Press Releases

CANADIAN LABOUR INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL KICKS OFF LABOUR FILM MONTH

05 November, 2010

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Labour International Film Festival (CLiFF) kicks off Labour Film month this November. Free films will be screened in over 50 locations across Canada about workers and the conditions under which they live and work.

Twenty-two Canadian and international films have been selected for this second annual not-for profit festival from the dozens submitted. Nine are Canadian, four American, two British, and one each from Australia, Egypt, India, Pakistan, Singapore, Turkey and the Netherlands. CLiFF continues to partner with the National Film Board (NFB), recognizing the valuable contributions to labour films made by the NFB over the decades.

“CLiFF hopes to bring about social awareness and action by bringing the issues that matter to workers to a broader audience, helping to stir up positive change in Canada,” said Frank Saptel, Festival Founder.

Canadian highlights:
The Curious Case of the Missing Recovery
“Stanfordo” tries to find out how the federal government and Bank of Canada can proclaim an economic recovery when hundreds of thousands of workers are still jobless.
The Nanny Business
The stories of nannies brave enough to go public about their experiences in the hope of forcing change.

International highlights:
REplace
A documentary about African immigrants coming to work in Europe – if they make it.
Angadi Theru
A milestone in Tamil cinema about working conditions.
Schmatta: From Riches to Rags
The vibrant history of the garment district, the former soul of Midtown Manhattan, which is now in danger of disappearing.

Check www.labourfilms.ca to find a screening near you.

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For information contact:
Michele Jeyakumar, Communications
festival@labourfilms.ca
(416) 970-2543

2009

November 19, 2009
Canadian Labour international Film Festival debuts in Toronto
The World’s First Truly National Film Festival

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Labour International Film Festival (CLiFF) will debut in Toronto this Sunday, 22 November, 2009 at the Sheraton Centre (Downtown) at 4:00 p.m. Sunday’s launch will be followed by six evenings of film at Toronto’s Bloor Cinema.

The Festival will also be the world’s first national film festival as screenings expand across Canada the following weekend. Over 50 locations across the country will join the event on November 28-29.

From Victoria in the west, to St. John’s in the East, to Iqaluit in the North, labour films from Canada and around the world will be screened free in theatres, union halls, municipal venues and rec rooms in all provinces and territories. Canada will be the first country in the world where towns, cities and villages are screening films for the same festival at the same time.

The festival will screen films about workers and the conditions under which they live, work, fight and succeed. 28 films made in the last 3 years have been selected from the dozens submitted from around the world. 15 are Canadian, with 6 from the U.S., 2 from Israel (focused on Palestinian workers), and 1 each from China, Mexico, Pakistan, Australia and Britain. Running times vary from feature-length to under three minutes. (See Highlights on following pages)

Six films from the National Film Board have been added to the list, recognizing the valuable contributions to labour films made by the NFB over the decades.

CLiFF was founded by Frank Saptel in 2007 and is a labour of love for the entire Board of Directors and countless volunteers across Canada.

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For further information please contact:
Frank Saptel, CLiFF Board of Directors and Festival Founder
(416) 579-0481
Michele Jayakumar, CLiFF Communications and Fundraising
(416) 970-2543

Highlights from the first Canadian Labour International Film Festival

FROM CANADA…

Poor No More
In the present economic crisis many Canadians are destitute and many others are on the brink. Against this climate, a couple of Canadians go on a road trip to Ireland and Sweden, with comedian Mary Walsh as their guide, and get a chance to see how other countries have helped people like themselves.

Hold the Line
The economy is being used as a tool to claw back workers’ rights. Min Sook Lee’s new film about the 2009 CUPE strike in Windsor, Ontario tells the story of the strike from the workers’ point of view.

You, Me & the SPP: Trading Democracy for Corporate Rule
What do secrecy, police provocateurs, an assault on democracy and infringements on citizens’ rights have in common? The Security and Prosperity Partnership.

Bus Driver
Follows Karnel Basi, a public transit bus driver in Vancouver, along his regular route through the Downtown East Side to the heart of the city and back again. Along the way he picks up a variety of passengers, struggles to stay on schedule and keep his bus safe.

School Zone
Humourous video that explores the benefits and protection the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation has gained for members through advocacy and collective bargaining.

Dear John
Chronicles the closure of Welland, Ontario’s oldest and leading industrial employer: John Deere Welland Works. The film explores what Welland has in store for its future, while helping those that worked at the plant tell their story.

Painting Red Square
7000 kilometres from Moscow, there’s another Red Square. Witness the struggle of the labour-left in Whitehorse, Yukon to find a friendly watering hole where they can share a glass with their comrades and debate which shade of red is best.

… AND AROUND THE WORLD

From Israel: 6 Floors to Hell
On the outskirts of Tel Aviv, in an underground world, live hundreds of Palestinian workers who sleep in this hell in order to find a day’s work in Israel and bring money home to their families in the West Bank.

From China: HERstory: Jeritan
A story of Indonesian female migrant workers who left their homes to work as domestic helpers in Macao, China, a community consisting mainly of Chinese as well as a city of casinos and entertainment parlours.

From Australia: Tanaka-san Will Not Do Calisthenics
Filmed in Japan, this film follows Tanaka-san who was let go from his job at Oki Electric Manufacturing Company 25 years ago when he refused to conform to militaristic working expectations.

From Pakistan: The Invisible Force: Women Workers in Pakistan
Millions of women workers in Pakistan remain unaccounted for in official figures. Even those who are in the formal workforce face problems like lower wages for the same work as men and sexual harassment.

From the United States: Who Killed Chea Vichea?
Chea Vichea served as president of Cambodia’s garment workers’ union until he was gunned down on the street in 2004. Filmed over four years, this film explores motives for Vichea’s assassination and unravels a police plot that framed two men.