Common Threads


heart-of-the-city-logo-medOur upcoming film event on October 20th, 2016 is a unique collection of short films featuring stories that highlight the downtown eastside, indigenous issues, youth empowerment and mental health. With a mix of animation, documentary and drama, we are bringing together many voices from Vancouver that highlight our common experiences and connect all our diversity as a tapestry of community.

COMMON THREADS is part of the pre-festival line up of the 13th annual Heart of the City FestivalThis year the festival’s theme is Living on Shared TerritoryEvents and activities of the festival will focus and pay tribute to the Downtown Eastside’s founding peoples, cultures and diverse neighbourhoods.


A special feature this year is the installation of the  Survivors Totem Pole  in Pigeon Park. In the words of carver Skundaal Bernie Williams (Haida/Coast Salish), it “honours the many people who have arrived and lived in the Downtown Eastside as survivors”.  Read more about this project here.

reel-people-0602Our line up of 100{707270f93d4e79913c93e405818234de3d97bbf8a93a2a957154856abb85856e} locally made  films for COMMON THREADS takes the concept of  Shared Territories, city-wide, and explores the many different intersections of community and identity that we are fortunate to experience across Vancouver. After premiering at the Cannes Film festival, Victory Square, directed by Jacquie Gould, will have its Vancouver debut with us. The short follows a new police officer (portrayed by Camille Sullivan) whose rotation takes her to the DTES. Terry Chen (Strange Empire; Continuum) plays a plainclothes officer with years of experience working in the turbulent community. Everyone else you see in Victory Square is a DTES resident. Gould credits DTES resident and photographer Donovan Mahoney for liaising with the community and shooting “real footage of real people with real respect.”

Not a Stranger directed by Kate Green and is the story of one man’s pursuit of real world human connection for 365 days while asking the question, ‘Can talking to strangers make you happy?’ The centre of the film is Colin Easton who started to interview one person a day and created a blog about it.


The social justice filmmaking team Love Intersections brings us two films.  “Regalia: Pride in Two Spirits” which is the story of Duane, and his journey as someone who identifies as “Two Spirit” – a queer Aboriginal person, and Carla & Hayfa which through an intimate and touching lens looks at the relationship between a mother and her queer daughter and the impact of historical trauma on communities of refugees and their queer family members.


Our community cause for this event is Intersection Media Opportunities for Youth Society and we are thrilled to feature a collection of inspiring and insightful shorts created by their participants, including the animated favourites Messages to Younger Selves.


Based in the DTES, their program offers an
employability and life skills workshop and work experience opportunity to youth facing multiple barriers to employment.

Intersections Media Opportunities for Youth Society is seeking participants (ages 18-30) for its 2016–2017 Workshops. Each program includes a 4 week digital media and employment skills training workshop, followed by a 210 hour work experience placement. To learn more, click here!

There are many ways in which you or your organization can become involved with helping Intersections, including equipment or funding donations, and work experience placements. For more information, please click the following link:  How Can I Help?

Please join us for a diverse evening full of thought provoking films and meet the filmmakers and film participants, including Jacquie Gould, David Ng, Jen Sunshine, Intersections Media and many more. See you there!

October 20, 2016
Djavad Mowafaghian Theatre, SFU Woodward’s
149 W. Hastings
Doors: 6:30, Show Time: 7:00

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