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The 10th annual Urban Issues Film Festival on Friday November 10 will feature films and keynote speakers on housing regeneration.

This free festival, which is planned each year in conjunction with World Town Planning Day, is sponsored by the Planning Institute of BC North Island Chapter, the VIU Geography department, the Geographic Students’ Union, and the Master of Community Planning program.

“It serves as a great forum for different people to get together to discuss contemporary issues of the city,” as there is a discussion period after each film and after the guest speaker, said VIU Geography professor Don Alexander.

The event features a series of short and longer films. Speakers include Ting Pan from the Regional District of Nanaimo talking about green buildings; and Dave Witty, Vice-President Academic from VIU, as part of the annual Don Stone Lecture on Urban Planning and Design.

“We never stick to the theme religiously, but we’re going to have a lot of films about housing,” Alexander said. “There’s one about shipping containers that are being re-purposed for portable housing, and there’s one about Cincinnati and how they’ve recovered from being a roughly-built city.”

The festival began with Alexander’s idea to make sustainability issues surrounding urban areas more interactive for people. “It started when my colleague Pam Shaw, who is in the Geography department and the Master of Community Planning program, was telling me about a conference on urban issues,” he said. “It was being workshopped in City Hall, and I was thinking, it’s always so much more vivid when you see films about these issues come alive.”

In addition to the films and guest speakers, there will be a free pizza and sushi dinner, as well as popcorn and beverages provided by the Geographic Students’ Union.

The event is November 6 from 3 – 9 p.m. on the Nanaimo campus in bldg. 356, rm. 109. Individuals who wish to attend must register and indicate if they plan on bringing a guest over at eventbrite.ca. The full schedule is also available online.

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