Oxfam Canada partners with Hot Docs to present powerful films on gender equality and human rights

(Ottawa) – Oxfam Canada is proud to partner with Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival again this year to showcase inspiring stories of women standing up and speaking out on gender equality and human rights in Canada and around the world.

This is the third year Oxfam Canada is partnering with Hot Docs – North America’s largest documentary film festival. Oxfam Canada is presenting the Persister series of films about the political, cultural and economic forces that undermine or uphold women’s rights. Oxfam Canada is also proud to be supporting the North American premiere of PUSH, a film about Canadian Leilani Farha and her mission to hold governments to account as the UN Special Rapporteur on Right to Adequate Housing.

“Hot Docs has done an incredible job of providing a platform for documentary filmmakers to tell important, inspiring and at times challenging stories about women standing up and fighting for their rights,” said Julie Delahanty, Executive Director of Oxfam Canada. “We are proud to be presenting the Persister series and to be supporting the film PUSH. The issues that these films tackle – poverty, inequality, gender discrimination and women’s rights – are at the heart of Oxfam’s work here in Canada and around the world,” said Delahanty. “Documentary film is a powerful way to promote conversations on gender equality and human rights and ultimately, drive social change.”

Films in the Persister series will introduce audiences to: a Chilean woman who was tortured under Pinochet’s regime awaiting a potentially historic court verdict; Indo-Canadian sisters who, after years of being haunted by a childhood secret, finally face their abuser in court; former NFL cheerleaders fighting back against the League for sexism and labour violations; a filmmaker who seeks answers to her past after discovering she was born in an Iranian torture prison, and more.  PUSH is a film that follows Canadian Leilani Farha in her quest to understand the impacts of the financialization of the housing market and her tireless efforts to ensure that everyone can claim their right to housing.

A special Persister Panel Discussion, facilitated by Julie Delahanty, will take place on Saturday May 4 at 10:30am at the TIFF Bell Lightbox Theatre (seats are limited). Panelists include:

  • Baljit Sangra – Director of Because We Are Girls
  • Yu Gu – Director of A Woman’s Work
  • Pachi Bustos – Director of Haydee and the Flying Fish
  • Heather Haynes – Senior International Programmer, Hot Docs
  • Kate Higgins – Deputy Executive Director and Women’s Rights Advocate, Oxfam Canada

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Persister is presented in partnership with Oxfam Canada.

Oxfam Canada’s collaboration with Hot Docs to present the Persister film series and to support the film PUSH builds is about promoting stories that speak to the issues at the heart of Oxfam’s work. Oxfam’s advocacy and long-term development projects, like Creating Spaces to Take Action on Violence against Women and Girls, aim to change systems and behaviours so that gender discrimination, inequality and violence against women and girls becomes a thing of the past.

Hot Docs (www.hotdocs.ca), North America’s largest documentary festival, will present its 26th annual edition from April 25 – May 5, 2019.  The Persister program will present eight feature films, one mid-length and eight Shorts focusing on strong women who refuse to let their voices be silenced by male dominance and systemic patriarchal values. Full listing of Persister films can be found at hotdocs.ca.

Contact information:

Paula Baker
Media Relations
Oxfam Canada
(613) 240-3047



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