By Bob Nicholson
Special to the Western News
"The job of journalism is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.”
I used to hear that often when I was a reporter. And you’ll hear an echo of that in this year’s We Love Documentary Festival at the Shatford Centre in Penticton.
It’s a full weekend of award-winning documentaries — six films that will screen Oct. 14 to 16.
The program was curated by Pepita Ferrari, the Toronto-based executive director of the Documentary Organization of Canada. Ferrari says the program’s One World theme is meant to reflect the fact that, now more than ever, we are all connected. Through powerful documentary films, we can experience the realities of people we might otherwise never meet.
Koneline, the festival’s opening night feature (named Best Canadian Feature at Toronto’s Hot Docs
Festival) captures the story of a beautiful part of Canada’s wilderness as it undergoes profound and irreversible change. Koneline celebrates the vast expanse of Northwest B.C. and the dreamers who move across it, from an outfitter swimming her horses across the mighty Stikine River to the world’s biggest helicopter dropping transmission towers on remote mountain tops. Not a lecture, Koneline is full of visual poetry, conflict and humour.
Other festival offerings include Migrant Dreams, the untold stories of migrant farm workers in Canada. This one might hit home since many migrants are working in the orchards and vineyards of the South Okanagan.
Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things tackles the question of how much is too much? And would our lives be better with less? The film takes us inside the lives of seriously dedicated minimalists.
Ferrari has a strong Penticton connection; her sister is the wife of famed local architect Cal Mieklejohn. Ferrari has helped organize the We Love Docs Festival for the past five years. Her picks are always moving, informative and inspiring. Because as one film maker puts it: “Real life is so much more interesting than anything you can make up.”
Tickets are $12 per film or $45 for a full weekend pass. They are on sale now at The Shatford Centre, 760 Main St. in Penticton 250-770-7668.