Indigenous struggles highlight Canadian Sport Film Festival

The Canadian Sport Film Festival runs June 9-11 at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in downtown Toronto.

23 films will be shown during the 3-day festival beginning June 9

The Canadian Sport Film Festival is coming to Toronto June 9-11. Film stills from left: Crossing the Line, Keepers of the Game and Requiem for a Running Back. (CSFF)

Sport and film come together once again for the Ninth Annual Canadian Sport Film Festival (CSFF) running June 9-11 at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in downtown Toronto.

The three-day festival features 23 films and documentaries that vary from the dairy farms of New Zealand in The Ground We Won, to the basketball courts of war-torn Turkey in Baglar.

Here are some must-see films:

'Don't back down, and show no mercy'

Friday, June 9, 2017 | 6:30PM 

Keepers of the Game is the festival's opening-night film and for good reason. It documents the true story of young women on the Akwesasne Mohawk Territory in New York State who fight for the right to play lacrosse, a historically male-only sport among First Nations. 

Try and watch the trailer without getting chills.

'What makes you proud?'

Saturday, June 10, 2017 | 2:00PM

Imagine living in a remote fly-in only northern community in the Canadian Arctic, but having the opportunity to travel to compete in a marathon in tropical Hawaii. That's exactly what happens in the documentary Salluit Run Club as seven Inuit youth prepare and train for the race of a lifetime. The film gives a clear picture of the challenges faced by youth in the remote Canadian north, and shows their dedication and perseverance in the face of obstacles. 

The Salluit Run Club is now travelling to other remote villages, showing the film and sharing what running means to its members. (CSFF)

'Living with a rattlesnake'

Saturday, June 10, 2017 | 4:00PM

Requiem for a Running Back is one daughter's journey to truly understand her father. Lewis Carpenter was a professional football player turned coach, but when he died he became the 18th NFL player to be diagnosed post-mortem with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). His daughter, Rebecca Lewis, has a mission to better understand the disorder that was, unknowingly, so much apart of her father.  

'The myth begins with the lie'

Saturday, June 10, 2017 | 6:30PM

In 1989, 96 fans were killed at Hillsborough football stadium in Sheffield, England during a match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest. Hillsborough takes a closer look at the aftermath of the disaster with real accounts from survivors. It focuses on how rumours reported on by the media and a cover-up by police led many to blame the victims for the tragedy. After 25 years and a two-year long inquest into the disaster, an April 2016 verdict could finally bring justice to those involved in the tragedy. 

'I'm on the outside looking in'

Sunday, June 11, 2017 | 7:45PM 

You're one of four hurdlers to make it to the Olympic trials, only three can go, and you come last. Sounds like a very sad time in any athlete's career, and it's exactly what happened to 400-metre hurdler Danny Harris in 1988 before the Seoul Olympics.  Being so close to Olympic glory but not quite making the cut led Harris into deep depression and eventually drug addiction. This is his story, the rise, the fall and eventual redemption of a man who was "orphaned at 14, Olympic star at 18, crack cocaine addict at 22, and finished at 30." Crossing the Line will close the three-day festival. 

Will you be going to the festival? Let us know which films you'll be seeing in the comments. 


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