Student Film Goes on Tour with NFB
October 11, 2005 - News Release
The National Film Board of Canada has selected a documentary by six U of G students to be screened during a 10-city national tour that comes to Guelph’s Old Quebec Street Mall Oct. 18 at 7:30 p.m.
CitizenShift, an NFB website, and the überculture collective present “Measuring Security Measures,” which brings together panellists, grassroots organizations and the public to examine issues of security and civil liberties post 9/11.
Among the five short films to be shown is a documentary developed in 2003 by students as part of English professor Ajay Heble’s class on “Literature and Social Change.” Security Consciousness: Detained in Guelph examines a proposal to use the Guelph Detention Centre for immigrant detention. The film explores questions of immigration policy and aims to inspire opposition to current detention practices.
“When we looked at the film, we thought it was fantastic,” says Patricia Kearns, NFB marketing and outreach officer. “For people who didn’t have filmmaking experience, they put together a cohesive product. It was a project of discovery, and what came through is this informative video made by people who just wanted to get some answers.”
Filmmaker Chris Jess, now a fourth-year English student, says he and his classmates thought it was important to expose this issue and to generate dialogue. They’re pleased that their documentary is receiving attention and will be shown to audiences from coast to coast, he says.
“We couldn’t ask for a better venue or environment for this film. We’re very excited that it’s included.”
The film has already been screened in local and educational communities, and has attracted the attention and praise of journalists, activists and several community-based organizations, says Heble.
“This is a remarkable achievement and a tremendous source of pride for me as their teacher. It speaks very powerfully to the ways in which university-level work can establish a genuine foundation for vital forms of civic and community-based engagement.”
“Measuring Security Measures” begins with an hour-long screening of selected short films, each examining the consequences of laws and programs that have been developed in the wake of terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. A panel discussion on legal, social and cultural issues and their relation to national security and civil liberties will follow. Audience members are encouraged to participate in the discussion.
Panellists are Dan Smoke-Asayenesa, aboriginal adviser for the Ipperwash Inquiry and a community advocate; U of G human rights and equity director Patrick Case, who appeared in the students’ film; and Sima Zerehi from the lobby group No One is Illegal. The discussion will be moderated by Valerey Lavergne, CFRU promotions co-ordinator and producer of First Nations radio.
For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 53338, or Rebecca Kendall, Ext. 56982.