Lloyd Salomone is the co-chair and organizer of the first annual Doc Talks Festival in Fredericton. Researcher, producer, writer and filmmaker, Salomone has produced and co-written films shown at numerous festivals.
Can you speak of your goal with the festival and how you would like to see it grow?
One of the main purposes of the festival is to engage, enlighten and empower people and communities, so as to create sustainable change – locally and globally.
The Doc Talks Festival has been designed so people can attend a film screening that deals with and engages them in themes, issues, subject matter and people trying to make a change in their life and the world or reveal a truth about the human experience that may have some relevance to our existence.
The panel discussions organized by academic researchers and NGOs [non-governmental organization] that follow the film screening, allows the audience to further engage in a discussion about these themes, subjects and issues, to contextualize them in an ever changing world.
The end goal is to have new ideas begin to circulate that empower people in communities, which can create sustainable change – locally and globally.
Did you feel there was a need for this type of festival in the city?
There are many documentary films screened in Fredericton and communities all over the province and country. Some have audience discussions after them, but what the Doc Talks Festivals is trying to accomplish is to formalize the relationship between professional documentary filmmakers with those of academic researchers and NGO officials who have mutual interests.
Then present a festival that allows people in the community with similar interests to interact in an intimate screening venue where new ideas, thoughts and feelings can be peacefully and positively exchanged.
It is for this reason that the organizers and presenters of the Doc Talks Festival come from the artistic, academic and non-for profit communities, as they all have important research and information that needs to get out to the wider public.
Much of the scheduling looks at how art impacts our lives socially, how important do you think this link is?
Art is a reflection of society. So no matter what the artistic medium is – film, theatre, dance, music, literature, painting, photography – the artist reflects their experiences with and connections to the social, political, economic, and ecological environments they live in.
So their thoughts, feelings and ideas are transmitted by way of their artistic mediums. In many ways artists act like societal barometers – they see things around them and express it as best as they can, and in many instances they reflect human vulnerability in the hopes of creating a more open and tolerant world to live in.
Can you explain the process in getting the Doc Talks festival off the ground?
The Doc Talks Festival started with a simple idea – how do we engage, enlighten and empower people and communities so as to create sustainable change – locally and globally?
The people associated with the festival, whether they are the organizers, presenters, government agencies, festival & symposium sponsors, academic and NGO communities – all understood that when professionally produced documentary films were mutually associated with public panel discussions, music performances, book launches and a art exhibit, it could create a unique synergy and dynamism that might foster new ways of looking at the world we live in, now and in the future.
The Doc Talks Festival started as a simple idea and it is the power of ideas and the need for sustainable change that have allowed it to become a reality.
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