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DEC 15

Kira Koshelanyk, MAWO Executive Member opens the first day of MAWO's 5th Annual Anti-war Festival

Guest speaker and film maker Fernando Suarez of the Guillero Azteca Peace Project speaks about his son, Jesus, who died in Iraq in March 2003.

Film Festival participants take a break to enjoy some delicious lunch and browse the festival information tables.

Indigenous Activist and Coast Salish ElderKelly White introduces the powerful film "Not so Gentle Neighbor".

U.S. War Resister and anti-war organizer Brad McCall introduces the film "Why is Canada in Afghanistan? What Afghans Think".

Capilano Student Sarah Alwell introduces the film "The Wind that Shakes the Barley".

Lindsay Clarke, Co-MC of this year's Film Festival, introduces the next speaker.

Talking to festival participants about our work and upcoming events against war and occupation.

MAWO organizer, film maker and author Mike Chimenti introduces the film "Hearts and Minds in the Holy War" about Somalia.

Festival goers browsing the information tables

Mario Lee, independent filmmaker from South Korea, introduces his new film, "Anti-war and Social Justice Activists Under Attack: The Case of Alison Bodine."

Signing the petition to lift the 2-year ban on anti-war activist Alison Bodine!

Festival goers browsing the information tables and Art Exhibits!



On December 15th and 16th 2007 more than 400 peoplefrom in and around Vancouver came together at theBritannia Community Centre to take part in Vancouver’s5th annual anti-war film festival organized byMobilization Against War and Occupation (MAWO).

“The Battle of Ideas” was the overarching theme forthe 2007 event, contrasting the destruction of the newera of war and occupation with the example of a betterworld being fought for with the example ofrevolutionary Cuba. The first day of the festival,December 15th was themed “The New Era of War +Occupation” showing films about war and resistancemovements from Afghanistan, Somalia, Ireland, andIndigenous nations in Canada .

A moving presentation was given on Saturday afternoonby Fernando Suarez, the father of a Mexican-AmericanUS soldier killed in the first week of the Iraq war in2003. Fernando greeted the crowd and introduced hisfeature film on his son’s life “Jesus, A SoldierWithout a Country”. As the film ended Fernando wasgiven a standing ovation as people reached out toshake his hand.

The first day’s intensity continued into the eveningas Mario Lee, an award winning member of the KoreanIndependent Film and Video Association as well as theSeoul Visual Collective for Documentary Film Making,introduced his latest film: “Antiwar & Social JusticeActivists Under Attack: The Case of Alison Bodine”.(for more on this case visit

Through both days of the festival the hallways outsidethe auditorium were lined with two powerful artdisplays. One was the “4 years of art + politics: MAWOposter campaign in motion + action.”, showing hundredsof anti-war posters of MAWO rallies, forums, pickets,and other anti-war activities over the past 4 years.

The second art display was a very unique and specialcontribution capturing the attention of participantsof this year’s film festival. The display consisted ofdozens of Cuban solidarity posters reflectingstruggles of oppressed people around the world fromOSPAAAL (Cuba’s Organization of Solidarity with thePeoples of Asia, Africa, and Latin America).

* * * * *

Day two opened with a transition to the theme “A NewWorld is Possible: Films from Cuba and Latin America”.The first film of the day, “Panama Deception” showedthe US’s brutal invasion of Panama in 1989.

As the day went on film fest participants watched afilm on Venezuela and then onto films fromRevolutionary Cuba showing that a world striving forhumanity and equality is possible.

Randy Caravaggio of the Victoria Goods for Cubacampaign opened the amazing and heart wrenching film“Salud”, a film showing Cuba’s amazing work in thefield of health care in Cuba and throughout the world.

The crowd was later introduced to the coordinator ofthe US National Committee to Free the Five, Gloria LaRiva. Gloria detailed the terrorist networks based inMiami who have for decades attacked the sovereignty ofCuba and how the government of the US arrested fiveCubans who went to Miami to document these terroristnetworks. Gloria then introduced the new film “TheTrial” which outlines this attack on the Cuban Five.

Hundreds of people took part in the anti-warfestivities this past weekend to come together unitedin this struggle for a better world. People saw thatthere are many others with the same goal of combatingthis new era of war and occupation, and the films fromCuba showed everyone that change is possible, and thatthe fight for a better world is possible!

DEC 16

Shannon Bundock, founding member of MAWO, opens the second day of the Film Festival.

Gloria La Riva, Coordinator of the National Committee to Free the Cuban 5 in the U.S., introduces the widely acclaimed new film on the case of the 5, "The Trial".

Festival participants fill the lobby during a brief intermission

Jose Angel, of the Solidarity Coalition for a United Latin America (SCULA), introduces the Sunday's first film, "The Panama Deception."

Venezuelan international student Jesus Moreno introduces, "Venezuela Rising", an inspiring account of social struggle within the new Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela.

Brazil Pevjack, an SFU student and organizer with the Iranian Committee Against War, introduces the Iranian-made film, "Goodbye Che".

Festival Co-MC Andrew Barry introduces the next film.

April Desilets of Vancouver Communities in Solidarity with Cuba (VCSC) opens the films "Por la Primera Vez" and "Dollyback".

Festival goers browsing the information tables

Festival Co-MC and MAWO executive member Janine Solanki encourages festival-goers to get involved in building the anti-war movement.

Randy Caravaggio, coordinator of Goods for Cuba-Victoria and longtime social justice activist, introduces the film "Salud!"

Thomas Davies of Mobilization Against War and Occupation, introduces the new film, "My Sisters' and Brothers' Keeper" by Isaac Saney.

Shakeel Lochan, an organizer with MAWO, introduces the new film "Inventos", documenting the rise in Cuban hip-hop.