The National Film Board of Canada Film Club screened one of its films Tuesday night at Agincourt Library in Scarborough. The film, entitled Who Cares, is one of a series of films the NFB plans to screen at the Toronto Public Library.
The NFB Film Club is screening a series of four films each month from January to April at the Agincourt location.
“The selection of films is from the NFB, they chose a series of four films to run here,” Jane Aspinall, librarian at the Agincourt branch, said. “I chose to volunteer. They put it out on offer, and I thought it was a great sounding program.”
The films, all of which are documentaries produced for the NFB, are Payback, Who Cares, Status Quo and Vanishing Point. Payback, a film based on Margaret Atwood’s bestseller of the same name was shown in January.
Tuesday night’s film screening was Who Cares, a film by Gemini Award-winning director Rosie Dransfeld. It exposes the lives of sex trade workers in Edmonton.
Dransfeld shows the danger involved in the sex trade as well as the problems women in the trade face, such as abuse, violence, drug use and murder.
“It’s about the lives of three women,” said Aspinall. “It’s cinema vérité, so [Dransfeld] doesn’t intrude a lot on the narrative. So it’s really just these three women and you can see how difficult their lives are.”
The NFB produces films about hard-hitting subjects in Canadian society. Each of the four films in the series focuses on a social issue.
“This is the role of the NFB, to make films that talk about important issues for our society,” Lily Robert, director of corporate communications at the NFB, said. “It allows Canadians to be in contact with their reality, and from there they can make their own opinions about the films and issues.”
The NFB uses public libraries as venues for their films. It hopes to attract audiences in a public domain to watch these films.
“We’re hoping for a big audience,” said Aspinall. “Sometimes you have to try things out and see what direction they take.”
As well as a film screening, the NFB Film Club encourages public discussions about the subject matter in the films.
“It just takes some time to gather steam in these programs,” said Aspinall. “Talking about the films help people to get to know each other, it’s a social thing as well.”
Agincourt library screens the films for free, and any who wish to see them are welcome. NFB films are also available on the online screening room at www.nfb.ca. But to create more of a social atmosphere, a setting in which Canadians can talk about important issues affecting our society, attending these public screenings is highly recommended, Robert says.
“It’s good to watch them with other people and have discussions about these topics,” said Robert. “It’s up to them to form their opinion about it, and this gives them the opportunity to talk about it.”
Payback and Who Cares have been screened at the film club. The next film, Status Quo, will be screened at Agincourt Library in March.