Ninth Wakefield Doc Fest catches up on some of the best in film

Jane Goodall and infant chimpanzee Flint reach out to touch each other's hands. Flint was the first infant born at Gombe, Tanzania after Goodall arrived. With him she had a great opportunity to study chimp development and to have physical contact, which is no longer deemed appropriate with chimps in the wild. The feature documentary JANE will open the Wakefield Doc Fest. Photo: National Geographic Creative/ Hugo van Lawick

An award-winning documentary film about Jane Goodall will open the ninth Wakefield Doc Festival with a free screening on Feb. 3 at 2 p.m.

This year’s festival will feature 14 films in 22 screenings in the Centre Wakefield La Peche over five weekends, from Feb. 3 to March 4.

Jane is directed by Brett Morgan and runs about 90 minutes. It is about Goodall’s early life and work. It includes previously unseen footage from a National Geographic filmmaker who accompanied Goodall into the the bush in Tanzania. The film is accompanied by a soundtrack created by the American composer Philip Glass. There is no admission charge for this screening.

As it has in the past, the festival is showcasing international and Canadian documentaries, including a Saturday matinee series featuring the work of Quebecois filmmakers.

A scene from Shiners.

The festival always brings in filmmakers to accompany screenings. This year the Montreal-born director of the film Shiners, Stacey Tenenbaum, will be on hand for the screening on Feb.10 at 7:30 p.m. The film will also be screened Feb. 11 at 1 p.m. Shiners looks into the life and work of shoe-shiners on four continents. This award winning film made the Globe and Mail’s Top 10 list.

Here are some more films:

A scene from Off the Rails

Off the Rails is directed by Adam Irving. Screenings: Feb.10 at 4 p.m.; Feb.11 at 4 p.m. The film tells the story of a man with Asperger’s whose overwhelming love of transit has seen him jailed 32 times for impersonating New York City transit drivers and driving their routes. 

Shadowman is directed by Oren Jacoby: Screenings: Feb. 17 at 7:30 p.m.; Feb. 18 at 1 p.m. The film tells the story of Vancouver-born artist Richard Hambleton, who painted hundreds of silhouettes on the walls of lower Manhattan and, along with Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat, sparked the street art movement until addiction and homelessness kept him out of the art scene for 20 years.

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail is directed by Steve James. Screenings: Feb. 17 at 4 p.m.; Feb. 18 at 4 p.m. James is bets know for his films Hoop Dreams, The Interrupters, Life Itself. This film follows the Sung family, owners of the Abacus Federal Savings of Chinatown, New York. Accused of mortgage fraud by the Manhattan District Attorney. This film caught and Oscar nomination Tuesday morning.

Thank You for the Rain is directed by Julia Dahr and Kisilu Musya. Screenings: Feb. 24 at 7:30 p.m., Feb. 25 at 1 p.m. Kisilu Musya is a Kenyan farmer who has documented his family, his village and the impact of climate change.

A Cambodian Spring is directed by Christopher Kelly. Screenings: Feb. 24 at 4 p.m., Feb.25 at 4 p.m. This film investigates  land rights protests that led to the so-called Cambodian Spring and the events that followed. 

California Typewriter is directed by Doug Nichol. Screenings: March 3 at 7:30 p.m., March 4 at 1 p.m. An ode to the typewriter. The film is named after one of the last remaining typewriter repair shops in the U.S. It features celebrity fans – Tom Hanks for one – musicians, writers and collectors.

A Story of Sahel Sounds is directed by Germany’s neopankollectiv. Screenings: March 3 at 4 p.m., March 4 at 4 p.m. It follows a man who is recording and archiving modern West African music.

Quebec films

Snack Bar Rhapsody is directed by Nicolas Paquet. Screening: Feb. 10 at 1 p.m. The vanishing cantines or casse-croûtes, are part of Quebec’s culture and they are disappearing. The film celebrates them.

24 Davids directed by Céline Baril. Screening: Feb. 17 at 1 p.m. The film connects 24 men named David on three continents. The Davids are of varying ages and professions, ranging from cosmologist to DJ to recycler.

Louise Lecavalier in Motion.

Louise Lecavalier in Motion directed by Raymond St-Jean. Screening: Feb 24 at 1 p.m. The film explores the life and work of the Canadian dancer and choreographer.

Pascal Marchand, winemaker, in Grand Cru.

Grand Cru directed by David Eng. Screening: March 3 at 1 p.m. This film tells the story of Pascal Marchand, who settled in Burgundy, France and became star winemaker.

The festival closes with a concert and a screening of the classic rock film Monterey Pop about the legendary festival with a lineup that included Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and Simon and Garfunkel. At the Black Sheep Inn, March 4 at 7 p.m.

For tickets and information:

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Peter Robb began his connection with the arts community in Ottawa in the mid-1980s when he was the administrator and public relations director of the Great Canadian Theatre Company. After a long career in journalism with the Ottawa Citizen where he served in a number of different posts he returned to the arts when he became the Citizen's arts editor.