Annual film festival explores housing issues

NANAIMO - Annual Urban Issues Film Festival focuses on housing regeneration projects.

The Pruitt-Igoe Myth is one of the films attendees can watch during the 10th Annual Urban Issues Film Festival.

Residents interested in learning more about contemporary housing issues that could affect their city can gain insight during the 10th Annual Urban Issues Film Festival.

The festival, held at Vancouver Island University, focuses on housing regeneration.

Don Alexander, film festival co-founder and a VIU geography professor, said there is a mix of short and long films. One film is 80 minutes and examines a failed social housing project in St. Louis.

“Some of the films provoke quite a lot of discussion,” said Alexander. “Often people link the issues in our community to what they see, linking it to burning issues in the Nanaimo community.”

After each film screening there is a facilitated discussion.

“People really enjoy the discussion and are quite passionate,” said Alexander.

The festival was created 10 years ago.

“We have a lot of people who are loyalists and come every year,” said Alexander.

Alexander and his co-founder Pam Shaw, director of the university’s master of community planning program, were inspired by a city public consultation process about urban issues. Alexander said they felt it would make the issue more tangible if people could watch films relating to issues facing Nanaimo.

“It makes it more visual and real for people,” said Alexander.

The university can offer free attendance thanks to sponsorship by the Planning Institute of B.C. North Island Chapter, the university’s geography department, the Geography Students’ Union and the master of community planning program. Alexander said it’s also thanks to volunteers.

The festival includes a speakers’ panel featuring Ting Pan, sustainability coordinator for the Regional District of Nanaimo who will discuss green buildings and Dave Witty, the university’s vice-president, academic.

The film festival is Friday (Nov. 6) from 3-9 p.m. in building 356, Room 109 of the Nanaimo campus. Attendance is free, but people must pre-register by going to and typing 10th Annual Urban Issues Film Festival under the search function.

Alexander said there is currently a waiting list but people said people should still register if they want to attend because spaces may open up.

Just Posted

UPDATE: Suspect and Mountie bitten by police dog during arrest south of Nanaimo

Two suspects were arrested in connection with a stolen pickup truck in Cassidy on Thursday evening

City to re-name community policing office and keep it open

Council votes 6-2 for city to maintain a presence at Victoria Crescent office

Nanaimo RCMP seek help finding missing Nanaimo boy

Chaas Mearns, 13, was reported missing Jan. 30

Construction set to begin on Nanaimo airport terminal expansion

First phase of construction project to begin in March or April

Duncan family says care home switched mom’s cat with robot cat

Staff alleged to have said they were taking cat for bath, then replaced her with robotic stuffed toy

VIDEO: Buccaneers double up Generals to win Game 2

Nanaimo now leads the best-of-seven series against Oceanside two games to none

Beefs & Bouquets, Feb. 22

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail

More snow forecast to fall Friday on Vancouver Island

Environment Canada calling for 2-10 centimetres on the east coast of the Island and areas inland

VIDEO: Buccaneers double up Generals to win Game 2

Nanaimo now leads the best-of-seven series against Oceanside two games to none

Indigenous elders share history with Nanaimo-Ladysmith School District students

‘Our kids learning their history through elders is nothing that we can find in our textbooks’

Bryan Adams opens Canadian tour in Victoria

Tickets go on sale next week for June 5 Save-On-Foods show

Suspected serial killer targeting Toronto gay community now faces six murder charges

Bruce McArthur now charged with murders of six men: Toronto police

Trump suggests more guns in schools to combat shootings

Trump floats two-step plan for gun control: More guns, more control

Second Russian athlete tests positive for doping at Olympics

Russian Bobsled Federation states a drug-test sample that pilot Nadezhda Sergeeva gave on Sunday was positive.

Most Read