The launch of the Intercultural Film Series is one of several efforts the library is making to diversify its programming and make the library more accessible to everyone. As a part of this push, it is also building up its different language selections.
“The library is working really hard to diversify its programming, its selections, and its place in the community. This is just the beginning of a bunch of diverse and dynamic programming that we’re looking to offer,” said Leigha Locke, Regional Liberian at the A.C. Hunter Library.
“So for people who might not have felt like the library was reflective of them in the past … we’re so much more now.”
The series will feature a program of NFB films, all of which deal with the idea of “intercultural communication.” Willow J. Anderson, who has taught intercultural theory, is curating the series, she chose movies that felt current and relevant to conversations about immigration and cultural identity happening in Canada right now.
“Film is a really great medium to learn about how different cultures interact, and given that we live in an environment that’s more and more culturally diverse, we thought it would be interesting to view films in the library and have conversations around intercultural themes,” Anderson said.
The series kicked off in October with a screening of Where I Belong, the filmmaker Arinze Eze told his story of immigrating to Canada from Nigeria. The documentary followed Eze as he struggled to get his engineering credentials recognized, fell in love, and prepared for a visit from his parents.
“A lot of the film is about him deciding who he wants to be in Canada and considering what his family at home might think of his new life,” Anderson said.
This week’s film follows several Canadians who have one parent from a European background and one parent of a visible minority. The NFB describes the film saying it’s about getting “at the root of what it means to be multi-ethnic in a world that wants each person to fit into a single category.”
After each screening the audience will be invited to stick around for a discussion of the film. Anderson aims to have each of these conversations moderated by someone who has firsthand experience with the issues covered in the film. People will be invited to share how the film resonated with them personally, what surprised them about it, and how the subject matter relates to intercultural research.
One of the things that excites Anderson about holding the screening series in the library is that the audience will be able to seek out other resources relating to anything that interested them about the film. Having librarians on hand who can help people discover books, movies, and other media that relates to the ideas discussed in the film is a great asset for the series.
“The library is a great venue for this kind of event, because increasingly libraries are becoming community hubs focused on things like creativity, culture, collaboration and communication. So it really provides an open and safe space for everybody to come and feel like they have a place where they belong,” Locke said.
To keep track of upcoming Intercultural Film Series screenings follow the A.C. Hunter Library on Facebook.