From Real to Reel: Sharing Workers’ Stories at CLIFF

cliff_copyBy: Sara Jaffri & Navjeet Sidhu

The 2014 Canadian Labour International Film Festival (CLIFF) kicks off its sixth year throughout this November with film screenings in a number of cities across Canada, including: Toronto, Guelph, Windsor, Edmonton, Vancouver and Fredericton.

Since 2009, CLIFF has provided a platform to showcase films that not only portray workers’ struggles and challenges in a rapidly changing world, but also celebrate our victories and honour those labour activists who have made critical contributions to the labour movement both in Canada and abroad.

“Labour and the arts have a rich and longstanding history, especially through film,” says Lorene Oikawa, CLIFF Board Member. “Today, with working class communities facing continued attacks, it is critical that we find ways to promote workers’ perspectives and realities in a way that encourages both discussion and resistance.”

This year’s selection of CLIFF films highlight workers’ experiences from across Canada and around the globe – from the history of labour in British Columbia, to the story of young workers from Nova Scotia looking for decent work, to the portrayal of a Guatemalan street vendor and immigrant rights activist in New York City, to an examination of working conditions faced by migrant workers in Sochi in preparation for the 2014 Winter Olympics.

“With the accessibility of current technology and proliferation of social media, there are more ways than ever for workers to be able to record and share their stories, using their own words and images,” says Frank Saptel, founder of CLIFF. “That is the spirit which drives CLIFF – a festival for workers, by workers.”

The Toronto CLIFF festival will be running November 15th & 16th from 1:00pm to 6:00pm at the Carlton Cinema (located at 20 Carlton St. near College subway station). Admission is FREE for all. You can download the Toronto 2014 CLIFF program guide here.

For full CLIFF 2014 details and programming schedule across the country, please visit: labourfilms.ca 

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