84 min. | 2012 | lirofilms
FILM MAKERS: Lisa & Rob Fruchtman
Sunday, March 2 | 3:00 pm | Theatre 5
Sweet Dreams follows the story of Rwandan women empowering themselves, forming the first female drumming troupe and an ice cream business; both were previously unheard of in Rwanda. This film focuses upon the hopes and challenges of a post-conflict society.
A group of 60 women pound out rhythms of power in the drumming group, Ingoma Nshya (New Dreams). For the women (orphans, widows, wives and children of perpetrators and victims alike) the group has been a place to begin to live again, to build new relationships and to heal the wounds of the past. The drumming, singing and dancing are pure joy; yet the struggle to survive and provide for their families still persists. The group decides to partner with two young American entrepreneurs from Brooklyn’s Blue Marble Ice Cream to open Rwanda’s first ever ice cream shop. With this decision, these remarkable Rwandan women embark on a journey of independence, peace and possibility. Sweet Dreams interweaves intimate, difficult stories from the past with joyous and powerful music to present a moving portrait of a country in transition. Filmmaker, Lisa Fruchtman: “The film is about healing through art and enterprise.”
BEST DOCUMENTARY, Festival de Cine Mujer DOC;
AUDIENCE AWARD, IDFA
Music for Mandela
55 min. | 2012 | Gold Star Productions
DIRECTOR: Jason Bourque
Sunday, March 2 | 1:30 pm | Theatre 5
Music for Mandela explores the role music played in the remarkable life of one of the world’s most important icons. From Nelson Mandela singing at his own prison concert to present day celebrations of his legacy, the music born out of his inspirational journey is commented on by his closest friends, former exiled musicians, current international artists and community volunteers who use music today to motivate and educate. The documentary also explores what music means to all South Africans and how it became a unifying force against apartheid. Combining striking visuals with freedom songs, pop music and hip hop, Music for Mandela is both a stirring tribute to the man himself and to the ultimate power of music. The filmmakers were able to create a feature documentary full of insightful, emotional interviews, powerful visuals and an incredible amount of music both dedicated to and inspired by Mandela’s life and legacy.
AUDIENCE FAVOURITE, – Vancouver Amnesty International Film Festival
Art From the Streets
73 min. | 2009 | Inferno Films
DIRECTOR: Layton Blaylock
Sunday, March 2 | 12:00 pm | Theatre 5
Art from the Streets tells the story of a program for homeless people who are given the opportunity to produce art. The volunteer program established in Austin, Texas in 1991 provides a safe and nurturing environment for homeless people to be creative. Art sessions are held twice a week culminating in an annual show where the artwork is sold. The film tracks five of the artists over the course of a year. We visit homeless camps, learn the daily challenges of street life and witness strengths of human character. The story ends with a two-day show and sale of the artists’ works, where they interact with people that they rarely have a chance to encounter in such a positive way.
59 min. | 2012 | Why Poverty?
FILM MAKERS: Hugo Berkeley & Osvalde Lewat-Hallade
Sunday, March 2 | 12:15 pm | Theatre 3
As food prices rise, agribusiness has started to move into Africa in search of big profits and stable food supplies. Land Rush tells the story of a Malian farming community’s struggle to save itself from an onslaught of land-grabbing foreign agro-investors. From U.S. sugar cane growers to Chinese and Saudi Arabian producers, Mali is awash with foreign investors working hand-in-hand with the Malian government. Peasant leaders are determined to protect the rights of small-scale subsistence farmers who stand to lose out in these deals. The documentary follows American sugar developer, Mima Nedelcovych’s Sosumar scheme – a $600 million partnership between the government of Mali to lease 200-square kilometres of prime agricultural land for a plantation and a factory. Many Malian peasants see this as yet another manifestation of imperialism. The scheme is highly controversial and a military coup changes everything.
How to Survive a Plague
120 min. | 2012 | Mongrel Media
DIRECTOR: David France
Saturday, March 1 | 4:00 pm | Theatre 2
This Academy Award-nominated film tells the compelling story of two coalitions—ACT UP and TAG (Treatment Action Group)—whose activism and innovation turned AIDS from a death sentence into a manageable condition. Despite having no scientific training, these self-made activists infiltrated the pharmaceutical industry and helped identify promising new drugs, moving them from experimental trials to patients in record time. With unfettered access to a treasure trove of never-before-seen archival footage from the 1980s and ’90s, filmmaker David France puts the viewer smack in the middle of the controversial actions, the heated meetings, the heartbreaking failures, and the exultant breakthroughs of heroes in the making.