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Douglas College SHIFTS focus to gender violence with film festival Sept. 24-28

With the emergence of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, it’s more important than ever to engage in dialogue on issues such as sexual violence and harassment and all forms of gender-based violence.

Douglas College is delving into these issues – and more – with SHIFT: Let’s talk gender violence. Created by an organizing committee that includes Sociology instructor Lisa Smith, the four-day event features film screenings and moderated discussions with the aim of putting the spotlight to the pressing issue of gender violence. The event provides an opportunity for students, staff, faculty and the wider community to engage through film, dialogue and interaction with community stakeholders, Smith said.

“We need public spaces where good dialogue can happen, where people can ask difficult questions and where we can see these difficult truths about society reflected in film,” Smith said. “From that point, we can go forward in addressing these issues, finding solutions and building partnerships.”

The event ties into IMPACTS, a seven-year project led by McGill University that addresses sexual violence on university campuses across Canada and internationally. This summer, Douglas College was added as a partner to the project, with Smith among three faculty members listed as co-investigators who will provide research findings.

The film-festival style event runs from Sept. 24-28 and will feature screenings of three films: 
Remembering Maple - a documentary about Maple Batalia, a 19-year-old Simon Fraser University student who was brutally murdered by an ex-boyfriend near the SFU Surrey campus in September 2011.
The Mask You Live in - a documentary that follows boys and young men as they struggle to stay true to themselves while navigating America’s narrow definition of masculinity.
Luk’Luk’l - a complex portrait of five Vancouverites living on the fringes of society during the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Each film will be followed by a moderated question-and-answer period and is accompanied by an art installation titled "What were you wearing?" which displays the clothing and stories of survivors of gender-based violence. The installation will be in a separate nearby area with content warnings.

On the final day of the event, veteran law enforcement officer Adrienne Murray will speak on violence against women, followed by a panel discussion exploring the challenges faced by those working within the field of gender-based violence. 

For details on the event, visit 


Sarah Rossi

Communications Coordinator 

604 527 5806