Today began with a panel discussion entitled "Issues Forum – Media Coverage of Peace & Environment Issues" (website) led by Global Peace Film Festival's artistic director, Kelly DeVine, on which I was honoured to be invited as a speaker. The audience was small but passionately engaged, and the topics discussed varied from the funding of our films to how the films inspire action in grass roots movements. As "In the Grey Zone" (website) is my first "issue-based" documentary, it has been a fascinating learning experience and such a joy to see the audiences reacting and interacting with the films so energetically.
|Filmmakers at "Issues Forum – Media Coverage of Peace & Environment Issues|
Among the panelists was Korrina Sehringer (second from left in the above photo), the director of "Shouting Secrets", a film about the emotional struggles in a Native American family (website). I had the honour of meeting Korrina at the World Premier of "In the Grey Zone" last month at the Flickers International Film Festival (website) where "Shouting Secrets" went on to win the Grand Prize for Best Narrative Feature (website).
|"Shouting Secrets", a film by Korrina Sehringer|
The inclusion of "Shouting Secrets", the only narrative feature in this year's Global Peace Film Festival (website) is a subtle yet crucial example of the carefully crafted curating that Global Peace Film Festival receives under the direction of Nina Streich, executive director, and Kelly DeVine, artistic director. Peace is not pigeon-holed or forced into the more easily understood compartments of 'anti-war', 'human rights', 'the environment', although these themes, too, are certainly represented. No, the definition of Peace is set free to be whatever it is called to be at this exact moment in time, a period that will someday be part of our collective history. The definition of Peace becomes broad, so broad, in fact, as to almost defy definition; but if one were to try, it could perhaps best be described as 'reconciliation'.
"Shouting Secrets" doesn't explore an issue such as war or the environment; what it is about is the reconciliation within a family. What is Global Peace Film Festival trying to tell us by programming a film such as this? Perhaps it is that Peace begins at home.