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article imageToronto cinema creates free series in response to U.S. travel ban

By Sarah Gopaul     Feb 9, 2017 in Entertainment
Toronto’s Hot Docs Cinema has created a new, free film program in solidarity with the seven countries affected by the U.S. travel ban.
A Canadian film community is taking a stand against U.S. President Donald Trump’s travel ban with a free film series that “celebrates the humanity and strength that resides in each one of us, and the human connection we all share.” The Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema’s new program, “Ban This Series,” will screen films from and about people and cultures from the following countries affected by the Jan. 27 executive order: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
"Over the past few weeks, we've struggled as a team to figure out how we can utilize the cinema to show work that will remind people that everybody has a story, all of which hold value and meaning," said Alan Black, managing director for Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema. "With ‘Ban This Series’ we hope to present unforgettable films that highlight everyday struggles of people who, regardless of race, religion or nationhood, are no different from you and me. Through the power of these amazing stories, we hope to build something we desperately need right now — empathy."
Other reactions to the ban have included Iranian director Asghar Farhadi refusing to attend the Academy Awards where his film, The Salesman, is nominated for Best Foreign Language Film; and the United Talent Agency cancelling its annual Oscar party to instead donate $250,000 to the American Civil Liberties Union and the International Rescue Committee.
The series will screen the following films: Beasts of the Antonov (Sudan); Libya in Motion (Libya); My Country, My Country (Iraq); The Reluctant Revolutionary (Yemen); Sonita (Iran); Stolen Seas (Somalia); and The War Show (Syria).
The free program will run at Hot Docs from March 6 to 8 and moviegoers will have the option of donating to two non-profit organizations: National Council of Canadian Muslims and/or Canadian Journalists for Free Expression. More information, screening times and ticket reservations are available on the Hot Docs website.
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