The fourth annual Breast Fest, the world’s first and only breast cancer awareness event and film festival, is taking place this weekend, November 18th to the 20th. Created with the desire to bring light to the issues and challenges women face when diagnosed with breast cancer, Breast Fest hopes to inspire dialogue, facilitate learning and foster a sense of community through the power of film and the arts. With a series of film screenings and discussion panels,
Breast Fest will focus on breast cancer issues from around the globe and highlight, as Alice Gordon, Vice-President of Rethink Breast Cancer says, “the undiscriminating nature of this disease and the resilience and determination of the individuals affected by breast cancer.”
Breast Fest opens on Friday night with a screening of Patricia Zagarella’s documentary Baring It All about the Pulitzer Prize-nominated Scar Project. The Scar Project, a series of portraits of young breast cancer survivors, shot by fashion photographer David Jay, was an awareness raising campaign started with the purpose of bringing attention to the harsh realities that come with being diagnosed with the life-threatening disease. “Baring It All” follows Jay as he explores the worlds and journeys of four of the breast cancer survivors photographed for the campaign.
Also part of the Breast Fest program is a series of discussions that delve into some of the issues surrounding breast cancer. Panelists will discuss subjects like Comedy and Cancer: How humour is used to discuss serious illness, which will discuss how artists negotiate the fine line between being funny and socially relevant and just being offensive when joking about cancer, and Making Waves: How Young Adults With Cancer Are Taking Action, a discussion about the unique experiences of young adult cancer survivors and what motivates them to take action within their communities.
And finally, speaking of cancer jokes, get ready to hear a bunch of them at Tits N’ Sass, a fun night of comedy happening this Saturday, November 19th, in support of Rethink Breast Cancer. An innovative charity that reaches out to young people concerned about and affected by the disease, Rethink Breast Cancer has lined up an fantastic group of stand-up and comedic performers to get you laughing and thinking, including Sandra Battaglini, Gavin Crawford, Tania Katan, Allison Lane, Sandra Shamus and Dan Whitwell. Hosted by Elvira Kurt and co-presented by The Comedy Network, Tits N’ Sass will be a great night of fun and intelligent humour in support of breast cancer awareness. The bar opens at 6:30pm and the show starts at 8pm. Tickets are $25.00
All Breast Fest events take place at The ROM. For more information and to purchase tickets for Tits N’ Sass as well as all films and discussions, visit www.breastfestfilmfest.com.
~ Lindsay Tapscott