What if working together for the good of all was the most common business model? Watch, as several organizations strive towards building a more cooperative future. By rewarding human effort fairly instead of obsessing about the bottom line, these revolutionary businesses are creating a more people-friendly future, creating new ways to make money and doing it sustainably. A New Economy features seven interwoven stories. Among them are a small craft-brew coop, a peer-to- peer open hardware lab and an urban agricultural social enterprise. The Borealis String Quartet weaves beautiful music together with conversations on the core rewards of cooperation.
Filmed in the heart of Limpopo, South Africa, the village grannies (aged 55 - 84) lace up their soccer boots and start kicking their way through centuries of taboos. Dealing with their own stories of abuse, poverty & neglect these women come together on the soccer pitch for their weekly dose of therapy- both emotional & physical, and to celebrate being alive. Through their camaraderie on the field they play serious soccer then break into laughter and song as they wage a singular fight
for a decent life, true health and a chance to experience joy in a brutal world.
Audience Award for Best Short Film, Seattle Int’l Film Festival
In her film Angry Inuk, Inuit director Alethea Arnaquq-Baril joins a new tech-savvy generation of Inuit as they campaign to challenge long-established perceptions of seal hunting. Though most commercial sealing is conducted by Inuit in the Arctic, anti-sealing activism has created a perception of the industry that denies their central role in the sealskin market. Seal meat is a staple food for Inuit, and many of the pelts are sold to offset the extraordinary cost of hunting. Inuit are spread across extensive lands and waters, and their tiny population is faced with a disproportionate responsibility for protecting the environment. They are pushing for a sustainable way to take part in the global economy, but in opposition stand an army of well-funded activists and well-meaning celebrities. Audience Award Hot Docs Film Festival
This short documentary looks at how an entire community mobilized to improve the cafeteria menu at a primary school in Cocagne, New Brunswick. Rallying behind this noble cause, residents put their shoulder to the wheel, promoting products from local farmers over those of multinational corporations. Everyone gets involved to make healthy eating a common goal as well as a learning opportunity. (French with English subtitles)
With more than 6 percent rate of economic growth per year during last few decades, Bangladesh has been facing serious challenges in environmental natural resource sustainability. This documentary was shot on locations in Bangladesh and Canada, capturing third eye view of the lives of a population and a deteriorating ecology typically ignored in economic development plans. It takes a deeper look into the interconnectedness of culture, environments and the economy. In Canada, there is huge potentiality of sharing innovation, knowledge and exercise green/traditional micro- finance programs for underserved communities. This film will provoke future directions for diversified capacity development programs for Canadian social economy sector.
How I Got Over is an intimate profile of 15 formerly homeless and incarcerated African-American women that dramatically reveals the social causes of their plight and how their lives were transformed. The film follows the women for 12 weeks as they craft and rehearse an original play based on their harrowing, true-life stories including domestic violence and incest. None have had any acting experience but they are guided by the Theater Lab’s “Life Stories” program. Their work together leads to an emotional, one-night only, sold-out performance at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC. This is a look at what might be accomplished if more resources were devoted to recovery support, as well as a celebration of the transformative power of theater and the arts.
Migrant Dreams exposes the underbelly of the Canadian government’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program which empower brokers and growers to exploit and deceive migrant workers who have little access to support or information in their own language. These workers pay exorbitant fees to work at minimum wage jobs packing the fruits and vegetables we eat. Under the rules of the program, the migrants are tied to one employer and are denied basic labour and human rights.
When an anonymous caller alerts the police to extortion payments demanded by a broker, the workers must decide who is willing to take risks and cooperate with the police investigation. One has nothing left to lose. For others, the risk to their safety and livelihood is too great.
Best Canadian Documentary, HotDocs Film Festival
Planetary is a provocative and breathtaking wake-up call – a cross continental, cinematic journey, that explores our cosmic origins and our future as a species. It is a poetic and humbling reminder that now is the time to shift our perspective. Planetary asks us to rethink who we really are, to reconsider our relationship with ourselves, each other and the world around us, and to remember that we are all connected.
“Puppies Behind Bars” is a remarkable program that sees New York convicts raise and train service dogs for up to three years. The inmates live with the puppies 24 hours a day and teach them 99 commands to train them as service dogs to help war veterans with PTSD. The prisoners, often serving long sentences for crimes that haunt them, struggle daily to find a way to pay their debts to society. The “Puppies Behind Bars” program offers them a chance. Prison Dogs chronicles five prisoners and the five puppies they are entrusted to train. In the end, saying goodbye proves the hardest task of all. This is a story of love, loss, rehabilitation and redemption.
Filmed in Vasilika camp in Northern Greece in September 2016, this short film offers a glimpse into the degrading heaviness of the limbo that those seeking refuge were living through in camps throughout Greece before those camps were demolished. Ella, a young Kurdish activist and her family members call for freedom of movement and the right to re-build lives of safety, dignity and meaning.
Seeds of Justice follows Ethiopian plant geneticist Dr Melaku Worede’s inspirational work to value farmers’ knowledge and protect their position as guardians of seed diversity. Treading in Melaku’s footsteps from his youth to the present day through his pivotal experience of Ethiopia’s infamous famine, the film questions one of society’s most flawed assumptions: that scientists hold the answers to ending hunger, not farmers. Dr. Worede is also co-founder of USC Canada’s International Seeds of Survival program
Sonic Sea travels beneath the ocean’s surface to uncover the damaging consequences of increased ocean noise pollution and what can be done to stop it. Featuring interviews with marine ecologists, ocean life experts, and wildlife activists, including Grammy-Award winning musician and activist Sting, Sonic Sea highlights how noise from a range of man-made sources has affected whales in recent years, including the mass stranding of whales around the planet. The film uncovers how better ship design, speed limits for large ships, quieter methods for underwater resource exploration, and exclusion zones for sonar training can work to reduce the noise in our oceans and stop the deaths of our ocean’s beloved creatures, as long as society has the political will to solve it. Jury Award, Wild & Scenic Film Festival
As filmmaker, Jen Senko, tries to understand the transformation of her father from a nonpolitical, life-long US Democrat to an angry right-wing fanatic, she uncovers the forces behind the media that changed him completely. Her father is part of a much broader demographic. Through interviews with media luminaries, cognitive linguists, grassroots activists such as Noam Chomsky, George Lakoff and others, the film unravels the plan to shift the USA to the right over the last 30 years, largely through media manipulation. This documentary will shine a light on how it happened and continues to happen. What responsibility do governments have to keep the airwaves truly fair, accurate and accountable to the truth?
This feature documentary presents the heroic yet tragic story of Victor Jara: from his rise to prominence as a noted theater director, to his years as a folk-inspired troubadour, finally to his execution at the hands of Pinochet’s military regime – a junta responsible for summarily executing or ‘disappearing’ thousands of Chileans. Victor’s story continues with his powerful cultural resurgence in recent years as a symbol of the struggle for human rights and social justice. Some of today’s most prominent artists, along with Victor’s friends and family, have joined together to tell his story. Among them are Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie, Emma Thompson, Peter Gabriel, Judy Collins, Jackson Browne, Victor’s widow Joan Jara and Bono, who wrote about Victor in the classic U2 song, One Tree Hill.
Filmed in early 2016, these are the stories of some of the women, men and children who have made the perilous sea crossing to Lesvos, Greece to seek refuge. Some of the medics, volunteers, activists and life-guards working in solidarity with them share their reflections.
Tracing Roots is a portrait of an artist and a mystery. The film follows master weaver and Haida elder Delores Churchill on a journey to understand the origins of a spruce root hat found with Kwäday Dän Ts’ìnchi, the Long Ago Person Found, a 300-year-old traveler discovered in Northern Canada in a retreating glacier. Delores’s quest crosses cultures and borders, involving artists, scholars and scientists, raising questions about the meaning of connection, knowledge and ownership.
Unbroken Ground explores the critical role food plays in finding solutions to the environmental crisis. The vast majority of our food is produced using methods that reduce biodiversity, decimate soil and contribute to climate change. Food can and should be grown, harvested and produced in ways that restore the land, water, wildlife and human health. The film tells the story of four pioneering groups and the people behind them, leading the way with regenerative agriculture, restorative grazing, new crop development and selective-harvest fishing.
The Emilia-Romagna region in northern Italy has one of the highest concentrations of cooperative businesses in the developed world. The capital, Bologna, is an industrial powerhouse where prosperity is widely shared and cooperatives of teachers and social workers play a key role in the provision of government services.
Moore tells us the Joint Chiefs of Staff invited him to Washington, DC, to ask his advice. He responds by offering himself up as a one-man army who will “invade countries, take the things we need from them, and bring them back home to the US.” Whether it is Italy with its generous vacation time allotments, France with its gourmet school lunches, Germany with its industrial policy, Norway and its unique prison system, Tunisia and its strongly progressive women’s policy, Iceland and its strong female presence in government and business, or Portugal’s approach to illicit drugs, Michael Moore discovers there is much that America should emulate.