Reel Green, real change

Annual film fest aims to highlight local and Canadian issues to inspire change


The documentary is alive and well, as demonstrated by the many film festivals that have graced our cultural capital.

Two weekends ago saw several selections from the Banff Film Fest pass through town, and late last year the Toronto documentary festival Hot Docs held a weekend full of screenings at Cinematheque.

This weekend (Feb. 3-4) sees yet another doc fest that has become an annual event.

The Manitoba Eco-Network’s Reel Green Film Fest has become Winnipeg’s environmental film forum.

In its third year, this annual event has steadily grown from the inaugural fest.

“It does seem to be becoming more and more popular as the years go by,” Manitoba Eco-Network executive director Kristine Koster says. “Last year we had over 400 people who attended. In the first year we had around 300 people, and it’s hard to say how many people we’ll have attending this year.”

The festival kicks off on Friday, Feb. 4 at the West End Cultural Centre with a fundraising screening of the film On the Line.

This 2011 film follows Canadian filmmaker Frank Wolf on a 2,400 kilometre self-propelled journey by foot, bike, raft and kayak as they trace the path of the proposed Enbridge pipeline and seek to uncover the truth of it.

The night continues with the awarding of the Anne Lindsay Protecting Our Earth awards to be followed by a reception with food and drink.

On the Saturday, the festival changes locations to the University of Winnipeg’s Lockhart Hall, where attendees have the opportunity to watch seven films over the course of the afternoon, and engage in discussion.

Films being screened include The Edge of Eden, Bag It and Caribou: Ghost of the North.

While some docs can be downright discouraging, Koster promises the fest is not all “doom and gloom.”

“We certainly want to inspire our audience, so the festival aims to provide environmental education. We want people to go away feeling informed and inspired by the films,” Koster says. “We as the Manitoba Eco-Network want to provide positive environmental action. People can’t take action to improve if they don’t know what the issues are.”

For tickets or more information on the festival and films check out or call 204-947-6511.

Published in Volume 66, Number 18 of The Uniter (February 1, 2012)

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