Foyle Film Festival’s annual Intercultural & Anti Racism Programme offers primary, post-primary schools, colleges, community groups, and the general public, a programme of screenings and workshops exploring a wide-range of themes and issues.
Now in its 13th year, the programme continues to raise awareness around issues such as racism, discrimination and harassment – including racist bullying. The objectives of this diverse programme are to broaden children’s and young people’s cultural awareness, literacy skills and cine-literacy abilities. The long-term objectives and outcomes are to promote tolerance and inclusion.
Educational highlights include special screenings of Disney Pixar’s latest animated feature Coco. This charming film follows the life of young Miguel who dreams of becoming a great musician. Coco explores the cultural and personal impact of music and its ability to inspire, spark memories, and bring people closer together through an uplifting shared experience. While Ferdinand tells the story of a giant bull with an even bigger heart. Raised to be a fighter, Ferdinand is instead a rather gentle creature who longs to find a place where he can be the bull he is meant to be.
Post-primary screenings include the inspirational movie Wonder – the unforgettable story of August Pullman, an ordinary boy with an extraordinary face. When Auggie enters the local fifth grade he becomes the most unlikely of heroes. As his family, his new classmates, and the wider community all struggle to discover their compassion and acceptance. Wonder is a true modern classic, a life-changing story that will inspire kindness and acceptance in audiences everywhere.
Other highlights of this year’s extended programme include classics such as Driving Miss Daisy, Mississippi Burning, and more contemporary films like A United Kingdom. While a special screening of Suffragette marks 100 years since the Representation of the People Act, giving (some) women the right to vote.
The festival also acknowledges the #MeToo and #TimesUp campaigns with screenings of Battle Of The Sexes, the true story of the 1973 highly-charged exhibition tennis match between the legendary Billie Jean King and former grand slam winner, and self-confessed ‘male chauvinist pig’ Bobby Riggs. While North Country is a fictional account of the first successful sexual harassment lawsuit.
This year’s programme features a number of special screening events for groups and/or individuals living with physical and mental challenges such as older people and dementia sufferers. Films screening include The Sound Of Music, The King And I, Lady And The Tramp and South Pacific.
Public screenings at Brunswick Moviebowl include Sanctuary, which follows Larry, a young man with Down’s syndrome and Sophie, a young woman with epilepsy, and the challenges they face when they fall in love. Until very recently (pre-2017), as a response to abuse scandals, it was illegal for people with special needs to have a physical relationship outside of marriage. This unique love story exposes how society fails to address the issue of the romantic lives of individuals with special needs.
Families will enjoy screenings of Moana and the original animated classic The Jungle Book. While Parent and Baby screenings of Paddington 2 and Despicable Me 3 gives parents the opportunity to watch a movie without worrying about disturbing other guests.