Expressions of Social Justice Festival

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Expressions of Social Justice Festival
Location Kitchener
& Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

The Expressions of Social Justice Festival began in March 2007 with film screenings occurring in Kitchener and Waterloo, Ontario, and was originally named "Expressions of Social Justice Film Festival". The 2nd festival scheduled for September 2009 was renamed to reflect the expansion of the festival's programming to include an open mic night, an art sale featuring local artists, a benefit concert and a performance of the Vagina Monologues.

Originally, the festival began as a means to highlight social justice issues through film and coincided with National Social Work Week. The festival's original committee include Social Work students from University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University. Admission was by donation, however all proceeds were given to a local charity.


2007 Festival

The 2007 Festival included screenings at the Princess Twin Cinema in Waterloo, the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier's Faculty of Social Work building in downtown Kitchener. Films included:

-Shelter from the Storm, a documentary produced in Toronto, Ontario about a tent-city erected by homeless individuals on a vacant property near the lake.

-C.R.A.Z.Y. (2005), a French-language Canadian film from Quebec. It tells the story of Zac, a young man dealing with his emerging homosexual feelings while growing up with four brothers and a conservative father in 1960s and 1970s Quebec.

-Fix: the Story of an Addicted City a documentary set in Vancouver about the Mayor Philip Owen, and a group called VANDU's efforts to reduce drug-related harm to users resulting in North America's only safe injection site.

-Prom Fight: the Marc Hall Story, a documentary produced by Larry Peloso about Marc Hall's successful court challenge against the Durham Catholic District School Board to be able to bring his boyfriend to his prom.

-Sherrybaby, (2006), starring Maggie Gyllenhaal as a former heroin addict who has recently left prison and is attempting to re-establish a relationship with her young daughter.

-Murderball, (2005) a 2005 documentary film about quadriplegics who play wheelchair rugby. It centers on the rivalry between the U.S. and Canadian teams leading up to the 2004 Paralympic Games. It was directed by Henry Alex Rubin and Dana Adam Shapiro, and produced by Jeffrey Mandel and Shapiro. It was nominated for Best Documentary Feature for the 78th Academy Awards.


2009 Festival

The 2009 Festival is scheduled to run from September 25, 2009 to October 2, 2009. A benefit concert is scheduled featuring local band Knock Knock Ginger. Locally produced documentaries will be featured and feature films include:

-Lars and the Real Girl, (2007)

-Waltz with Bashir, (2008)

-Milk, (2008)