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Think DIFF-erently

DIFF – the Diversity & Inclusion Film Festival – will take you from Australia, to Uganda, to China, and Egypt – all without leaving Queen’s.

A new film festival at Queen’s will bring the Queen’s community together for reflections and celebrations of people from all over the world.

The Diversity and Inclusion Film Festival (DIFF), which runs from March 20 to March 28 – is being hosted by the Society of Graduate and Professional Students (SGPS), the Queen’s University International Centre, and Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre, among others.

Atul Jaiswal, International Commissioner for the SGPS and doctoral candidate in Rehabilitation Science, says the goal of the festival is to strengthen the connections between the domestic and international students.

“We intend to use movies as a tool to showcase the culture unique to the specific region and how people could appreciate each other’s culture and start accepting and including everyone,” he says.

A promotional image for "Bran Nue Dae", a film about an Aboriginal Australian teenager which will be shown at the Diversity & Inclusion Film Festival. (Supplied Photo)
A promotional image for Bran Nue Dae. The film, which is about an Aboriginal Australian teenager named Willie, will be shown at the Diversity & Inclusion Film Festival. (Supplied Photo)

The festival will feature five different films – each representing different areas of the world. The first up, Bran Nue Dae, is about the coming of age of an Aboriginal Australian teenager.

Other films to be examined include Queen of Katwe, about a Ugandan girl who becomes a Woman Candidate Master in chess, on Wednesday, March 21; About Elly, a murder mystery involving several Iranian couples on vacation, on Friday, March 23; Confucius, a biographical film about the legendary philosopher, on Tuesday, March 27; and Cairo Drive, a film about navigating traffic in Egypt set against the backdrop of the 2011 revolution, on Wednesday, March 28.

Each film screening will be accompanied by a panel discussion led by students’ facilitators from the same region to engage the Queen's community and build cultural understanding. The festival will conclude with the screening of Cairo Drive and a Jeopardy! event all about world cultures.

“We believe that this event may start the conversations around the importance of each culture that the students from different parts of the world bring on campus,” says Mr. Jaiswal. “One cannot appreciate the beauty of a rainbow until one understands the importance of each colour in making the rainbow possible. Similarly, on campus, once we start appreciating other person’s culture, we would be more respectful and accepting towards them and then the doors would be more open to share and learn from each other.”

For more information on the festival, please visit the SGPS Facebook page.