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Film fest highlighting the importance of journalism comes to Waterloo

Princess Twin Cinemas is seen in 2021. (File photo/CTV Kitchener) Princess Twin Cinemas is seen in 2021. (File photo/CTV Kitchener)
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The 2024 International Journalism Film Festival kicks off April 28 at Waterloo’s Princess Twin Cinemas.

“The film festival is just one way to help build a culture of appreciation for quality journalism in aid of democracy,” said Mirko Petricevic of Ink-Stained Wretches, the organization putting on the event.

The festival is intended to raise awareness about UN World Press Freedom Day, which is observed annually on May 3. CTV News Kitchener is one of the sponsors.

In Waterloo, the documentary Killer Water: The toxic legacy of Canada's oil sands industry for Indigenous communities will be airing.

“We chose Killer Water not only for its focus on the environment, but because of its the press freedom aspect,” said Petricevic.

“In January, Edmonton police arrested and charged Indigenous journalist Brandi Morin, co-creator of the documentary, while she was covering the eviction of people experiencing homelessness. A number of press freedom and human rights advocacy groups — including Amnesty International Canada — protested her arrest and called for charges to be dropped. They were dropped… two months later,” he added.

Petricevic created Ink-Stained Wretches because he believes in local journalism and strengthening democracy.

“Martin Baron, former editor at the Washington Post, put it succinctly in his book Collision of Power,” said Petricevic. “‘Without democracy, there will be no independent press. And without an independent press, there can be no democracy.’ I like living in a democracy, and I suspect most viewers of CTV Kitchener do too!”

Festival details

  • 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 28
  • Princess Twin Cinemas, 46 King St. N., Waterloo, Ont.
  • Tickets available at journalismfilmfestival.com

The screening of Killer Water will be followed by a panel discussion exploring the question: “How can we build a culture of appreciation for quality journalism?”

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