Mary Walsh (right) narrates and stars in the documentary Poor No More

Mary Walsh (right) narrates and stars in the documentary Poor No More

Documentaries have their day in Cawston

On March 26, a Cawston group is offer a day-long documentary film festival featuring themes such as poverty in Canada, globalization, peace issues and sustainability in global and local agriculture.

It doesn’t take much to get the ball rolling, at least not in Cawston, where a small group of individuals is offering a documentary film festival on Mar. 26.

Dave Cursons, one of the organizers, said there is no official group behind the festival, just a few people who got together and decided it would be a good idea. While there have been screenings of individual films in the past, this is the first time they have done a full day of screenings.

Films on offer will feature themes such as poverty in Canada, globalization, peace issues and sustainability in global and local agriculture.

“A few of us have talked about doing a film festival,” he said. Some had wanted to bring in the hour-long documentary Poor No More, so, Cursons said, they made it happen. That film will be screened twice during the day: as the first film at 11 a.m. and then again at 4 p.m. as the final show of the day in Cawston Community Hall.

“It’s basically a challenge to society to do something about the unequal distribution of wealth,” Cursons said. The film, which is narrated by Mary Walsh of This Hour has 22 Minutes, is a feature documentary trying to show Canada’s working poor a way out. Walsh takes three Canadians to see how poverty has been reduced in Europe and how it might be reduced at home. Visiting Ireland and Sweden, they are shown countries with low poverty that have affordable housing, strong unions, free university and childcare — and seem to enjoy successful economies.

In between the two showings of Poor No More, the group will also be showing Dirt! The Movie and Water under the Hammer, as well as three short films: Oil in Eden, Myths for Profit and Work for Peace.

Cursons said it’s not surprising for something to develop this way in Cawston, which also sports a thriving theatre company and an invitational music society. Cursons, explains that a large number of independent-minded people are drawn to the area, which he said is small enough for them to express their individuality, yet close enough to cities and the services they provide.

“Out here is a lot easier to grab hold of things,” he said. “And there is generally an appetite.”

Attendees are invited to bring and display their take-away literature on health, social welfare, peace and development issues. The film festival in the Cawston Community Hall begins at 11 a.m. with a $4 chili, bun and coleslaw luncheon at 1 p.m. and continues to 5 p.m.

The suggested donation is $5 to $10 with proceeds from the event supporting The Grandmothers to Grandmothers campaign of the Stephen Lewis Foundation, directed to assisting grandmothers caring for children orphaned by the AIDS epidemic in Africa.

For more information call 250-499-5417 or 250-499-2371.