Stittsville Rotary Club’s International Film Series is back for winter 2023

The Rotary Club of Ottawa-Stittsville actively works to make the community a better, more connected place for everyone. The club has organized many events to make a difference here in Stittsville, including hosting mental health webinars, and community cleaning campaigns.

The Rotary Club has been treating Ottawa residents to nationally and internationally renowned films for eleven years now, and this winter, they will be collaborating with the Film Circuit of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) to organize international film showings on the last Monday of each month for the next four months. 

For your convenience, each film will be screened at Landmark Cinemas in Kanata at both 4:00 pm and 7:00 pm. You can order your pass by emailing Charles Mossman at for passes to the 4:00 pm showings, or Elke Harder at for the 7:00 pm showings. Passes are $60 each and allow entry for all four films. 

The first film of this series, Broker, a South Korean film with English subtitles, will be shown later this month on February 27th. This film tells the story of people who work together to help each other out of exceedingly difficult situations. 

The director of this film, Hirokazu Kore-eda, travelled to South Korea to film this story about two men who find homes for babies left in “baby boxes” by women who cannot care for them. Ha Sang-hyeon, played by Song Kang-ho (Parasite), is the owner of a laundry shop, who also volunteers at a local church. He and his partner, Dong-soo, sell these babies on the adoption market. This appalling practice is the central theme of a surprisingly sympathetic portrayal of these two men, and a mother who returns to reclaim her baby. 

A month later, the British film Emily will be shown on March 27th. Fans of the Brontë sisters and of gothic fables will find themselves enjoying this atmospheric portrait of Emily Brontë, the author of Wuthering Heights. 

In this film, Emily, known in the village as “the strange one”, spends her days roaming the lush moorland near her home, and exchanging stories with her romantic but dissolute brother Branwell. In her directorial debut, Frances O’Connor paints a portrait of an antiheroine who is prepared to flaunt conventions and lead a short, but eventful life in her home village of Haworth. One critic describes the film as a “sensually imaginative dive” into the life of the Wuthering Heights author. While the film takes some liberties with the real-life story of Emily, it delivers a spectacularly beautiful and memorable experience 

Then, on April 24th, the Iranian film No Bears will be shown with English subtitles. In this film, we witness the conflict between modern practices and ancient superstitions, and the result is sometimes comedic, sometimes tragic.  

Rotary Club Film series subscribers were introduced to Hit the Road director Panah Panahi in the fall series. For the winter series, the Rotary Club committee has selected a film made by his father, Jafar Panahi, recipient of top prizes at the Venice and Berlin film festivals. In July of 2022, Panahi was sentenced to six years of prison by the Iranian judiciary. When he created No Bears, he was already under a filmmaking and travel ban. But the defiant Panahi refused to be silenced. In No Bears, Panahi plays himself, directing a film remotely from a village (Joban) near the Turkish border, while at the same time filming day-to-day activities within the village. Panahi’s film crew is across the Iranian border in Turkey, creating a film that focuses on Bakhtiar and Zara, a couple trying to flee Iran for Paris. Meanwhile, in Joban, Panahi is drawn into a local issue among the villagers that focuses on a dispute between two men who are both trying to marry a local girl. This film has already won the special jury prize at Venice, and the award for cinematic bravery at the Chicago International Film Festival. 

Lastly, the National Geographic Documentary, The Territory will play on May 29th. This documentary focuses on a three-year period beginning in 2018 when Jair Bolsonaro was elected President. 

In one of his campaign speeches, Bolsonaro declared that, with his election, “there won’t be one more inch of Indigenous reserve”. In response, lndigenous peoples living in “The Territory” (a 7,000-square-mile region in the state of Rondônia) organized to protest the seizure of their land by settler farmers. The filmmakers refer to “The Territory” as “an island of rainforest surrounded by farms”. It is the sovereign land of the Uru-eu-wau-wau and other Indigenous groups. The Uru-eu-wau-wau partnered with cinematographer Alex Pritz in the making of this striking and compelling documentary that follows the struggles between the Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau and the settlers. 

The profits made from the International Film Series go towards several different Rotary Club projects and donations within the community, including the Stittsville Food Bank, the Richmond Food Bank, the Catholic Centre for Immigrants, Canadian Women for Women of Afghanistan, Water First, and ShelterBox. 

The Rotary Club would also like to remind those who are interested in purchasing series passes that the selected films deal with mature subjects and are therefore not suitable for children.

For more information about the Rotary Club, be sure to visit their website. You can also find updates on their public Facebook page here.


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