The 2019 – 2020 Thursday Film Series continues this winter with an exciting 8-film lineup of documentaries that will only take place on Thursdays at 7 pm from January 9 to February 27, 2020.
Save time and money by purchasing a 4-film ($36) and/or 8-film ($64) pass. Each Thursday the Thursday Film Series Committee will bring you something special, be it entertainment, special guests, speakers, etc., to make the Thursday Film Series even more of an experience.
Passes can only be used on official Thursdays in the Winter Thursday Film Series.Buy Thursday Film Series passes
FOR SAMA is both an intimate and epic journey into the female experience of war. A love letter from a young mother to her daughter, the film tells the story of Waad al-Kateab's life through five years of the uprising in Aleppo, Syria as she falls in love, gets married and gives birth to Sama, all while cataclysmic conflict rises around her. Her camera captures incredible stories of loss, laughter and survival as Waad wrestles with an impossible choice - whether or not to flee the city to protect her daughter's life, when leaving means abandoning the struggle for freedom for which she has already sacrificed so much. The film is the first feature documentary by Emmy award-winning filmmakers Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts.
The Pollinators is a cinematic journey around the United States following migratory beekeepers and their truckloads of honeybees as they pollinate the flowers that become the fruits, nuts and vegetables we all eat. The filmmakers talk to farmers, scientists, chefs, economists and academics along the way to give a broad perspective about the threats to honeybees and what it means to our food security.
Based on the short story by Stephen Kings, when a diabolical English lord is murdered, Sherlock Holmes and Watson must unexpectedly exchange roles in order to solve "the perfect locked room mystery."
JAMES DOUGLAS originally received acting training at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. In 2004 he completed an internship with renowned theatre director Charles Marowitz, during a historic production of Vaclav Havel’s POKOUSENÍ at the National Theatre of the Czech Republic. In 2005 James traveled to the Netherlands to write, produce, and direct THE TULIP AND THE MAPLE LEAF, a documentary short celebrating the enduring post-WWII friendship between Canada and the Netherlands, which premiered at Ontario’s Royal Botanical Gardens in 2006. In 2010 he produced (with Patrick Curling and Jacy Schindel) a documentary about British Columbia’s past and current gold rushes called WILDS TO RICHES. The film was officially presented by CBC Television in July of 2013, and was nominated for a 2014 Leo Award for Best Documentary Screenplay. In 2017 James wrote, produced and directed his first feature film, THE DOCTOR’S CASE, based on the Sherlock Holmes story written by Stephen King, which won ten awards at 28 international film festivals within the first year of its release.
NORM COYNE is an award-winning live marketing, and media expert turned filmmaker. His journey began with the creation of Scene PG, an arts and entertainment magazine which earned over a dozen national awards across Canada. The success and profile of this publication provided the springboard for many celebrity placement events and tradeshows throughout the years, eventually leading to the creation of the blockbuster entertainment expo NORTHERN FANCON. This convention saw host to many stars in Northern British Columbia including William Shatner, Kevin Smith, Tia Carrere, Sean Astin, Karl Urban, Nichelle Nichols, Denise Crosby and Edward James Olmos. Northern FanCon has gone on to win several national awards and was the subject of a documentary short by TELUS. During the last five years, Norm has been merging the assets and relationships developed at Northern FanCon with his film projects and is seeing remarkable success. His trajectory has seen him produce several short films plus garner a Public Records grant for the music video COME DOWN by singer/songwriter Jer Breaks, two TELUS Storyhive grants for film projects - FINAL BREATH & INTERCOSPLAY ROBOSTELLAR PLASMATRON - and an Executive Producer credit on THE DOCTOR’S CASE based on the short story written by Stephen King. Most recently, Norm served as Producer on the paranormal history television series pilot WICKED WAYS which starred past Northern FanCon guests cosplay superstar LeeAnna Vamp and voice acting legend Mark Meer.
STU CAWOOD was born and raised in the Cariboo. Stewart Cawood found his love for acting on the high school stage while playing the Major-General in The Pirates of Penzance. He later pursued a double Bachelor's degree in Acting and History, followed by a teaching degree at Thompson Rivers University - TRU WORLD. While in Kamloops, he performed with Project X's productions of Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Tempest, and A Midsummer Night's Dream, as well as Kamloops-based comedy troupe The Saucy Fops. On film, Stu can be seen acting alongside The Doctor's Case writer/director James Douglas in Defenseless, and also starred as Cookie in Chad Magnant's Pigboy. Stu is the Technical Director of Histrionics Theatre Company in Wells, and through HTC has worked as a Creative Consultant to London UK Records, during the development and presentation of latter's international production of The Saints of British Rock, which toured the Canadian Fringe circuit in 2012, and travelled to the Adelaide Fringe Festival in 2013.
Since relocating to Wells, British Columbia, Stu has also worked as stage manager for Andrew Hamilton's Kaliban, and Histrionics Theatre Company's The Fred Wells Show.
ANDREW HAMILTON originally received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Theatre from the University of Alberta. An early stalwart of Edmonton, Alberta's professional arts and culture community, Andrew spent the first half of his acting career performing in a variety of Shakespeare productions, touring shows and new dramatic works until first discovering a passion for educational interpretation in 1996, while working for the City of Edmonton. Three years later he segued to a successful career in first-person theatrical interpretation at Barkerville, British Columbia. There, except for a two-season stint at Vancouver's now-defunct Storyeum, Andrew has been happy to remain a vital part of Barkerville's award-winning performance team, where he is perhaps best known for playing town namesake William "Billy" Barker. Andrew has remained active in the traditional theatre, too, most recently appearing in the world premiere of Alberta Theatre Projects' Enbridge Playwrights Award-winning playwright Michaela Jeffery's Godhead at the Sunset Theatre in Wells, British Columbia, and a variety of local cabarets.
Andrew is also the writer and performer of a critically-lauded solo verse play called Kaliban, which uses characters from William Shakespeare's The Tempest to tell a wholly original, and darkly funny story.
In 1989, the very idea of a competitive all-female sailboat crew was nearly inconceivable to the manly world of open-ocean yacht racing. They’d never make it to the start of the Whitbread Round the World Race, much less survive to the finish. They’d never find funding. They didn’t have the strength or skill. They’d die at sea. Did that many professional female sailors even exist? Tracy Edwards proved them wrong.
In this funny, uplifting tale based on an actual lie, Chinese-born, U.S.-raised Billi (Awkwafina) reluctantly returns to Changchun to find that, although the whole family knows their beloved matriarch, Nai-Nai, has been given mere weeks to live, everyone has decided not to tell Nai Nai herself. To assure her happiness, they gather under the joyful guise of an expedited wedding, uniting family members scattered among new homes abroad. As Billi navigates a minefield of family expectations and proprieties, she finds there’s a lot to celebrate: a chance to rediscover the country she left as a child, her grandmother’s wondrous spirit, and the ties that keep on binding even when so much goes unspoken.
Joan Stanley is a widow living out a quiet retirement in the suburbs when, shockingly, the British Secret Service places her under arrest. The charge: providing classified scientific information - including details on the building of the atomic bomb - to the Soviet government for decades. As the interrogation gets underway, Joan relives the dramatic events that shaped her life and her beliefs.
A modern Mark Twain style adventure story, THE PEANUT BUTTER FALCON tells the story of Zak (Gottsagen), a young man with Down syndrome, who runs away from a residential nursing home to follow his dream of attending the professional wrestling school of his idol, The Salt Water Redneck (Thomas Haden Church). A strange turn of events pairs him on the road with Tyler (LaBeouf), a small-time outlaw on the run, who becomes Zak’s unlikely coach and ally. Together they wind through deltas, elude capture, drink whisky, find God, catch fish, and convince Eleanor (Johnson), a kind nursing home employee charged with Zak’s return, to join them on their journey.
Pad Man is a 2018 Indian Hindi-language comedy-drama film directed and written by R. Balki, featuring Akshay Kumar, Sonam Kapoor and Radhika Apte in lead roles. Inspired by the life of Arunachalam Muruganantham, a social entrepreneur from Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. It is based on the short story "The Sanitary Man of Sacred Land" in Twinkle Khanna's book The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad, which is inspired by the life of Arunachalam Muruganantham, a social activist from Tamil Nadu who introduced low-cost sanitary pads.
Using state-of-the-art technology and materials from the BBC and Imperial War Museum, filmmaker Peter Jackson allows the story of World War I to be told by the men who were there. Life on the front is explored through the voices of the soldiers, who discuss their feelings about the conflict, the food they ate, the friends they made, and their dreams of the future.
Winter 1968 and showbiz legend Judy Garland arrives in Swinging London to perform a five-week sold-out run at The Talk of the Town. It is 30 years since she shot to global stardom in The Wizard of Oz, but if her voice has weakened, its dramatic intensity has only grown. As she prepares for the show, battles with management, charms musicians and reminisces with friends and adoring fans, her wit and warmth shine through. Even her dreams of love seem undimmed as she embarks on a whirlwind romance with Mickey Deans, her soon-to-be fifth husband. Featuring some of her best-known songs, the film celebrates the voice, the capacity for love, and the sheer pizzazz of “the world’s greatest entertainer.”
Echo in the Canyon celebrates the explosion of popular music that came out of LA’s Laurel Canyon in the mid-60s as folk went electric and The Byrds, The Beach Boys, Buffalo Springfield and The Mamas and the Papas gave birth to the California Sound. It was a moment (1965 to 1967) when bands came to LA to emulate The Beatles and Laurel Canyon emerged as a hotbed of creativity and collaboration for a new generation of musicians who would soon put an indelible stamp on the history of American popular music. Contains candid conversations and performances with Brian Wilson (The Beach Boys), Michelle Phillips (Mamas & the Papas), Stephen Stills (Buffalo Springfield), David Crosby (The Byrds), Roger McGuinn (The Byrds) their contemporaries Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, Graham Nash and slightly younger followers Jackson Browne and Tom Petty (in his last film interview) as well as contemporary musicians influenced by their music such as Beck, Fiona Apple, Cat Power, Regina Spektor and Norah Jones.
Salam, a charming 30-year-old Palestinian living in Jerusalem, works as an intern on a popular Palestinian soap opera, “Tel Aviv on Fire,” which is produced in Ramallah. Every day Salam must pass through an arduous Israeli checkpoint to reach the television studios. He meets the commander of the check-point, Assi, whose wife is a huge fan of the show. In order to impress her, Assi gets involved in the writing of the show. Salam soon realizes that Assi’s ideas could get him a promotion as a screenwriter. Salam’s creative career catches fire, until Assi and the soap’s financial backers disagree on how the soap opera should end. Squeezed between an Army Officer and the Arab backers, Salam can only solve his problems with a final master stroke.
Alan (Bill Nighy) is a stylish tailor with moves as sharp as his suits. He has spent years searching tirelessly for his missing son Michael who stormed out over a game of Scrabble. With a body to identify and his family torn apart, Alan must repair the relationship with his youngest son Peter and solve the mystery of an online player who he thinks could be Michael, so he can finally move on and reunite his family.
Honeyland is a documentation of a disappearing way of life. Hatidze Muratova, a 50-something woman, spends her time caring for her bees — which she keeps in the stone walls of old structures and in the rocks of cliffs instead of modern bee boxes — and for her mother. Her approach to beekeeping is deeply spiritual and environmentally conscious. This consciousness is rooted in deep tradition and respect for both the bees and the natural world itself. Though she sells her honey in markets in Macedonia’s capital city she refuses to collect more than half of her bees’ honey at a time. Some for us, some for them, she says, time and again. Filmed over three years Hatidze is followed as a nomadic family settles nearby and threatens to uproot her life and that of her bees.
In existence since 1942, the International Science and Engineering Fair attracts roughly 7 million initial competitors who duke it out in 425 qualifying fairs around the world. This group is winnowed down to 1,700 high school student finalists from close to 80 countries, competing in 22 categories but all hoping they walk off with the coveted award for the best project. Winner of audience awards at both Sundance and South by Southwest (not an easy accomplishment), this infectious and exuberant film wins you over by focusing on the enthusiasm and enviable good spirits of the smart and engaging young people who compete in “the Olympics of science fairs.”
Imagine an organism that feeds you, heals you, reveals secrets of the universe and could help save the planet. Fantastic Fungi is a revelatory time-lapse journey about the magical, mysterious and medicinal world of fungi and their power to heal, sustain and contribute to the regeneration of life on Earth that began 3.5 billion years ago. We see through the eyes of mycologists, like renowned Paul Stamets, the unlimited potential of fungi in the fields of food, medicine, expanding consciousness, bioremediation, neurogenesis and treating end-of-life anxiety. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Could the fate of humankind depend significantly on the ability of fungi to carry our collective load through decomposing matter, redistributing nutrients and evening out carbon in our atmosphere? Every mass extinction event on Earth has had one certain survivor. Mushrooms will be here long after we’re gone.
Renowned filmmaker Nick Broomfield’s most personal and romantic film of his storied career. The documentary starts on the Greek island of Hydra in 1960, where Leonard Cohen, then a struggling and unknown fiction writer, and Marianne Ihlen, a single mother with a young son, became part of a community of expat artists, writers and musicians. Never-before-seen footage shot by Broomfield and legendary documentarian D.A. Pennebaker make for a unique portrait of an idyllic 1960’s bohemia. It was a time that left a lasting imprint on both Marianne and Leonard, whose friendship would last another fifty years before their deaths in 2016.
Human Nature is a sprawling exploration of how the biological discovery called CRISPR could change life as we know it. The discovery opened avenues to not only repair breaks in the DNA code, but potentially eliminate the defect from future generations. While many in the scientific community praise the revolutionary finding, CRISPR comes with its own share of difficult societal and moral questions. Who gets to decide what changes are considered necessary or reasonable? Will governments allow everyone access or just those who can afford to pay the high cost? Where is the ethical line when if comes to altering the genetic makeup of future generations? Human Nature’s greatest strength is its ability to present the dense information in an easily digestible way.
Directed by the 70 year old Springsteen, the songs ruminate poetically on life and are reborn in this indispensable concert film. Every tune from the album has been enhanced and given room to breathe. Springsteen poetically narrates introductions as beautifully rendered cowboy imagery appears on the screen. There’s an aspect to these songs that renders them essentially cinematic. Much like the crowning jewels of the cinematic concert form (“The Last Waltz” and “Stop Making Sense,”) “Western Stars” is a celebration of music and its surrounding storytelling universe while letting us know that his struggles are ours. He moves from reflections on being a lonely, regretful drifter to a human being who finds redemption through his wife and family. “Everybody’s broken in some way”, he says at one point. “In this life nobody gets away unhurt. We’re always trying to find somebody whose broken pieces fit with our broken pieces and something whole emerges”.
Three Punjabi girls growing up in Williams Lake are abused by an older cousin who arrives from India. They feel trapped for years by entrenched patriarchal attitudes that would blame them as being "bad girls". The matter eventually ends up in a recent court case against their cousin.
Tarek Mounib, a Canadian-Egyptian, despite many rejections, recruits several Trump supporters at a 'Make America Great' rally to come with him on an all-expenses-paid trip to Egypt to meet Muslims first hand and learn about them and their culture. Despite their preconceptions, everyone involved grows from the experience and the audience is provided a valuable insight into our common humanity.