By Joel Balsam
The Wakefield International Film Festival, now in its fifth year, has grown again. Under the festival’s new format, documentary film lovers will get an extra night of shows over last year, and a more flexible schedule. Screenings will take place over four Saturdays and Sundays instead of seven Sundays, with two screenings of each film at 5:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. to accommodate people with different schedules.
Art Director, Robert Rooney, selected eight award-winning or nominated documentaries that are specifically tailored to the interests of this community. And when that audience is “one of the largest collections of artists in the country,” said Rooney, that can be a very difficult task.
This year’s lineup of docs touch on different social justice and environmental issues ranging from America’s covert wars to the sensitive relationship between First Nations and non-aboriginals in Quebec. Rooney said the outpouring of support from this community last year when the Nishyuu walkers passed by showed how concerned many residents here feel about that issue. That caused him to pick Quebekoisie to be shown on opening night. Of the eight films, three are Canadian and two are Academy Award nominees.