Panel discussion on “Keeper”, a movie exploring the issues of pregnancy and abortion among teenagers.

This year’s CANA Film Festival (CFF) was an eye-opener for many who watched the wide selection of movies ranging from faith issues to mental disability, human dignity and care for nature.

The films helped acquaint people with “a broad base of social and other issues within a short space of time”, said Ms Lina Chua, a viewer. The stories “highlighted several areas which I had not encountered”.

Twenty-three local and international films, a mix of full length features, documentaries and short films, were screened at the CFF from Aug 29-Sept 30.

The biennial festival seeks to highlight noteworthy movies that espouse the universality of Catholic social teachings that touch on the dignity of the person and work, friendship, love, hope and the promotion of peace.

According to the organisers, some 2,000 people attended this year’s screenings held at CANA The Catholic Centre and Golden Village Vivocity.

A panel discussion was also held at the end of most screenings with experts on the subject matter featured in the film, and often including a Religious Brother or Sister who would share their views.

Another 1,100 attended the pre-festival film screenings held in CANA and several of our churches in July and August.
One movie that inspired many was the Singapore premiere of the award-winning documentary, Pope Francis – A Man of His Word.

Participants listening intently to a panel discussion. 

“It really shows you who he is, what he stands for, and how he is able to inspire people,” said Jesuit Father Ravi Michael.

“The line that captured me in the film was when a Religious Sister said that his [Francis] very life is a homily. That struck me.”

Fr Ravi added that he felt “proud to be living in the Church” at this time.

This year’s film festival also saw CFF collaborating with two communities in bringing two special movies to audiences.

CFF partnered Faith and Light community, which serves intellectually disabled people and their families, with the screening of Summer in the Forest. The movie features the life of people living with such disabilities and their daily interactions with each other in the L’Arche community near Paris.


Summer in the Forest features the life of people living with intellectual disabilities.  (Image taken from the film)

CFF also worked with the Archdiocesan Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrants & Itinerant People (ACMI) in screening The Helper, a documentary that chronicles the journey of foreign domestic helpers in Hong Kong and the many challenges they face in providing for their families back home.

“It is our sincere hope that our efforts have paid off in inspiring everyone who came by to think deeper about the way they live their lives, and assess the impact they are making in their respective communities and social circles,” said the organisers in a press release.

They added that they will re-screen some of the more popular films in the coming months. These are:

On Wheels: Nov 3. 3pm-4.45pm.
Keeper: Dec 15. 3pm-5.15pm.
Love & Bananas: Jan 26, 2019. 3pm-5.15pm
Bending the Arc: Feb 23, 2019. 3pm-5.15pm

For more information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 6338 4080.


The Helper is a documentary that chronicles the journey of foreign domestic helpers in Hong Kong. (Image taken from the film)

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