Second Annual New Westminster DocFest this weekend

New West Doc Fest, October 19 & 20 at the Laura C. Muir Performing Arts Theatre, Douglas College (700 Royal Ave.)
New West Doc Fest, October 19 & 20 at the Laura C. Muir Performing Arts Theatre, Douglas College (700 Royal Ave.)

Did you know that New Westminster hosts an annual documentary film festival? The second annual New West DocFest is coming up this weekend, October 19 & 20, at Douglas College’s Laura C. Muir Theatre.

The festival opens on Friday evening with a presentation by guest speaker Mark Jaccard, a professor at SFU, followed by the screening of Chasing Ice. This year’s films cover a range of topics including the environment (Chasing Ice and White Water Black Gold), women in India (The World Before Her), the video game industry (Indie Game the Movie), and the power of corporations (Big Boys Gone Bananas).

In addition to the program of critically acclaimed documentaries, the festival also incorporates music, theatre and art. Short theatrical performances throughout the festival will be presented by Act Now, a youth theatre group focused on sustainability.

As a fairly new event in New Westminster, this will be a critical year to determine the long-term viability of the event. According to one of the event organizers, Andrew Murray, the vision for the festival is to become more than just a local event: “We want to create an event that is unique to New West that will not only draw people locally but also throughout the Lower Mainland.”

Admission is just $7 per film ($5 for students and seniors). For more information, visit www.newwestdocfest.ca.

New West Doc Fest fundraiser coming up Sept. 28

On October 21 and 22, New Westminster will be the place to be for documentary film, with the launch of the first annual New West Doc Fest at Douglas College.

The event, organized by New Westminster Environmental Partners and the Green Ideas Network, will feature documentary films focusing on environmental issues, as well as student films from local film school, Pull Focus.

Featured films will include H2OilTappedBurning WaterThe Vanishing of the Bees, and65_red_roses – as well as Q&A’s with speakers such as Fin Donnelly, MP; John Gibeau from the Honeybee Centre; Nimisha Mukerji, the co-director of 65_red_roses; and Matt Horne from the Pembina Institute.

A fundraiser to help with the cost of running this festival is coming up on September 28th at The Heritage Grill (447 Columbia Street). Your $20 ticket entitles you to a choice of one glass house wine or draft beer. Plus choice of chicken, beef, veggie, or lamb burger with salad or fries; or a pasta option. There will also be a silent auction with amazing things donated by local businesses and individuals. Tickets are available at the door or you can buy them online here.  A very worthwhile fundraiser for a great cause.

For more information please visit the festival’s website at http://newwestdocfest.ca/2011/09/fundraiser-september-28th-at-the-heritage-grill/ or check them out on Facebook.

Hope to see you at the fundraiser and at one (or more!) of the film screenings.

Information, schedules, summaries, and ticket info are available on the New West Doc Fest website.