Time to give Netflix a break and watch a curated collection of films at the 12th New West Film Festival.

Have you ever found yourself full of questions after watching a documentary? What if you had a chance to discuss your thoughts with the exact people who created the film? The New West Film Festival 2022 will provide an avenue for just that.

At the festival, which will be held from 21 to 23 October at the Landmark Cinema, the public will be able to watch the documentary Love in the time of Fentanyland then address their questions to the film crew.

Cathy Sostad, programmer for this year’s festival, said: “This will be a community event to discuss local issues; and a safe space where people can come together and build communities ”.

In fact, this year, the festival also added a “social gathering” session for a couple of films just to help the filmmakers build their network.

Over the past 11 years, the festival, organized by the non-profit New West Film Society, has evolved from one that included only environmental documentaries (“climate and environmental action films”) to one that included feature films and short films, including experimental, horror, science fiction, animation, comedy, drama and more.

“It started out as a way to raise awareness in the New Westminster community about environmental issues, and then it expanded,” said Sostad, who joined the film company two years ago.

In addition to the theme of environmental activism, the festival also includes films on other issues, but in the end, Sostad added, “it’s all about building a better planet and community.”

This year, the company received a whopping 154 entries (77 were from Canada, seven films from / set in New Westminster) from 22 countries. Forty-two of them will be shown at the three-day festival, including titles as such Paper dreams, an Iranian film about how a boy copes with being an albino; Citizen of Moria, a Canadian film that explores the story of a refugee who survived a European detention camp, Moria; And Brittle seeds, a Canadian thriller which follows the life of a therapist who works with sex offenders, among others.

Although the subjects look different, all of them, Sostad said, have one thing in common: they were completed during the pandemic. “I think it’s really amazing that people have created art during a global pandemic. It’s a beautiful thing”.

And recognizing that people have continued to build communities through the art of film, the theme of the festival was decided as “uniting through creativity” as per a press release.

From comedy The noise of the enginesto a stimulating thought Hear the Apocalypse (a short documentary about a psychotherapist’s struggle with climate anxiety), the festival will include a range of genres that, Sostad said, can excite a viewer: “You’re like, ‘I never thought about that story.’ so exciting. This is what celebrating creativity means. Seeing things that are not on your spectrum … is a sharing of ideas. “

You can purchase a New West Film Festival pass for $ 50 or purchase tickets for each movie separately from the New West Film Fest website. The screening of Love in the Time of Fentanyl and a panel discussion on The Truth, The Whole Truth and Nothing But the Truth: Creative Equity & Authenticity is free for all. Films will be screened at Landmark Cinemas (New Westminster SkyTrain station, SkyTrain Level 390, 800 Carnarvon St.).

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