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‘Why don’t they show those on TV?’: documentary film festivals, media and community

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The importance of alternative forms of information is undeniable in a democratic society. Yet mass media often ignore important issues as well as grassroots struggles and victories. Over the past two decades, citizens of one small Canadian town have initiated a documentary film festival as a means to learn about diverse problems and/or share stories of successful community development and victorious social movements around the world. This sparked a series of documentary film festivals in other small Canadian towns. This article examines a study of two of these documentary film festivals and the learning reported by members of the audience.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: St. Francis Xavier University, Nova Scotia, Canada

Publication date: June 1, 2012

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