Good Works Film Festival brings social awareness to Eugene and Portland

Good Works Film Festival, a first-time event in Oregon, will kick off Oct. 6 in Portland and end in Eugene Oct. 7-10. In Eugene, the festival will be held at the Hult Center, the Bijou Arts Cinemas and the Eugene Public Library. The theme of the festival is social justice with eight highly acclaimed independent films, post-screening discussions about the films which includes free refreshments. The festival aims to create social awareness in Oregon through the in-depth discussions with five of the eight independent film directors.

Cynthia Wooten, co-director of the festival, said that some of the themes of the films are international in scope, but there is also work being done locally around these issues.

“The theory behind having the festival is that we have the responsibility to do something about films we see and the issues that move us,” she said.

In creating a diverse collection of films with inspirational and compelling stories, Good Works Film Festival recognizes the artistry of the film industry and the social issues. The films include: “4th Revolution: Energy Autonomy,” an inspirational film that follows the lives and work of 10 environmental activists who fight for energy autonomy; “Bag It — Is your life too plastic?,” a documentary following one man named Jeb Berrier as he attempts to answer the question, “Are plastic bags really necessary?”; “Between Two Worlds,” which explores the redefinition of the American Jewish identity with interpretations of the Holocaust, intermarriage and a communist past; “Even the Rain,” Spain’s entry for Best Foreign Film at the Academy Awards this year, it exposes Columbus as a domineering conqueror who destroyed indigenous cultures in his midst of discovery; “Granito — How to Nail a Dictator,” which explores the unforgettable tale of genocide and how the cast fights to bring a vicious dictator to justice; And “The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls,” the story of two comedic, lesbian twin sisters, Lynda and Jools Topp, whose political activism and entertaining personalities have helped changed New Zealand’s social outlook.

The centerpiece presentation of the festival is a free event that occurs on Saturday, Oct. 8 at 3 p.m. with the presentation of “Not in Our Town – Light in the Darkness.” It is the story of a community in New York that was thrown into real crisis as the result of a hate crime where a Latino man who was a long-time resident was murdered. The film reveals underlying discrimination and the lack of openness in a seemingly nice community. Mayor of Eugene Kitty Piercy, Centro LatinoAmericano and CAUSA are attending this presentation and helping facilitate the discussion afterward.

The other free event is a screening for students put on by a group called Not in Our School, which is about bullying, cyber-bullying and multiculturalism.

Wooten said that while the films are entertaining, they are also important to worldviews and what we think about ourselves and our own future.

“It’s important for us to broaden our worldview to make sure that we are well-informed about other perspectives and other places,” Wooten said.

The festival is an example of cinematic artistry, social consciousness and audience involvement in issues that affect the world today for Oregon.

Sure you could sit at home and watch the movies on Netflix, but Wooten said that is not the same as watching the movies with an audience.

“It’s not the same as seeing the film with other people because laughing or crying with an audience is more fun and meaningful,” Wooten said. “Another important part is the common experience the audience has and then riff off each other.”

For more information about the event, including movie times and locations, visit www.goodworksfilmfestival.org

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Thursday, October 6

Northwest Film Center

7:00 p.m. Festival Kick-Off Screening>Granito – How to Nail a Dictator* (100 min.)

Friday, October 7

Bijou Arts Cinemas

6:30 p.m. Bag It (78 min.)

7:30 p.m. Granito – How to Nail a Dictator (100 min.)

8:30 p.m. The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls (84 min.)

Saturday, October 8

Hult Center for the Performing Arts

3:00 p.m. Centerpiece Presentation>Light in the Darkness (60 min.)

followed by roundtable discussion and reception.

Bijou Arts Cinemas

5:30 p.m. Granito – How to Nail a Dictator (100 min.)

7:45 p.m. Even the Rain (103 min.)

8:15 p.m. The 4th Revolution – Energy Autonomy (87 min.)

Sunday, October 9

Bijou Arts Cinemas

1:00 p.m. The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls (84 min.)

1:30 p.m. The 4th Revolution – Energy Autonomy (87 min.)

4:00 p.m. Bag It (78 min.)

5:00 p.m. Between Two Worlds (70 min.)

7:00 p.m. Even the Rain (103 min.)

7:45 p.m. Between Two Worlds (70 min.)

Monday, October 10

Eugene Public Library

10:00 a.m. Screening for Students > No In Our School Program

by reservation only

1:00 p.m. Screening for Students > Not In Our School Program

by reservation only

Note: running times are of the films only; most screenings include special guests, discussions, Q+As or panels of about 30 minutes in duration, and we encourage you to plan your schedule accordingly.

*for ticket information for this Portland screening visit [email protected]@

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