Witness Within

Co-presented with Parkdale Film+Video Showcase
Tue Oct 23 | 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM
1152A Vari Hall

***All events are free and taking place on the York University Keele campus

WITNESS WITHIN examines the implications of structural imprisonment and systemic oppression in their myriad forms. The shorts highlight the importance of depicting acts of injustice and the community responses to them, displaying the ability of film to make social interventions:

The Defence of the G20 Prisoners – Owen Sheppard
Who Killed Me – Amil Shivji
Parkdale Tenants Association – Good Evidence
PASAN – Good Evidence
The Hit – Davor Krvavac & Nick Bailey
The Good Son – Amar Wala

Total running time: 68:43

Facilitator: Chrysanthi Zora Michaelides
Panelists: Owen Sheppard, Aliyyah Fazil, Amar Wala

Parkdale Film+Video Showcase is an eclectic showcase of film, video and media art by artists who live and/or work in Toronto’s dynamic Parkdale community. A rare dose of defiant and whimsical film and video, the Parkdale Showcase is intended not to purify the neighbourhood, but to jumpstart a collective kind of visual and cultural infusion. http://www.parkdaleshowcase.ca

The Defence of the G20 Prisoners captures the literal “movement” of solidarity among the poor, Indigenous people and people of colour, working class, and allies who marched on Toronto City Hall on the evening of 22 November 2011. Solidarity with political prisoners remains as great today as almost one year ago.

Owen Sheppard is a Toronto cultural worker who shares his video production skills and labour in solidarity with community organizations’ struggles toward freedom and equality. In 2010, Owen helped establish the Liberation Cooperative Organization (LCO), an independent media collective in Toronto and Nairobi, Kenya, through which The Defence of the G20 Prisoners was made.

The Liberation Cooperative Organization (LCO) is an international collective dedicated to promoting equality and solidarity through independent media production and training. Our chapters in Nairobi and Toronto share skills and experiences through community media forums, our quarterly journal Liberation, video productions, and photo-documentaries. Contact us at http://www.facebook.com/LiberationCoop.

Who Killed Me offers a glimpse in to the life of a lower class Congolese immigrant in Toronto before, during and after he is shot and murdered outside his workplace. From his mother to the police officer who finds him, we see different lives in the same city.

Amil Shivji is a recent graduate from the Film Production program at York University. He is currently based in his homeland, Tanzania. He believes filmmaking is the strongest medium for bringing about social change by confronting social and political injustice. He is particularly interested in using his work to challenge historical and contemporary misrepresentations of the African continent.

Good Evidence produces videos with non-profit community initiatives around the world to showcase the work being accomplished on social, economic, and environmental issues. Our mission is to challenge harmful representations by sharing inspiring models of community based action.

Parkdale Tenants Association raises awareness of tenant rights among the Parkdale community members and provides a space where tenants can voice concerns and lodge complaints against their landlords.

PASAN (The Prisoners HIV/AIDS Support Action Network)is a community-based network of prisoners, ex-prisoners, organizations, activists and individuals working together to provide advocacy, education, and support to prisoners on HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C and related issues.

The Hit explores the universal capacity of survivors and perpetrators of extreme violence to accommodate their experience; to return to mundane, ordinary life, despite carrying the knowledge of what for most would be unimaginable horror.

Davor Krvavac & Nick Bailey live and work in London and Amsterdam and have collaborated since 2007 as writer-directors on a range of commercial and non-commercial creative projects.

The Good Son is the true story of a young Egyptian boy who is asked to translate for his father as CSIS (Canadian Securities and Intelligence Services) officers question him in their home. Slowly, the questions become more and more hostile, and what started out as an interview, strategically turns into an interrogation.

Amar Wala is an award-winning filmmaker based in Toronto, Canada. He has a degree in Film Production from York University. He believes deeply in cinema’s ability to change minds and create discussion. In 2008, Toronto International Film Festival Director Cameron Bailey named Amar one of the Top Ten Local Filmmakers in Now Magazine.

Chrysanthi Zora Michaelides As a child of war Chrysanthi’s activist and advocacy work aims to create forums for stories and truths, through her company, Synergy In Action: Community Growing thru Arts; one of the founding producers of Artists Against War; and a top 20 emerging independent filmmaker, selected by Reel World Film Festival.

Aliyyah Fazil is an alumni of York University’s film program. Since graduating she has produced artist-based video work and worked alongside non-for–profit organizations such as Good Evidence, Hot Docs and most recently completed a series of short documentaries for the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network.