The Mount has a particular Trent connection, with the film stemming from alumna An Kosurko's thesis project in MA Sustainability Studies and being presented in partnership with Trent Community Research Centre, the Symons Trust Fund for Canadian Studies, and the Trent School of the Environment.
It's ReFrame time again in Peterborough. The film festival, currently celebrating its 14th season, offers a unique opportunity to take in films that organizers hope will entertain, engage and inspire -- but will also explore and document issues of human rights and social justice. With films from around the corner and around the world, there is something for everyone
Alumna An Kosurko is writer and director of The Mount, debuting at ReFrame with a panel discussion to follow. For her, this year's festival -- and her movie in particular -- have a strong Peterborough/Trent flavour. The Mount stems from a Trent Sustainability Studies MA project documenting the history of a sustainable development initiative at local community centre. The project and eventual film brought together alumni, faculty, students, and Peterborough community members to tell an inspiring tale of successful volunteerism.
"I'm blown away by the support from sponsors and partners from the Peterborough and Trent communities in both the film and the panel discussion," she notes. "There's a lot of interest in The Mount Community Centre as a site and what it stands for, but also a genuine curiosity to explore the possibilities of how we can come together to solve problems at the community level."
The film shows how a group of volunteer leaders transformed an abandoned convent into a housing facility and food centre -- all with no money and few resources. Working with lawyers and artists, teachers and students, they forged new pathways for social finance and sustainable development.
The Mount mirrors many of the aims of the festival. After all, ReFrame draws participation from across both the Peterborough and Trent communities.
Local filmmakers use the festival as an opportunity to debut new work, while local creative thinkers are involved in lectures and discussion panels. The festival itself wouldn't be possible if were not for local volunteers and eager audiences. It is a product of the community that houses it.
It also strives to promote films that better our society.
"ReFrame programmers spend months selecting, deliberating, and being inspired by some of the year’s best social justice films. In the process, we make connections across national borders and conventional boundaries. Diving into our oceans. Traversing the North. Exposing the arms trade. Defying gender norms. We hope the circus performers, long-distance runners, illuminating artists, and life-risking investigators that are the heroes of this festival will capture your imagination and light up your winter."
Kosurko sees her time at Trent as an integral part of shaping The Mount.
"The research and thinking skills that I developed at Trent really sharpened my vision and helped me shape my ideas. I've learned how to collaborate with many different people -- artists, faculty, alumni, community -- and that's what really brought this film to life. I'm so grateful for the Sustainability Studies M.A. Program, Trent's School of the Environment, and the Trent Community Research Centre."
Catch The Mount on Saturday, January 27th, 2018, at 4:00 pm (34 min.), at The Venue on George St., Peterborough.
Join ReFrame/The Mount after the screening for a panel discussion and reception up the street at Lett Architects Studio, 138 Simcoe Street, at approx 4:45 pm, where they will celebrate the contributors, artists, and volunteers involved with the project and film.
PANELISTS WILL INCLUDE:
- Stephen Hill - Professor, School of the Environment, Trent University
- John Marris - Director of the Trent Community Research Centre
- Tessa Nasca - Erring Artist and graduate of the M.A. program in Sustainability Studies
- Hilary Wear - Theatre Artist, Mama, spousal-unit, Metisse, community worker
The event is hosted by Public Energy. Organizers wish to thank Trent University's Sustainability Studies Community Colloquium and the Symons Trust Fund for Canadian Studies, Trent Community Research Centre, Trent School of the Environment, Carol’s Place, the Friday Morning Group, and Cambium Inc.
You can learn more about ReFrame and this year's festival and film lineup at their website.