Feature Focus promotes a more in depth development of media literacy and critical thinking skills than Reel Focus - while broadening cultural awareness and global understanding. These weekday matinee screenings of thought-provoking films are followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers, producers and actors for discussion about content, message and aesthetic. Viewing guides are provided to all participating teachers, offering  useful questions, activities and additional resources for integrating each program's content into the classroom. There are two options for this program: attending the film on its own with a study guide (provided by R2R), or attending the film plus a workshop at your school. See details below!



Please join us for a special Skype Q&A with the filmmakers.











: Switzerland/Germany
Length: 111min
Recommended for grade 4-7
In German and Swiss-German with English subtitles.*

**Are you new to subtitled films? Don't worry! A limited number of headsets are available for those who would prefer to have subtitles read aloud by an experienced reader. Please inquire to reserve headsets for your class at the time of booking.

Heidi is one of the most beloved and best-selling books ever written. Director Alain Gsponer’s fresh take on this story conjures everything that is magical about the precocious orphan girl who is sent to live in the Alps with her mysterious grandfather (Bruno Ganz, Downfall). When Heidi is whisked away by her aunt to a posh house in the city, her worldview expands rapidly. A term of Heidi’s lodging and education is that she is expected to provide companionship to Clara, the lonely, wheelchair-bound daughter of this well-to-do family. This is hardly a chore since goofing around with her new friend is decidedly fun, and Heidi is up for adventure. Ultimately, she finds herself caught between her friendship with Clara, and longing for the freedom of mountain life. With cinematically striking bucolic landscapes, grand sets, and lush costumes, Heidi is an epic tale of friendship, family, and following your instincts.

Themes: trusting yourself, accessibility, friendship, economic disparity, social and emotional development, nature, grief

Advisory: Some mildly coarse language.


Please join us for a Q&A with our special guest Manuel Camacho (Lukas), who will be in attendance for both screenings.













: Austria
Length: 98min
Recommended for grade 4-7
In English. No subtitles.

This eagle’s story begins in the nest where awe-inspiring natural wonders come to life and the dangers of survival are imminent. The first-born chick pushes his brother from the cliff to certain doom on the forest floor. But fate intervenes, and the fledgling is found by a young boy, Lukas, living modestly in the mountains with his overbearing and widowed father. In secret, he cares for the eagle, which he names Abel. While Lukas has struggled to speak ever since his mother died, Abel’s presence offers some much needed affection denied to him at home. He eventually befriends his wise and caring neighbour (Jean Reno, Leon: The Professional) who takes Lukas under his wing and helps him process his grief by training the eagle. Soon the day will come when Lukas must release Abel back into the wild, so they may both learn to survive on their own. 

Themes: nature, trusting yourself, friendship, emotional development, grief, elders, love

Advisory: Animals are caught and eaten by other animals, which may upset younger viewers. The young eagle has a few close encounters with predators, including it’s brother. Lukas’ father has a strong character, and expresses his grief through misdirected anger.










: Poland
Length: 65min
Recommended for ages grade 5-8
In Polish and PSL with English subtitles

As with most sixth-graders, Laura gets annoyed with her parents at times. But unlike most, she is the hearing daughter of two deaf parents. As she gets older, she spends more time as a go-between: translating and interpreting for her parents, accompanying them to the store, and calling into work to report that her father is sick. Being an only child, this means less time on schoolwork and less time with her friends. Like any child of recent immigrants, Laura lives in an alternate world on behalf of her family, and is learning how to navigate the adult world much sooner than her peers. With all the seemingly additional challenges faced they are just like any other family, and their time together is full of joy and laughter. Their unconditional love for each other shines through in this beautifully composed and nuanced documentary. Using sparse sound and subtle cinematic gestures, director Maciej Adamek has found a quiet language of his own to invite us into Laura’s world between worlds.

Themes: family, translation, only child, love, perseverance, coming of age, friendship



Contact education@r2rfestival.org to register your class. Bookings will be handled on a first-come first-served basis. We accept registrations from school groups, home learners and individual elementary school students with a guardian, and individual high school students with school and parental consent.

Feature Focus includes a feature film and a study guide for pre-registered school groups. 



$5 Film (per student, in a group of 10 or more)
$10 Film + Workshop* (per student) 

*Workshop in your classroom
The workshop will be offered to your class at your school, post-festival (from April 10 to April 21). Please inform us with three potential dates when your class is available for the instructor.
Renowned animator Weronika Stepien is Reel 2 Real's Artist in Residence, and she will be offering one of two workshop options: pixilation or cut-out animation (based on grade level).
Cut-Out Animation: In this special edition of the Cut-Out Animation workshop, our instructor will be using archival photographs to investigate the history and geology of BC. Canon Rebel cameras will be used, as well as the iStopMotion animation software. This workshop is recommended for grades 5-7.
Pixilation: Students get animated! Choreographed by the instructor, the class will glide, disappear and fly through the air. This is a great introduction to special effects and stop-motion animation. Recommended for grade 4.
Workshop bookings will be taken on a first-come first-served basis. 
Please note: We encourage you to check your calendar for conflicts prior to registration. R2R requires a minimum of two weeks notice in order to cancel your registration and offer a full refund. This applies to all school groups.
>> Program subject to change <<