africa.  Its journey from Canada to Africa and back again  unearths the hard truths behind some of the continent’s largest Canadian-owned mining projects.  This century’s global scramble for metals and minerals has led hundreds of Canadian mining corporations to Africa in search of the next big mine find. In Africa, some of the world’s poorest communities sit right beside mines that generate billions of dollars in profit each year. Many of these mines are financed, in part, by ordinary people paying taxes, putting away savings, making RRSP contributions and paying into pension plans in Canada. But who gets rich from Canadian mines?

film website


Keepers of the Coast

38 min. | 2015 | Canada

DIRECTOR: Twyla Roscovich

Saturday, April 1 | 2:00 pm 

The central coast of British Columbia is one of the most spectacular and biologically rich places left on the planet. Keepers of the Coast takes a close look at how the Kitasoo/Xai’Xais, Heiltsuk, Nuxalk, and Wuikinuxv Nations are stewarding our marine territories. They have inhabited the central coast for thousands of years and have joined forces, forming the Central Coast Indigenous Resource Alliance, otherwise known as CCIRA. Using a combination of traditional knowledge and science, the nations are committed to upholding their indigenous laws and stewarding these marine resources in a manner that sustains their cultures and ensures intact ecosystems, healthy communities and local sustainable economies, now and into the future.

film website


Photo: Howard and Michele Hall

Sonic Sea

55 min. | 2016 | Canada

DIRECTORS: Michelle Dougherty & Daniel Hinerfeld

Saturday, April 1 | 2:40 pm 

The ocean is a sonic symphony. Sound is essential to the survival and prosperity of marine life. Every day whales, dolphins, fish and other marine life are threatened by a cacophony of industrial noise from by shipping, seismic exploration of oil and gas and naval sonar used for routine training exercises. In water bodies all around the world, this endless barrage of noise impairs the ability of our vulnerable marine life to communicate, navigate and breed. Sonic Sea is about protecting life in our waters from the destructive effects of oceanic noise pollution.

film website


Homeless Solutions

– Exclusive Vancouver premiere –

24 min. | 2017 | Canada


Saturday, April 1 | 4:00 pm 

This short film examines homelessness in general and in Vancouver through the lens of successful homeless villages in Portland and Eugene, Oregon.Though these villages vary in their approach, they have common features in organization and provide a stable environment that allows previously homeless people  get back on their feet. The Oregon projects are examples of how positive shifts can occur in the most marginalized people’s lives at low cost to local governments.  LJ Meier is a local Vancouver film maker with an interest in social issues.

Screen Shot 2017-01-17 at 3.27.43 PM

After Spring

101 min. | 2016 | U.S.A.

DIRECTORS: Ellen Martinez, Steph Ching

Saturday, April 1 | 4:25 pm 

With the Syrian conflict now in its sixth year, millions of people continue to be displaced. After Spring is the story of what happens next. By following two refugee families in transition and aid workers fighting to keep the camp running, viewers will experience what it is like to live in Zaatari, the largest camp for Syrian refugees. With no end in sight for the conflict or this refugee crisis, everyone must decide if they can rebuild their lives in a place that was never meant to be permanent.  World Premiere at Tribeca Film Festival 2016. Executive Produced by Jon Stewart.
film website


Mali Blues

– Exclusive Vancouver premiere –

93 min. | 2016 | Germany

DIRECTOR: Lutz Gregor

Saturday, April 1 | 7:00 pm 

Mali’s music defines the country’s cultural identity, but radical Islamists are threatening musicians. In Mali Blues we travel through breath-taking landscapes and discover Mali’s agitated heart from Bamako in the Southwest to the “Festival au Désert“ in northern Timbuktu with stars of Malian global pop: Fatoumata Diawara, Basseko Kouyate. Master Soumy and Ahmed Ag Kaedi. These artists, originate from different parts of the country, belong to different ethnic groups and represent different musical styles and traditions but have a common aim: to  protect Mali’s unique musical and cultural heritage. Mali’s music is an act of resistance, as is its direct descendent, American blues.

film website


Screen Shot 2017-01-17 at 4.00.00 PM

Queen of Ireland

86 min. | 2015 | Ireland

DIRECTOR: Conor Horgan

Saturday, April 1 | 9:45 pm 

As insightful as it is colourful, the lively documentary The Queen Of Ireland charts the extraordinary career to date of Irish performance artist Rory O’Neill, better known as his drag queen persona Panti. We are shown the time leading up to the historic referendum on marriage equality for same-sex couples in Ireland.  We see Panti’s politically-charged and often bawdy humour in her drag show. And we hear Rory speaking passionately about equality. Little did many people know when they answered their doors to Rory, handing out pamphlets and speaking eloquently about legalizing same sex marriage that they were speaking to the famous and outrageous Panti.

film website