Event Type: Screening

Song of the Sea

Animation still from "Song of the Sea" with two children in a forest; one is peering through the back of a broken TV

Relaxed screening.

This Oscar-nominated, hand-drawn animation is truly a wonder to behold. It tells the story of Ben and his little sister Saoirse, whom they discover is a ‘kelpie,’ someone blessed with the ability to change into a seal. While deeply rooted in ancient Celtic folk tales, myths and magic, it’s also a very familiar, entirely relatable story focusing on both the fragility and the strength of familial bonds. From the animator behind The Secret of Kells, Song of the Sea is a complete delight:a funny, life-affirming fantasy adventure sure to enchant audiences young and old.

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Unsettled: Seeking Refuge in America

Four people standing facing an urban city in the distance

There are 70 countries in the world where same-sex sexual activity is a crime. 6 of those countries impose the death penalty. Against this backdrop of intense homophobia, Unsettled chronicles the brave stories of four LGBTQ+ refugees who fled their home countries to America. Director Tom Shepard tracks the incredible stories of Subhi, Junior, and the couple Cheyenne and Mari, recounting their persecution in highly insightful and profoundly moving interviews. The film closely examines the struggles of finding a place in America, while serving as a bold testament to the spirit of these strong individuals. At times devastating and at times emphatically hopeful, Unsettled celebrates the lives of these refugees with a heartfelt tale of loss and the ultimate triumph of love.

Tom Shepard, and subject Subhi Nahas are expected to be in attendance.

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Content Warning: Violent imagery and mentions PTSD, trauma and torture.

Forget Me Not

A woman holding up an image from an ultrasound, obscuring her face

What makes a mother give away her baby? This is the big question in Sun Hee Engelstoft’s poignant heartbreaker of a film about three Korean women who have become pregnant outside of marriage and are now hiding from the outside world until they give birth. They live in a shelter for unwed mothers on a South Korean island, where beautiful landscapes are in sharp contrast to the fierce dilemma that women go through: should they keep their children or give them up for adoption? Engelstoft has been given unique access to this particular shelter run by the strong-willed Mrs. Im, who fights for the girls’ independence but is up against a social structure and family tradition that leaves women in an impossible situation. Engelstoft’s sensitive portrait brings us close to a forbidden world and through her own experience as a Korean adoptee, she gives a deeply personal and extraordinary insight into a culture in which women can’t choose their own fate.

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Content Warning: Mention of child seperation and sexual violence


Still from "Rewind" - a close up black and white photo of a child's face with their chin resting on a table

When Sasha Joseph Neulinger was a young boy, he was sexually abused by his own uncles. Now a grown man, he steps behind the camera to direct a deeply personal and grippingly intimate tale of trauma and his path in overcoming it. Drawing from 200 hours of home videos and frank conversations with his family, Rewind reconstructs Neulinger’s childhood and reveals the intergenerational legacy and cycle of abuse. The film simultaneously captures Neulinger’s road towards bringing his abusers to justice, creating an inspiring case of resilience and activism. As we continue to grapple with the revelations of Me Too, Rewind adds to the conversation with an urgent and sensitive discussion of child sexual abuse.

Sasha Joseph Neulinger (director) in attendance for post-screening Q&A.

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Content Warning: Mention of sexual assault, child abuse, violence and truama.


Still from "Ximei" - a person in a group looking to the left of the frame and holding their outstretched arm

In the 1990s, China launched a campaign to extract blood plasma from its citizens. The government paid villagers to donate blood, but most of the equipment was contaminated with HIV. A massive HIV/AIDS crisis ensued, with approximately 300,000 people contracting AIDS in Henan province alone. The Chinese government has vehemently ignored the crisis, which is worsened by the pervasive social stigma attached to HIV/AIDS patients. Ximei, the subject of the eponymous documentary, unknowingly received HIV-contaminated blood after a farming accident. Now, she fights to raise awareness about the crisis and build a community with other victims. Shot over seven years, Ximei exposes a shocking history and the state oppression that Ximei continues to fight today. Moreover, the film is a tribute to Ximei’s indefatigable spirit and her absolute refusal to let this crisis be forgotten.

Andy Cohen and Gaylen Ross (co-directors) to join for post-screening Q&A via Skype.

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The Great Mother

Still from "The Great Mother" - two smiling people looking at another person facing away from the camera

Nora Sandigo is the legal guardian of over 2,000 US-born children of undocumented immigrants. She holds the unwavering goal that if the parents are deported, she can keep their children out of foster care and keep alive the hope of reuniting. In a time when stories of families being separated at the border abound, The Great Mother is a powerful and poignant statement that everyday citizens have the power to change lives. Directors Dave LaMattina and Chad Walker follow Sandigo and the youths under her guardianship as they navigate the American landscape, facing the obstacles of being an immigrant and the devastation of Trump’s election. With the 2020 US elections close by, The Great Mother sets off a timely discussion of immigrant rights and shows how one ordinary person can make an extraordinary difference.

Nora Sandigo (subject) in attendance for post-screening Q&A.

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Content Warning: Mention of child seperation and violence.

The Two Faces Of A Bamiléké Woman

Still from "The Two Faces Of A Bamiléké Woman" - a seated woman with wooden buildings behind her

The Bamileke people are a group native to Cameroon, who have maintained a distinct set of traditions and beliefs. Having spent years in Belgium, Rosine Mbakam returns to Cameroon with her camera to reconnect with her roots as a Bamileke person. Deeply personal and resoundingly poetic, The Two Faces of a Bamileke Woman traces Mbakam’s journey to understand her mother and the community that raised her. Who are the Bamileke people? What is their history? What does everyday life look like? The result is a thought-provoking film that lifts this community into the spotlight. In probing her ethnic roots, Mbakam comes closer to understanding herself and a complex national history. Gorgeously observational and sharply introspective, The Two Faces of a Bamileke Woman presents an indelible portrait of the Bamileke people and a universal narrative of a person’s journey home.

Rosine Mfetgo Mbakam (director) to join for post-screening Q&A via Skype.

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Opening Night Reception & Shorts Screening Series

Still from "Cleats" directed by Abdullah Şahin. Three childen on a suspended bridge against a sunset sky

Please note that this event is free for anyone with a ticket to 16 BARS. For everyone else, you can purchase a ticket in advance or for $10 at the door.

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Arabic with English open captions

Passion is a story about a young Yemeni kickboxer, Ahmed and what drives him to do the sport he loves, his fight to raise more awareness and try to bring peace back to his home country of Yemen. After spending time in jail for not wanting to fight in the war, he fled Yemen in 2018 in order to avoid a raging civil war that has now killed thousands and left millions displaced and on the brink of the world’s worst famine in the 21st century.

Turkish with English open captions

Iyas and Ahmet are two close friends. Emir, Syrian refugee completes the gang. Ilyas wants to make the tryouts for a local football team and saves money to buy new cleats. Emir shares his ideal. After seeing his father pays the debts of Emir’s family at the grocery store, Ilyas gives his new cleats as a gift to Emir in order to join to the tryouts. However, his own cleats tear up just after. The shoemaker gives him a bigger cleats temporarily. The tryouts morning one of Ilyas’ cleats drops to the river. When Ilyas and Ahmet try to take it out, Emir surprises them with what he’s done.

English with English open captions

After fleeing war in her home village, Mamusu Tarawalie learns how to educate others to help Sierra Leone would rise above violence.

The Dead Die Once
Arabic and English with English open captions

After settling into her new life in America, a Syrian refugee receives a visit from her past. Based on a story by Syrian writer Jehan Sayed Issa.

The Refugee Restaurateurs
English with English open captions

This is the story of Nadia and Mamba, a refugee couple from Burundi pursuing their dream of bringing African food to the heart of Detroit. After being forced to flee their home country because of Nadia’s human rights activism, the couple and their twin daughters started a new life in the United States. As Nadia developed a talent for cooking, Mamba joined her to become Detroit’s first East African restaurateurs…and together build their own American Dream.

Opening Night Presentation – 16 Bars

People wearing blue jumpsuits in a prison common area, with a person seated wearing a hat and colourful jacket in the foreground

America is infamous for having the highest incarceration rate in the world. 16 Bars presents an alternative solution to the crisis through the universal language of music. Speech, from Grammy award winning hip-hop group Arrested Development, leads a music workshop in a Richmond City jail as part of a program dedicated to lowering recidivism rates. As Speech interacts with four inmates and learns about their pasts, we are confronted with the stark reality of addiction and the structural nature of recidivism. More importantly, 16 Bars is a testament to the power of music as social activism. Music gives these inmates an opportunity to tell their stories and transform their lives. As we follow their journeys in and out of jail, 16 Bars will have you cheering and clapping to the rhythm of their lives.

Q&A with Sam Bathrick (director) and Todd “Speech” Thomas (film subject)

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Content Warning: Mention of drug use and violence.

Frozen 2

Movie poster for "Frozen 2" with animated characters from the film

Relaxed screenings.

Cineplex Entertainment in partnership with Autism Speaks Canada is delighted to present Sensory Friendly Screenings. This program provides a sensory friendly environment for individuals with autism spectrum disorder or anyone for whom the environment is suitable and their families to view new release films in theatres across the country.

Frozen 2
Why was Elsa born with magical powers? The answer is calling her and threatening her kingdom. Together with Anna, Kristoff, Olaf and Sven, she’ll set out on a dangerous but remarkable journey. In FROZEN, Elsa feared her powers were too much for the world. In FROZEN 2, she must hope they are enough.

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List of participating theatres