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Cinema Thinks the World: Fail to Appear (2017) Film Screening and Discussion

March 15, 2023
6:30 pm – 9:00 pm
at UBC Robson Square (map)


About the Event

Cinema Thinks The World is proud to present a free screening of Fail to Appear (2017), which is the first feature-length film from Antoine Bourges, an Assistant Professor at UBC’s Department of Theatre and Film. The film premiered at the Vancouver International Film Festival and played numerous festivals including Buenos Aires International Film Festival (BAFICI); and the Lincoln Center’s Art of the Real. It was theatrically released in Canada and Mexico.

Lea Caragata (Associate Professor of Social Work, UBC) and Lyana Patrick (Assistant Professor of Health Sciences, SFU) will join filmmaker Antoine Bourges (Assistant Professor of Film Production, UBC) and moderator Christine Evans (Assistant Professor of Film Studies, UBC) for a discussion of Fail To Appear after the screening.

This event is free and everyone is welcome to attend. This is final event of six free screenings held at Robson Square as part of the Cinema Thinks the World series.  

About the Film

Canadian new wave fixture Deragh Campbell (Anne at 13,000 ftNever Eat Alone) shines as an inexperienced Toronto caseworker navigating an arduous and impersonal mental-health system in this understated, formally austere debut feature from writer-director Antoine Bourges, an Assistant Professor of Film Production at UBC. Still acclimating to her new job, Isolde (Campbell) is assigned to a despondent, middle-aged man (Nathan Roder) awaiting a court hearing for petty theft. As Isolde grapples with inadequate resources, bureaucratic protocols, and professional insecurity, she struggles to foster a trusting bond with her client. Bourges, returning to the front lines of social safety net services previously explored in his Downtown Eastside trilogy, frames this quiet drama in measured, uninterrupted, mostly static shots. Campbell impresses with a remarkably lived-in performance; Nikolay Michaylov, chief cinematographer with MDFF (Medium Density Fibreboard Films) lenses.

Event Schedule

6:00 PM: Doors open, light snacks and beverages will be provided
6:30 PM: Program begins
6:45 PM: Film starts
8:00 PM: Discussion, Q&A Period
9:00 PM: Program ends


Antoine Bourges is a filmmaker and Assistant Professor in the Department of Theatre and Film at UBC. He holds an MFA in Film Production from York University and previously served as an adjunct faculty member at Humber College. Bourges’ work blurs the lines between fiction and documentary, often exploring the impact of systems and institutions on human relationships. His shorts Woman Waiting (2010) and William in White Shirt (2015) have screened at festivals across North America and Europe, including the Berlinale, Toronto International Film Festival, South by Southwest, Museum of Moving Images, Ann Arbour Film Festival, and Indie Lisboa. His mid-length hybrid film, East Hastings Pharmacy (2012), premiered at Centre Pompidou’s Cinéma du Réel, and was presented at numerous festivals and art spaces, such as the Viennale; Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM); Entrevues Belfort Film Festival; Melbourne International Film Festival; New York’s Anthology Film Archive; Kasseler Dokfest (Best Film); and DOXA Documentary Film Festival (Best Canadian Film).

Christine Evans’ pedagogic research focuses on bridging film theoretical, psychoanalytic, and ideological approaches with evidence-based scholarly teaching in film and media studies. She has a particular interest in curriculum design, repurposing ‘traditional’ teaching and evaluative practices, and learning technologies. Her discipline-specific research focuses primarily on film theory, Lacanian psychoanalysis, and the work of Slavoj Žižek. Her pedagogic and discipline-specific work has appeared in The Journal of Cinema and Media Studies, Film-Philosophy and The International Journal of Žižek Studies; her book in the series Film Thinks, Slavoj Žižek: A Cinematic Ontology, is forthcoming from Bloomsbury.

Lea Caragata completed her PhD at the University of Toronto, focused on the interplay between land use, social movements and the democratization of public space. Her return to academe to do a PhD followed an almost 20-year career that included grassroots community organizing, social housing development, public policy coordination and public administration in non-profit community organizations and in government. Dr. Caragata continues to blend academic and research interests with her interest and commitment to public policy change and community development. Her book, Not the Whole Story: Challenging the Single Mother Narrativeis an illustration of her participatory, activist work, while her research has examined welfare and labour market changes, critical constructions of resilience and the provisioning roles played by children and youth in low-income families. Other research has focused on citizenship, social movements, gender and social exclusion. Lea contributes to “Canada’s conversation” through her active role as a member of the Educational Review committee of The Walrus magazine as well as having served on numerous non-profit Boards.

Lyana Patrick is an Assistant Professor of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University. She received her BA and MA from the University of Victoria, where she specialized in Canadian history, film studies and Indigenous Governance. She went on to study Indigenous documentary film at the University of Washington through a Canada/US Fulbright Fellowship, before completing her PhD at the University of British Columbia in 2019. Her doctoral studies brought together research interests in Indigenous community health and well-being and self-determination in urban health governance models. These interests were informed in part by three years spent completing pre-requisites for medical school and several years working in the BC Government in treaty negotiations. She joined the Faculty of Health Sciences in 2019.

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