Director Tasha Hubbard’s nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up, weaves a narrative exploring the history of colonialism in the Prairies, around Gerald Stanley’s trial around the death of Colton Bushie

The Yukon Film Society (YFS) aims to bring limited release theatrical films to local audiences every winter through its Available Light Cinema (ALC) series. On Aug. 26, the society will showcase the films Echo in the Canyon and Yesterday. According to artistic director Andrew Connors, another 39 film screenings are planned through the end of March, with more to add.

“We’re looking for films that are in theatrical release,” Connors said. “The August films have been lighter fare. We’re trying to bring in world perspective and then diversity.”

The ALC series focuses on films that have moved past their film festival life and are limited in theatrical release. The YFS picks up films that would otherwise not see the screen in Yukon. Connors is looking forward to sharing several of this fall’s films with Yukoners. In his role, he screens hundreds of films that are made available throughout the year. He also seeks out films to show, like he did on his trip to Hot Docs in Toronto, where he saw Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind. 

“These other films I saw those at the Hot Docs Film Festival in Toronto,” he said. “Gordon Lightfoot went beyond a typical bio pic. It was really well done and entertaining and captured his dedication to his craft.”

Connors noted that the society has a couple other films that might interest Yukon film buffs, including nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand UpMeeting Gorbachev and Last Black Man in San Francisco. Connors said they considered bringing in nîpawistamâsowin as part of the Available Light Film Festival (ALFF) in the spring and inviting the director for a post-screening discussion, but the film has been in theatrical release for a while. (Normally, films curated for the ALFF are still in their film festival stage of release and haven’t seen larger theatrical release.) The film focuses on the failure of the colonial justice system in the prairies by looking at the Gerald Stanley trial that took place after the death of Colten Boushie, and would be an excellent focus for what the YFS film festival aims to provide as content.

Meeting Gorbachev is a film that has been in theatrical release for a while and will move to digital soon. It is a documentary that focuses on the man responsible for ending the Cold War, based on interviews and news footage.

Last Black Man in San Francisco deals with themes of gentrification and sense of place as it follows a man looking to belong in a changing city

Connors also said he’s looking forward to the response from audiences to the Sept. 16 film Last Black Man in San Francisco. “(It’s) a neat piece of cinema that will resonate with some audiences and will turn others off,” Connors said. “It’s a poetic film about place and attachment to place; and about class and gentrification in San Francisco in particular.”

Connors also thinks Toxic Beauty, showing Oct. 7, is important. The society is looking to bring in a guest speaker to lead a post-film discussion around the themes and topics. The film is about the lack of overall regulations in the personal care industry. It focuses on the class action lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson and looks at the known carcinogens in women’s products, as well as the potential health consequences.

ALFF and ALC are not the only projects the film society is undertaking this upcoming winter. Connors shared that they are working on a new film service that will launch in October. The new on-demand service will use a Vimeo channel to deliver a mix of free and rental digital films. The society views it as the first steps to building a dedicated resource providing Yukon and northern films in one location. 

To find more information on the ALC screening schedule, ALFF planning and announcements on the new northern film channel, visit YukonFilmSociety.com.