Final Selections for CLiFF 2015

The Canadian Labour International Film Festival (CLiFF) is pleased to announce its 2015 festival line-up.

After reviewing a record breaking number of films from more than 97 countries, the CLiFF Board of Directors and Selection Committee members have chosen the films which will be shown across Canada.

In the coming days, we will be posting stills and trailers from these amazing films so that our audiences can start planning to attend CLiFF screenings across the country.

Stay tuned and see you at the movies! Below are brief descriptions of each selected film:

Backwards From Ten
Canada, 11.50 Short, Student (English) Directed by Laura Arboleda
“To die with dignity should be everybody’s right.” A doctor responsible for carrying out procedures in a euthanasia clinic falters when she receives an unexpected patient.

Morocco, 59.50 Documentary (Arabic) Directed by Karima Zoubir
With enthusiastic musicians and ornate wedding parties setting the stage, we meet Khadija, a Moroccan divorcee who works as a camerawoman at weddings in Casablanca. Her mother and brother strongly disagree with her choice of occupation, complaining that Khadija is out until all hours and a source of gossip for the neighbours. But Khadija is the breadwinner in the family and she won’t bow to their demands. Together with her best friend Bouchra, also a divorcee, Khadija talks candidly about the issues they face and the competing forces at play in the lives of women in Morocco and beyond.

Car, The
Canada, 8.00 Short, Dark Comedy, Satire (English) Directed by Joffrey Saintrapt
Stanley’s been having some bad luck. After being kicked out of his apartment, he’s forced to live in his car in the parking lot at work. His boss, apparently having no other alternative, lets him go until he can find stable residence.   And it’s not even lunchtime.  Stanley and his car are about to have a very long day…

Einen Koffer
Mexico, 6.50 Short (English) Directed by Sergio E. Aviles     
Reflections of a Mexican migrant to the US in the light of President Reagan’s “Tear down this wall” speech

From the Mouth of the Mariner
United Kingdom, 5.00 Documentary, Short, Student (Welsh) Directed by Josh Tilley
‘From the mouth of the Mariner’ is a glimpse into the life of an old Welsh sailor, and the rural Welsh landscape which he calls home.

Gardens of St. George, The
United Kingdom, 18.00 Documentary, Short (English) Directed by Alistair Oldham
The Gardens of St George tells the story of an allotment garden in the St George area of Bristol, where local people and asylum seekers and political refugees work to grow food together.

Happy Goodyear
Italy, 54.00 Documentary (Italian) Directed by Laura Pesino, Elena Ganelli
Over 300 workers from the Italian tire manufacturing giant, Goodyear have been affected by lung cancer and other diseases. Will the two lawsuits against American and Italian managers of the multinational lead to justice?

Ice and Water
Canada, 9.00 Documentary, Short (English) Directed by Erik Hutt
Ice and Water follows 38-year-old Jamie Le Rose over the course of an average workday and examines how nearly 20 years of roofing has physically and mentally affected him. Jamie has matured and young dreams may become irrelevant when he seeks new means to support his family. Over the course of the film, Jamie shares life, work, and musical experiences and how the roof has altered his goals and ambitions.

Land of Amber
Ireland, 52.00 Documentary (Spanish) Directed by Leticia Agudo, Alicia Arnandis
Mexican amber is found exclusively in the Simojovel region of the southern Mexican state of Chiapas. Although it is hand extracted by indigenous men and children, it is the resellers, traders and jewellers who make up to as much as 1000% profit when selling for incredibly high prices in the international market. This documentary explores the power relations around amber trade and extraction with the arrival of new players in town: Chinese and US buyers who go directly to the mines and pay top dollar.

Little Girl With Iron Fist (Bimba Col Pugno Chiuso)
Italy, 58.00 Drama (Italian) Directed by Luca Mandrile, Claudio di Mambro, Umberto Migliaccio
Giovanna Marturano, is an antifascist, a partisan and a feminist. She has been on the forefront of countless social and political struggles from the end of WWII till the present. A century of Italian history is here narrated by a young 101 year old woman.

Once Upon A Time
Turkey, 82.00 Documentary, Feature (Kurdish, Turkish) Directed by Kazim Oz
A poor crowded Kurdish family arrives from Batman to Ankara to work on the fields every year. Without any benefits and with very low wages, the family works to gain a living by cultivating lettuce. This year, their lives takes on a different turn gearing into a sudden, unexpected love story.

One Step at a Time: A Story About Women and Shoes
Canada, 12.00 Documentary, Short, Student (English) Directed by Sandra Ignagni
One Step at a Time overturns the stereotype of women as obsessed with shoe consumption by exploring the stories of women pursing an unconventional career path in shoe production – cobbling and in shoemaking. Weaving together four narratives into a unified thread, the film is a reflection on the challenges of learning detailed craft-based work in a rapidly vanishing Canadian industry.

Put Down
United Kingdom, 10.00 Short, Dark Comedy, Romance (English) Directed by Rick Limentani
John is a socially awkward man in a downward spiral of debt, until a lucky accident propels him into a new career as a black-market pet exterminator. In these difficult times, some families can no longer afford a pet. John has some inventive ways to help them.

Rana Plaza – Victims of Fashion
Canada, 29.50 Documentary (English, Bangla) Directed by Fuad Chowdhury
On April 24, 2013 a building in Dhaka collapsed, killing 1034 garment workers and injuring over 2500. This documentary commemorates the deceased and injured workers and their families, and explores the challenges to ending worker exploitation through the eyes of a visiting Canadian delegation of trade union activists.

Short Story of a Worker
Turkey, 16.50 Short Turkish Directed by Lokman Çelik
Sefa has been working hard at a pastry shop for a long time. Here is what happens when he finally decides to ask for a raise he deserves.

Single Body, A (Un Seul Corps)
France, 19.00 Short, Drama (French) Directed by Sotiris Dounoukos
Best friends and skilled abattoir workers David and Wani are saving up to open their own butchery, but before they can realize their dream, the arrival of a new worker will test the bonds of their shared life.

Canada, 6.50 Drama (English) Directed by Jay Castro
Farmer Shel is a hopeless rice farmer who lives for his family, working tirelessly night and day to provide for them. One night, what Shel encounters may keep him from providing for them, perhaps for good.

Street Artist, The
Jordan, 7.00 Animation (No dialogue) Directed by Mahmoud Hindawi. 
This short film depicts an ageing artist who despite his incredible talent, is disillusioned and in need of inspiration.

Canada, 12.00  Drama  (French) Directed by Pier-Philippe Chevigny
Tala is a young Filipino domestic worker living with a bourgeois family on the north shore of Montreal. As she runs through her daily chores, dealing with the eccentricities of her employers, an unexpected phone call puts her at great risk of getting fired. Shot in a single long take and inspired by the current ‘Live-In Caregiver’ program of the Canadian federal government, Tala tells a story of subtle oppression and re-empowerment, asking whether or “subalterns” exist in modern Québec and Canada.

Tilco Striker
Canada, 3.00 Documentary, Short (English) Directed by Matthew Hayes
In the 1960s, women workers at a factory in Peterborough,Ontario went on strike – in the middle of winter. This is the story of the Tilco strikers and their effort to fight against a tyrannical employer.

Canada, 9.50 Short (Punjabi) Directed by Sumit Judge & Ralph Ortega
Vishal, a 22-year old international student, finds himself in a dingy, crowded suburban basement, trying to determine how he can balance work and school. Engrossed with his longing for home, and his inability to confess to his mother the hardships he suffers daily, Vishal is persuaded by his roommate Sourav to skip school and start work at an Indian restaurant. The chaos, and the workers remind of home, but also foreshadow what life can and probably will be for the next few years.

What day is today? (Que dia é hoje?)
Portugal, 12.50 Animation, Documentary, Short, Student (Portuguese)
Directed by Colectivo Fotograma 24, a youth collective from Montemor-o-Nov

Over a two month period, a group of young people take a trip down memory lane to collect the testimonies of an older generation who witnessed 40 years of dictatorship and another 40 of fable-like democracy to find out what shaped the nature of today’s struggle for basic human rights.

Where is Don?
Kosovo, 10.00 Short (Albanian) Directed by More Raca
An episode in the life of a journalist living unprotected under the nightmare of threats.