CLIFF hits screens across Canada this November

14191897_10157344643415627_1702258935895045824_nBy Navjeet Sidhu

The Canadian Labour International Film Festival (CLIFF) returns for its 8th season with a selection of Canadian and international films focusing on work, workers, and the labour movement.

“We are very excited by this year’s lineup,” said Frank Saptel, CLIFF’s founder. “We were astonished by another record-breaking year of film submissions. As Canada’s only national labour film festival, we believe this highlights how critical CLIFF is in providing a platform for sharing these engaging stories to a wider public.”

The theme of this year’s festival is ‘Workers Leading the Way’, reflecting how workers from around the globe and organizing to ensure justice and dignity both inside and outside the workplace.

Films screening range from moving documentary tales of migrant workers’ struggles as cleaners in London’s prestigious universities (Limpiadores), fast-food workers fighting for decent wages in the U.S. (A Living Wage), and farmers in Honduras taking over plantation fields during the 2009 military coup (Resistencia: The Fight for the Aguan Valley).

Canadian films include: Goodwin’s Way, exploring the legacy of B.C. labour activist, Ginger Goodwin, and the residents of Cumberland, B.C.’s fight against a proposed coal mine; Strike 16, which takes a look back at the 1999 strike of cashiers and clerks at the University of Toronto’s bookstore; and Pay Your Interns!, a skewering critique of employer exploitation of unpaid student interns.

As in previous years, CLIFF will be awarding a series of cash prizes for best films, including the ‘Best-in-Festival’ prize for best film voted by audience members, and the ‘Miguel Cifuentes Radical Change Award’, named in honour of former CLIFF board member and labour activist Miguel Cifuentes. CLIFF is also unveiling a new ‘Best Canadian Feature Film’ award, where the winner will be selected by a panel of special guest judges. Judges this year include: Min Sook Lee (award-winning filmmaker), John Cartwright (President of the Toronto & York Region Labour Council), and Linda Ohama (award-winning film director and producer).

CLIFF’s Toronto festival takes place November 12 and 13 at the Carlton Theatre in downtown Toronto. Admission is free for all. CLIFF is also providing its popular Festival-in-a-Box and Lunch Special DVD series so that individuals, community groups, and union locals from across the country can organize their own CLIFF events in their communities.

Visit labourfilms.ca for full festival details and a list of CLIFF screenings in a city near you.

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