Connect: Family Matters

These short films are among the more tonally serious programs intended for this age group, they are rich with empathy and on emotional complexity. Family connections take centre stage and fill the room with myriad forms of love and the struggle it sometimes takes to give and receive the love we want and need. This is a must-see collection for families and students alike.

Themes: love, shame, gender, generational divide, loss, sibling rivalry, parental love, inner worlds, racism, compassion family relationships
Length: 1h13

Recommended for grades 4-7
Note that all the films in this program feature non-English dialogue with subtitles.

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Upon hearing a myth about falling stars, young Amna’s curiosity is sparked. When night falls on her Qatari village, she secretly sets out on her father's boat despite the fact that girls are forbidden to do so. With the assistance of her older brother, Sultan, Amna will take a risk to chase the fabled comet.

Ten-year-old Gabriel loves singing, and has one desire: to sing in the local choir. Riding kick-sleds through the snowy landscape of Northern Norway, this community choir is known for its generosity towards those seeking refuge in the village. Gabriel's father unexpectedly gets into a fight with a black man who was forced to flee his home. This ignites Gabriel's sense of justice, and compels him to stand up for what is right.

Defying class and cultural boundaries, young Pond struggles to come to terms with the inevitable departure of the woman who works as his family's housemaid. She too does not want to let go of their unique and wondrous bond. A generous and tender look at a connection that we rarely see or celebrate, Housemaid is a beautifully lensed and delightfully textured film.

Since the loss of their father, three siblings have been aching to remember him. Grief hasn’t been easy for their mother either. Returning with a stunning new film after c0-directing Mahalia Melts in the Rain (R2R 2019 audience favourite), Emilie Mannering commands a daring and emotive story of family dynamics and forgiveness.

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