The invisible workers of the gig economy

The economic mammoth that is the global gig economy is the subject of director and UBC film professor Shannon Walsh’s film The Gig is Up. From the experiences of Parisian drivers sustaining the most popular delivery and taxiing apps, to the trials of Nigerian “crowd workers” who make a living sorting algorithms and search engine…

Someone Like Me- The challenges of queer solidarity in Vancouver

Drake, a 22-year-old gay man from Uganda, leaves his country behind. In Canada, he is welcomed by a group of strangers from Vancouver’s queer community united under the banner of Rainbow Refugee, a non-profit that connects LGBTQ+ asylum claimants with sponsors. Someone Like Me, a documentary released in 2021 by the directing duo Sean Horlor…

Vancouver Queer Film Festival – Breaking Fast portrays love and joy as an act of resistance

As an inside voice of the queer Muslim community, Vancouver Queer Film Festival (VQFF)’s Closing Gala Film delivers an intelligent rom-com that is also a celebration on intersectional identities. “I have created the gay, Muslim version of Julia Roberts,” humorously says director Mike Mosallam about his acclaimed film Breaking Fast. Building complex and realistic queer characters,…

Supermarket clerks and the human imagination

In our lives, we do some activities so automatically that we do not realize how art, or even existential questions might be present in them. Grocery shopping is one example. As customers, we tend to do it quickly, and not think about the relationships between the supermarket workers, and the richness of the universe. That…

Chinuk Wawa – reviving an endangered Indigenous language

The precise number of languages spoken on this planet is not really known. For a variety of reasons, some may become endangered, and finally lost. Some examples of lost languages are Latin, Sanskrit, Coptic (the language of the Egyptians) and Sumerian. The main reasons they are no longer spoken is that their native speakers are…

Pushing boundaries: VR storytelling

Edward Madojemu, a 19-year-old Emily Carr University student who arrived in Vancouver just two years ago from Nigeria, has not only built a new life for himself in a new country, but also managed to construct new worlds in virtual reality (VR) based on his personal experience of moving. Madojemu’s first VR graphic novel, Dami and Falian,…

Justice in a culture of silence

The Pooni sisters are after justice. Because We Are Girls is an upcoming documentary about the journey of Jeeti, Salakshana, and Kira Pooni as they try to bring a sexual predator from their childhood to justice. The documentary received official selection at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival in Toronto. Due to popular demand the documentary…

Amplifying a voice displaced

Marking the eighth anniversary of the March 11th Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, UBC hosts (March 17) documentarian Hitomi Kamanaka and her newest film Little Voices from Fukushima, a film focusing on mothers and their children displaced by the disaster and subsequent clean-up efforts. M.V. Ramana, Ph.D − Simons Chair in Disarmament, Global and Human Affairs, professor Faculty…

Djon África: A journey of self-discovery

The Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) is well on its way, showcasing some amazing films from across the world. Djon África, a story inspired by personal events, will be playing at the International Village 10 Cinemas on Oct. 9 and 11. Djon África is the first feature film from directing team Filipa Reis and João Miller Guerra,…

Metamorphosis: a new hope

Directed by Velcrow Ripper and Nova Ami, the documentary Metamorphosis is being called a “poem for the planet” by the National Film Board of Canada. It looks at the true scale of the global environmental crisis. From forest fires that consume communities, species vanishing at an astounding rate and entire ecosystems collapsing, Metamorphosis covers it all. Metamorphosis also delves into…

Making of Duterte’s Hell

Aaron Goodman, a Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) faculty member, wants to give viewers the opportunity to see what it’s like for the family and community of victims being terrorized by the extrajudicial killings in the Philippines through the mini-documentary Duterte’s Hell. The film contains graphic and emotional scenes of the deceased and their loved ones. Goodman had previous experience shining…

Vancouver’s heritage shaped by many faces

The public lecture series Shaping Vancouver 2017: Reshaping Conversations on Heritage delves into the diverse cultures that shape our experience of place in Vancouver. “It’s these diverse cultures that influence the growth of Vancouver,” says Bill Yuen, one of the talk organizers and the manager for Heritage Vancouver Society. “Our heritage is shaped by living…

Documentary shines light on repair cafés

FIXED! is a short documentary that was inspired by the rise of ‘repair cafés’ in local communities around the world. The movement initially began in Amsterdam, Netherlands, and quickly became a phenomenon. At a repair café, volunteers gather to fix broken items from the public for free. These items include electronics, small appliances, jewelry, clothing…