Five films will be shown online during the second annual Shakti Film Festival.
Hosted by Surrey-based Shakti Society, the event streams Oct. 15-16 for “two evenings of thought-provoking, enchanting and entertaining films supporting women filmmakers from around the world,” in celebration of the International Day of the Girl Child.
Featured films include Petra Volpe’s “The Divine Order” and the Ariel Nasr-directed “Good Morning Kandahar,” along with shorts “Namrata” (by Shazia Javed), “All Kinds of Weather” (Ragini Kapil) and “Breakaway” (Jenny Lee-Gilmore).
The screening schedule is posted on filmfreeway.com, along with film descriptions and ticket details (a festival pass is $15). Panel discussions with filmmakers and artists are promised.
“As our main feature,” a webpost notes, “we proudly present to you, ‘The Divine Order,’ a ‘comédie humaine’ about fear of change and the fight for equality.” Screenwriter/director Volpe “takes viewers on an emotional journey to the rural Switzerland of the 1970s and creates a monument to all the people who fought for equal political rights. ‘The Divine Order’ thereby makes astonishing connections to current political and social debates.”
Meantime, the documentary “Good Morning Kandahar” introduces viewers to young Afghan-Canadians “torn between a deep desire to help Afghanistan and a fear that things will never change.” Released in 2008, the movie “remains relevant today as it asks whether Canada’s mission in Afghanistan is failing.”
Kapil’s short “All Kinds of Weather” focuses on a young South Asian-Canadian woman who is caught in an abusive marriage and is shocked when she unexpectedly runs into the love of her life. “Her memories of their innocent love and the unhappy outcome changes her and leads to an unexpected outcome,” the website says.
Set in Vancouver, “Breakaway” follows 11-year-old Sammy, an ice hockey-obsessed Chinese-Canadian girl bullied by an older brother, while “Namrata” tells “the intensely personal story of Namrata Gill – one of the many real-life inspirations for Deepa Mehta’s ‘Heaven on Earth’ – in her own words. After six years, Gill courageously leaves an abusive relationship and launches a surprising new career.”
The word ‘shakti’ is defined as “the female principle of divine energy, especially when personified as the supreme deity.”
In addition to the film festival, the Shakti organization also plans community forums, an awards event, annual wellness days, and more. Timed with International Women’s Day, Shakti Awards went online March 8, 2021, and were held at Surrey’s Bollywood Banquet Hall in 2020.