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Human Rights

Sisters In Arms

SISTERS IN ARMS is a one-hour documentary that tells the story of three remarkable women who have chosen the most difficult and dangerous military professions and are facing combat on the battle fronts of Afghanistan. Corporal Katie Hodges is a determined professional; Corporal Tamar Freeman is a trained specialist; and Master Corporal Kimberly Ashton is a mother who has left behind three young girls. We hear from veterans of the combat trades including Brigadier General Chris Whitecross, one of the highest ranking woman in the military and Lieutenant Colonel Anne Reiffenstein, the first female artillery officer. We will also meet the mothers, fathers and sisters who openly discuss their fears, and bravely support their loved ones. Using video diaries filmed by the soldiers in Afghanistan and intimate interviews at home, these women share their inspirations, deepest fears and darkest moments. SISTERS IN ARMS tells their stories from a uniquely female perspective, challenging our perceptions of what constitutes a soldier.

How Can a Boy

A young Karen man, a refugee at the age of ten when the Burmese military attacked his village, deals with loss and the guilt of being one of the lucky ones to survive the horrors of the civil war by helping his community and telling world the truth about Burma.

Tin City Voices

'Tin City Voices' is the story of survival in a third world slum. Filmmaker, Elijah Marchand, explores a shantytown in Georgetown, Guyana. We discover an abused woman, a pregnant mother, and a man struggling to find redemption for his violent life. Their lives do not intersect but run parallel. Through a stirring story about rebirth and forgiveness amongst despair and violence, we uncover the psychological environment that confines those in the ghetto.

Beyond Gay: The Politics of Pride

Homosexuality remains illegal in roughly 80 countries and in six it is punishable by death. Beyond Gay: The Politics of Pride follows the Vancouver Pride Society’s (VPS) President Ken Coolen and his VPS colleagues as they travel to places where Pride is still steeped in protest to personally experience the rampant homophobia that still exists. They also travel to Sao Paulo Brazil for the world’s largest gay parade and New York City, the birthplace of the modern gay liberation movement. Coolen discovers that despite the hundreds of thousands of people cheering in the streets, Pride is much, much more than a parade and a party. It is a giant step on the road to true equality. Increasingly the Pride movement is globalizing. Coolen and many Pride organizers in North America and Europe, where celebration has overtaken political action, strive to remind their communities that Pride is at its heart a global fight for human rights.

Jajo's Secret

Filmmaker James Motluk traces his family history and discovers that his grandfather (Jajo) was one of thousands of Ukrainians put into camps by the Canadian government and forced to work as slave labour during the first world war.

Twelve Palestines

The Palestinian-Israeli conflict is among the oldest conflicts in the history of mankind. However, not much is known about the exiled Palestinians who fled from their homeland at the start of the conflict, upon the creation of the State of Israel in 1948. The biggest number of Palestinian refugee camps in the Middle East exists in Lebanon, a small country battling its own internal demons. Since 1948, this exiled community swelled to 400,000 or roughly 10% of Lebanon’s population. As the fourth generation of Palestinian refugees is raised on Lebanese soil with dreams of returning to Palestine, they still struggle to survive in the complex web of official Lebanese restrictions; restrictions depriving them of their basic social, economic and human rights, like right to work, to own property, to travel without restrain. Featuring rare historical footage, interviews with Palestinian faction leaders, UN workers and ordinary citizens, “Twelve Palestines” brings you inside the lives of the inhabitants the 12 permanent Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon and examines the political deadlock in which these Palestinian refugees have remained for more than 60 years.

The Market

In Canada, Sandra's kidneys are failing and her blood type is not compatible with her mother or daughter, ruling them out as donors. Sandra has been waiting for a new kidney for over 5 years and the disease has, at age 40, put her life on hold. Her mother, Christina, can’t bear the thought of losing her daughter and Sandra’s teenage daughter Kylie is putting on a brave face. Every 3 days a Canadian dies waiting for a new kidney; in the US it’s a person a day. Where do patients go to fill the gap? In a slum in India, a broker tells Hema she’ll get $2000, the equivalent of 3 year’s wages, if she sells her kidney. But she’s unaware that losing a kidney undermines her health and her ability to work. Two different people. Two journeys. With one end. To find a kidney, someone has to lose one…. The global trade in human organs is one of the most profitable and dangerous enterprises; a black market that equals the drug and human trafficking trade. Through converging stories, The Market looks at the global trade in human organs, one of the most profitable and dangerous enterprises, a market that equals the drug and human trafficking trade.

A Place Called Chiapas

On January 1, 1994, the Zapatista National Liberation Army, made up of impoverished Mayan Indians from the state of Chiapas, took over five towns and 500 ranches in southern Mexico. The Government deployed its troops, and at least 145 people died in the ensuing battle. Fighting for indigenous Mexicans to regain control over their lives and the land, the Zapatista Army, led by the charismatic, guerilla poet Subcommandante Marcos, started sending their message to the world via the Internet. The result was what The New York Times called "the world's first post-modern revolution." Filmmaker Nettie Wild travelled to the jungle canyons of southern Mexico to film the elusive and fragile life of the uprising. Her camera effectively and movingly captures the human dimensions behind this war of symbols.


ART IS ALWAYS A RISK; Over a period of three years, the stencil artist Peter Gibson, aka Roadsworth, made his mark on Montreal in the early hours of the morning by launching a self-described attack on the streets. Armed with spray paint and handmade stencils, he began to play with the language of the streets, overlaying city asphalt markings with his own images: a crosswalk became a giant boot print, vines choked up traffic dividers, and electrical plugs filled parking spots. Each piece begged the question, Who owns public space? Roadsworth clandestine campaign eventually resulted in his arrest and prosecution by the city. He faced 85 counts of public mischief, fines of up to $250,000 and a criminal record. As citizens and artistic groups rallied around Roadsworth and his international reputation grew, the city became galvanized over a debate between art and authority. Roadsworth: Crossing the Line details the artist's prosecution at home and his travels abroad to France, London and Amsterdam, as he imprints himself legitimately (and illegitimately) on foreign streets. The film reflects Roadsworth's personal struggle to defend his work, define himself as an artist and address difficult questions about art and freedom of expression. As Roadsworth takes his place as a sanctioned public artist he strives to find new sources of inspiration, remaining committed to producing art that holds an element of wonder for the world when it wakes. In both his public pieces and private commissions, Roadsworth continues to take the kind of risks that make his work instinctual, immediate and enigmatic. With Roadsworth: Crossing the Line, filmmaker Alan Kohl provides a portrait of an artist who provokes debate about the significance of art in urban spaces.
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