Thought-provoking films on display at Red Deer Justice Film Festival this weekend

Tackling social justice issues has always been the aim of the Red Deer Justice Film Festival, and this year it takes on topics such as cyberbullying, access to abortion and transgender issues.

Running from Thursday to Saturday, the lineup features 13 films chosen out of thousands, said Breanna Fitzpatrick, director and marketing for the festival.

“We tried to find films that were interesting and had a big perspective on them,” she said.

One film that stands out for her, and one that will be shown to middle and high schools during the day, is A Brave Heart. It is the story of Lizzie Velasquez, who suffers from a rare syndrome preventing her from gaining weight. The 26-year-old weighs about 58 pounds.

“I think it’s powerful,” said Fitzpatrick. “It’s a message kids need to hear.”

A YouTube video of her was posted titled The World’s Ugliest Woman, and numerous negative comments along saying “kill it with fire” and “why would her parents keep her?”

“She chose to take her pain and propel it into a message of hope around who we are and what we bring to the table in our uniqueness is really special,” said Fitzpatrick.

“For kids especially it’s a really important message to hear.”

Other films include Call Me Dad, asks men who have or could commit domestic violence if they can chance; Trapped, follows abortion clinic workers and lawyer working to maintain access to abortion in the U.S.; and The Apology, former comfort women forced into sexual slavery during the Second World War fight for reconciliation and justice.

The festival will include a Non-Governmental Organization village with local organizations present that Fitzpatrick said she hopes encourage people to find out how they can use the knowledge from the films presented.

“They are the forward motion of where action happens,” said Fitzpatrick. “If someone leaves and connects with an NGO, a group of friends or in their workplace and they have a more educated opinion around a social justice topic. That’s a success for the festival.”

The festival takes place on Thursday and Friday starting at 6 p.m. both days, and on Saturday starting at 11 a.m. and running all day. A full list of the films and schedule is available at

The festival is free to attend, as it is run through sponsorships and donations.

Just Posted

Accused murderer’s story questioned

Jason Klaus spends day being cross-examined by lawyer for co-accused Joshua Frank

Red Deer Royals extend fundraising deadline for St. Joseph fieldhouse project

Fundraising chair says it’s a tough slog raising money in this economy

Red Deer seeks public input on coming changes to sign bylaw

A half-kilometre buffer zone could separate billboards in Red Deer under proposed… Continue reading

Innisfail man injured in home invasion

Police say the injury was non life-threatening

Credentials questioned man at Remembrance Day services

Veterans are crying foul after an alleged faker posed as a former… Continue reading

WATCH: Festival of Trees begins

A preview dinner and silent auction was held Wednesday night at Westerner Park

Volunteer with victim services in Red Deer

Learn more at info session on Nov. 27

Updated: Missing Sylvan Lake women found

Women were reported missing earlier this week

Liberals propose billions for affordable housing, including individual benefits

A Liberal government fond of promising help for those working hard to… Continue reading

Alberta Party sees growth in Central Alberta

Greg Clark addressed health care needs addressed in Red Deer

Ponoka council freezes Ponoka Fire Department spending

All discretionary spending frozen until full budget numbers are presented

WATCH: Ponoka’s Festival of Trees sees continued support

Three days of celebration and fundraising held at the Calnash Ag Event Centre

Creationist will speak at home-schooling convention in Red Deer

Ken Ham has debated Bill Nye on the Earth’s origins

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month