Best of the Fests Series

Best of the Fests / Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind

February 19 at 7:30 pm @ Art Spring

Tickets are $10

Directed by Martha Kehoe & Joan Tosoni

With 16 Junos and over 10 million albums sold – and having been inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame – Gordon Lightfoot is widely considered Canada’s greatest singer-songwriter.

Following Lightfoot’s evolution from Christian choirboy to troubled troubadour, this definitive biography features disarmingly honest musings from Lightfoot himself, and laudatory interviews with such Canadian music legends as Ian and Sylvia Tyson, Murray McLauchlan, Randy Bachman, Anne Murray, Geddy Lee and Sarah McLachlan.

With rare archival footage and unprecedented access to the beloved musical icon described by Robbie Robertson as “a national treasure,” this intimate and illuminating retrospective takes audiences from small-town 1950s Ontario to Yorkville and Greenwich Village coffeehouses in the ‘60s, through Lightfoot’s turbulent, substance-fueled arena shows of the ‘70s, and finally to the artist as elder statesman, contemplating his own mortality at 80 years of age.

Co-presented by Gulf Islands Public Radio Society.


Best of the Fests / And Then We Danced

Wednesday, February 5, 2020 - 7:30 pm @ Art Spring

Tickets are $10

Directed by Levan Akin.

Jaw-dropping in its hyper-masculine physicality, traditional Georgian dance takes centre stage in this passionate coming-of-age tale set amidst the rigidly conservative and staunchly nationalistic confines of modern Georgian society.

Having trained for years for a coveted position in the National Georgian Ensemble, Merab’s orderly world is turned upside-down with the arrival of the handsome and charismatic Iralki, a talented dancer with a rebellious streak. Gifted with perfect form, Iralki throws Merab off balance, sparking an intense rivalry – and unexpected romantic desire – that jeopardizes everything he has worked for his entire life.

This provocative film recently sparked three days of rioting by right-wing groups when it premiered in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi. Sweden’s official entry to the Oscars, this intoxicating tale of love and liberation has won multiple awards at film festivals around the world.

 Co-presented by Dance Your Ability Therapeutic Movement Foundation and DAISSI – Diverse and Inclusive Salt Spring Island.


Best of the Fests / Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2020 - 7:30 pm @ Art Spring

Tickets are $10

Directed by Daniel Roher.

If you don’t already love The Band, you will after seeing this rollicking retrospective – inspired by the bestselling 2016 memoir “Testimony” – which blends archival footage with Robbie Robertson’s engaging and humorous recollections, interspersed with lively interviews with Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton, Van Morrison, Peter Gabriel and Ronnie Hawkins.

As an ambitious teenager, Robertson left Toronto for the deep South, where his raw talent thrust him into the spotlight alongside Rick Danko, Garth Hudson, Richard Manuel and Levon Helm, making their mark as one of the most influential groups in music history.

After 17 years of touring, clashing egos and spiralling substance abuse, The Band went out with a bang with a lavish 1976 farewell at San Francisco’s Winterland Ballroom, immortalized in Martin Scorsese’s “The Last Waltz,” considered the greatest concert documentary of all time.

“It was a beautiful thing,” recalls Robertson. “It was so beautiful it went up in flames.”


Best of the Fests / nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up

Wednesday, November 13th, 2019 - 7:00 pm @ Art Spring

Tickets are $15

Director Tasha Hubbard will be in attendance with invited Indigenous Elders.

In August 2016, a young Cree man named Colten Boushie was shot and killed after entering Gerald Stanley’s Saskatchewan farm with his friends. The emotionally charged trial and subsequent acquittal of Stanley provoked national outrage, captured international attention and raised questions about anti-Indigenous racism within both the judicial system and the nation.

Award-winning filmmaker Tasha Hubbard follows the journey of Colten’s family as they search for justice, taking their fight to the highest echelons of power and, ultimately, the United Nations. Hubbard deftly illustrates how the long history of violence against Indigenous people continues to define life in Canada, and the impact of systems that have been the instruments of colonial domination for centuries. At once urgent and intimate, “nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up” is a profound portrait of a family standing up for a more just society for future generations.

This event is co-presented by the Stqeeye’ Learning Society (Xwaaqw’um Village).

The Salt Spring Film Festival invites you to join us in acknowledging that we are gathered on the traditional and unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples.


Best of the Fests / Honeyland

Wednesday, October 16th - 7:30 pm @ Art Spring

Tickets are $10

Directored by Ljubo Stefanov & Tamara Kotevska

The last in a long line of Macedonian beekeepers, Hatidze Muratova ekes out a living harvesting wild honey deep in the Balkan mountains and walking four hours to the nearest city.

Her bucolic existence is disrupted by the arrival of a nomadic cattle-herding family, with their roaring engines and rambunctious children. Despite Hatidze’s open-hearted welcome to her new neighbours, conflicts soon erupt, exposing fundamental tensions between sustainability and exploitation.

Featuring the gorgeous, award-winning cinematography of an epic, HONEYLAND is nonetheless clearly built from an intimate collaboration between filmmakers and subject. With a surprising sense of humour, this tough and tender portrait of a fast-disappearing way of life is an unforgettable testament to one extraordinary woman’s resilience – and her determination to restore natural balance.

This must-see cinematic marvel swept the World Cinema Documentary awards at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.


Stay tuned for more Best of the Fests film announcements!