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7 Docs 3 Days: A Reel Stories Preview

12 January 2016

For three days you can escape the cold winds that blow off Kempenfelt Bay, exist in time suspended and immerse yourself in seven captivating documentaries that explore a multitude of themes including powerful courage, poetry, music, survival and obsession.

Reel Stories Festival February 5-7 2016


Reel Stories is dedicated to presenting socially-conscious documentaries and fact-based films focussing on current issues in the world. In its twelfth year, and partnering with the City of Barrie’s Winterfest celebrations, Reel Stories screens 7 films over three days at the Barrie Uptown Theater, beginning Friday February 5, 2016.


Join us as we celebrate our twelfth year; the schedule has been carefully set so that, if you so desire, you can attend each incredible film.


To help you plan your viewing schedule, here is the lineup with trailers. We know, you’ll need to book the weekend off, arrange a sitter, organize doggy daycare, and get sorted whatever else you need to plan your weekend of film bingeing documentaries with your BFF.


Friday, February 5

4:00 pm : He Named Me Malala
Opening the 2016 Reel Stories Festival on Friday February 5, He Named Me Malala is the powerful story of Malala Yousafzai, a young Pakistani activist fighting for the rights of all girls to an education. Violently targeted and severely wounded in an attack by the Taliban, the incident sparked worldwide support and Malala is now a leading advocate for girls’ education globally and the youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate.


There is a moment when you have to choose whether to be silent or to stand up.” Malala Yousafzai



Not to be missed, a second opportunity is offered on Saturday at 2 pm.

7:00 pm : Al Purdy Was Here 
Al Purdy, considered Canada’s unofficial national poet, has been described as highly combative, charismatic, even brilliant. The recipient of the Order of Canada and two-time winner of the Governor General’s Award, Al Purdy is an integral piece of Canada’s cultural identity, an icon whose prose influenced countless writers and songwriters. Canadian Film Critic and now first-time Director, Brian D. Johnson shares his story; highlighted and accentuated by some of the music inspired by his words.


Encore screening on Saturday at 9:00 pm.

Saturday, February 6

2:00 pm He Named Me Malala
4:00 pm Life
An intimate look at James Dean through the lens of Dennis Stock, the photographer who captured some of the most legendary images of the reclusive actor for a now-famous LIFE magazine spread. The photographs immortalized the enigmatic star, in the moments as he was poised on the edge of stardom.

7:00 pm Mavis!
A warm, captivating and energetic documentary on gospel/soul music legend and civil rights icon Mavis Staples and her family group, The Staple Singers. You’ll leave this film uplifted, inspired and madly in love with Mavis.


9:00 pm Al Purdy Was Here

Sunday, February 7

2:00 pm Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict

Our final day for Reel Stories opens with the extraordinary life and career of socialite and collector Peggy Guggenheim, she was heiress to her family fortune and became a central figure in the modern art movement.



4:00 pm Trumbo
Trumbo is a 1940s biopic on leading Hollywood screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, part of the Hollywood 10, a group of men blacklisted for their suspected support of or membership in the Communist party. Trumbo completed some of his most famous works under the names of various fronts during the blacklist era.

7:00 pm Unbranded
Incredibly, there are close to 30,000 wild horses roaming freely in the United States. Unbranded takes you on a magnificent journey riding wild horses across the rugged West, from the Mexican border to Canada. Our Reel Stories festival closer, Unbranded won the 2015 Audience Award at Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival.


BFF… your best friend for FILM