Big-picture films seek social change

A film festival which aims to explore the most important social justice issues facing humanity is coming to Liverpool's big screens next week.

The Big Picture Film Festival, which features art house and limited release films, will run at Events Cinemas Liverpool and Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre from March 26 to 29.

Festival program director Eddie Cockrell said this year's selection of films embody the optimism, passion and endurance of those striving to make the world a better place.

"The festival's founder Reverend Bill Crews had one of those rare things, which was an idea for a film festival which no one had thought of before," Mr Cockrell said.

"He was very keen to turn a spotlight films which explore important social justice themes.

"Like the horrible conditions of international slavery, for example, and we have an excellent film which highlights that.

"It's a British film called Belle, about an illegitimate daughter of an English admiral and a slave in the 18th century brought up in the aristocracy but still bound by slavery."

Mr Cockrell said organisers wanted to screen some of the films in western Sydney and chose Liverpool because they wanted to find an area where they could introduce the films to new audiences.

"Many film festivals go to Parramatta, but there's more to western Sydney than that.

"We really believe that people in Liverpool want to see these sorts of films but they may not go all the way to Sydney CBD to see them.

"Not all of the films are serious. Many of them are light and funny, but the goal is to make people more aware of these issues and inspire them to try to make a difference."

Mr Crews, a Uniting Church minister, who runs the The Exodus Foundation, says the festival is more than just a celebration of film — it seeks to confront the biggest social justice issues of our time and inspire audiences to work towards change.

"You'll see the world in a different way," Mr Crews said.

"Think about the things that really matter. And you will be changed.

"It's a unique collection of films that will stay with you."

Some of the films in the festival will also screen at Event Cinemas, George Street, Sydney from March 19.

Details: thebigpicture.org.au.

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