Three of the young musicians from Landfill Harmonic

Celebrating the art of the documentary

Campbell River's Reel Art Film Festival will feature a variety of innovative, entertaining documentaries

For the second year in a row, the Campbell River Art Gallery is presenting the Reel Art Film Festival – a celebration of arts and culture – at the Tidemark Theatre Oct. 15 and 16.

The Reel Art Film Festival will feature a variety of innovative, entertaining documentaries – six feature length films and four short films. The festival, which brings together a unique collection of award-winning films, addresses a diverse range of topics, including music, poetry, First Nations history, LGBTQ issues and youth in the arts. Film buffs can stop by for one film, or spend the whole weekend immersed in the festival.

In addition to the film program, several filmmakers and people featured in the documentaries will offer personal insight into these films through post-screening question-and-answer sessions.

Tickets for the festival, which is a fundraiser for the Campbell River Art Gallery, are $50 for a weekend pass, $30 for a day pass or $12 per screening.

For students and for those on a low income, a festival pass is $25, a day pass is $15 and individual screenings are $6. Tickets are available at the Campbell River Art Gallery, and at the Tidemark Theatre or online at

Festival sponsors include the BC Arts Council, the Campbell River Mirror, Coastal Community Credit Union, Susie Moscovich, Southend Farm and Vineyards, Thrifty Foods, the Tidemark Theatre, Tremain Media and RH Printing. Among the community partners are the Laichwiltach Family Life Society, the Museum at Campbell River and the Campbell River Festival of Film.

On Saturday, Oct.15, the festival begins at 12:30 pm with Louder Than A Bomb, which tells the inspiring story of several passionate and talented high school students as they prepare for the world’s largest youth poetry slam.

At 3:30 p.m., there will be two short films, Suckerfish and Savage, followed by How A People Live, all directed by Lisa Jackson.

How A People Live is a powerful documentary about how the Canadian government forcibly relocated the Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’wx people to Port Hardy in 1964 and destroyed their homes, making it impossible to return. The film brings to life the story of a people known for their theatrical dances, their strong connection to the land and the strength that enabled them to overcome incredible hardships and create a new life.

At 7:30 p.m Saturday, Oct. 15, the festival presents Landfill Harmonic, the moving story of the Recycled Orchestra, a group of students in Paraguay who perform with instruments created from garbage. These young musicians have limited resources and opportunities, but their perseverance brings them sudden and international attention. Landfill Harmonic will be preceded by the Reel Art Film Festival opening reception at 6:30 p.m. in the Tidemark Theatre lobby.

On Sunday, Oct. 16, see Shoulder The Lion at 1 p.m.

Using striking visuals, this documentary presents three remarkable stories of individuals who prevail in spite of losing the physical senses that are central to their art – a photographer who slowly turns blind, a musician dealing with hearing loss, and a former boxer, and the real woman behind the film Million Dollar Baby, who loses half her brain in a fight and re-learns how to live through her painting.

At 3:30 p.m., the Reel Art Film Festival presents Eva Hesse, an exceptional portrait of one of the most remarkable and important contemporary artists of the 21st century. During World War II, Hesse fled to the U.S. where she forged a new path for herself as an artist as she channeled her personal struggles into her art.

At 7 p.m. the festival concludes with Bearded Ladies: The Photography of Rosamund Norbury. Vancouver director Sharon McGowan follows the fascinating work of Norbury, a photographer whose diverse work includes black and white nudes, homoerotic cowboys and other edgy gender-bending projects.

This latest project flips the process of ‘dressing up’ and further examines gender play and performance by transforming several women into their imagined male counterparts.

The lively and entertaining Bearded Ladies will be preceded by two short films – Queer Habits and Regalia: Pride in Two Spirits. Enjoy a post-screening discussion with the subject of the film, Rosamund Norbury, and producer Peggy Thompson.