FCFF’s First International Screening

Who are the Yazidi and what do they mean to Canada?


Forest City Film Festival prides itself in bringing the newest films to our local community in London, Ontario: films that pique our curiosity, films that engage us in conversation with the human condition, films with a window into lives larger than our own. With this intention, this year’s new International Screenings program celebrates international communities with a strong presence in Southwestern Ontario. Our aim is to offer a film that represents key aspects of large international communities in the region and each year we highlight cinematic talent from a different community.

This year, we highlight the presence of the Yazidi community in London, Ontario. The Yazidi are a Kurdish speaking population, primarily spread across Iraq, Armenia, Georgia, Turkey, Iran and Syria. A monotheistic culture practicing Yazidism, they have been systematically persecuted by ISIS. Since 2014, thousands of Yazidis are under captivity and hundreds of thousands have been displaced from their homes. Widespread sexual violence and trafficking, abduction of Yazidi women and children, and genocide are ISIS’s measure of ensuring the disruption of continuity of the Yazidi community.

After two years of advocacy by Yazidi activist Nadia Murad and her legal counsel Amal Clooney, the UN Security Council recently passed Resolution 2379, initiating the prosecution of the Islamic State for international crimes perpetrated in Iraq.

The resolution 'provides a global response to Islamic State that extends beyond the battlefield to include a commitment to punishing individuals through the courts. It is a major victory for Islamic State victims, who have bravely campaigned for justice and waited too long for a chance to see their tormentors in the dock.' Amal Clooney

In a global effort to re-settle the displaced Yazidi communities, London has proved a safe-haven and is one of four cities in Canada with the largest Yazidi population.

Join us at the Forest City Film Festival to witness Nadia Murad’s journey with this eye-opening documentary, On Her Shoulders - a powerful story that is sure to stay with you for a long time. Winner of awards at the Sundance Film Festival, HotDocs, SXSW Film Festival 2018, and Sheffield Doc Fest 2018, One Her Shoulders is the story of Nadia Murad, a 23-year-old Yazidi, who survived genocide and sexual slavery committed by ISIS. Repeating her story to the world, this ordinary girl finds herself thrust onto the international stage as the voice of her people. Away from the podium, she must navigate bureaucracy, fame and people’s good intentions.

This screening is brought to you in collaboration with the London Cross Cultural Learner Centre. 

Watch On Her Shoulders at the Forest City Film Festival, October 25th to 28th, 2018.