Animal Save Movement activist Varun Virlan moved judges with his latest documentary Regan Russell - A Short Film by winning the Best Film Award in the Lifestyle Category at this year's prestigious International Vegan Film Festival.
The emotional film documents the animal rights pioneer Regan Russell who tragically lost her life in June 2020 during a pig vigil outside Fearmans slaughterhouse, Burlington, where she was protesting against “ag-gag” Bill-156.
In a special tribute to Regan, the film explores her activism, her violent death, and the aftermath. Varun said, "We felt it was important for people around the world to know the story of Regan Russell. She was a friend, fellow activist, and inspiration to many. Since her death we made a commitment that she would not die in vain."
The International Vegan Film Festival uses its platform to elevate and amplify the talents of extraordinary filmmakers, and serves as a crucial link connecting the global community of vegans and inspiring non vegans to make kinder, more informed choices. The screening of Regan Russell - A Short Film has brought Regan’s story to new audiences and shown the world what an incredible human she was, how violently she was killed, and the way her death re-energised the global animal rights movement to get active for animals. Varun said, "Her story has inspired activists to mobilize and demand justice for her and the animals she was fighting to liberate."
Regan’s legacy of love and compassion will live on in the hearts and minds of those she touched, and by the actions they take. She was a fearless woman fighting for a fair and just eco-friendly vegan world, describing herself as a mere pebble on the road to freedom for those who cannot speak. She became an activist for nonhuman animals in 1977, and never backed down, she fought for them until her very last breath… literally.
The third annual International Vegan Film Festival, which this year went virtual, allowing viewers from around the world to participate, came to a close this past Saturday, October 17. Following the festival completion, the full list of festival award winners were announced in both the film and photo essay categories. The German film Butenland directed by Marc Piershel, who also directed The End of Meat which featured Toronto Pig Save and its co-founder Anita Krajnc, won Best Overall Film and Best Animal Advocacy Film at this year’s festival.
Author: Nicola Harris