“Star Trek” fan favourite and LGBTQ+ activist George Takei is the special guest for this year’s online edition of KDocsFF, the Kwantlen Polytechnic University-connected film festival known for social-justice themes.
Fifteen films will be shown over 10 days on kdocsff.com, from March 12 to 21.
An opening-night presentation of “And Then They Came for Us” will include a live post-film Q&A/panel discussion with Takei, who features in the film that retells the story of the mass removal of the ethnic Japanese from the West Coast of the United States during the Second World War.
Author/storyteller Diana Morita Cole, “born a prisoner in an American concentration camp in 1944,” will be the evening’s keynote speaker, and will take part in the post-film Q&A/panel with Takai, along with the film’s director, Abby Ginzberg, and Satsuki Ina, another of the film’s subjects.
The festival’s second “Special Presentation” is “Chão (Landless),” a Brazilian film that focuses on the Landless Workers’ Movement and its activism in fighting for land reform in Central Brazil.
Says festival director and Kwantlen Polytechnic University instructor Janice Morris: “Chão (Landless) spotlights Brazilian agricultural workers who are dispossessed of and displaced from the land that they work, and the movement to change that injustice is both a micro-story in and of itself, on the ground in Brazil, and emblematic of a macro movement around the world.
“The current Indian farmers’ protest, for example, shows how timely and relevant this issue is. At the heart of the issue is economic disparity and wealth inequity.”
For 2021, the festival has moved online for the first time as a result of the pandemic.
“It is a logistical challenge, to say the least,” Morris said, “but I’m glad I made the decision to push forward with it. There is a misperception that an online festival is much easier to execute, but in many ways, it’s so much more difficult, especially in terms of technology and co-ordinating speakers.”
A festival partner, Vancouver International Film Centre will manage the online streaming and the technical operations for KDocsFF.
Tickets are $5 per film for 48-hour access, or $40 for an all-access festival pass, including all keynote addresses and Q&As. The festival is “geo-blocked” to British Columbia.
KDocsFF launched in 2012 “to create engagement and community dialogue through documentary films and documentary activism.”